|LIFE AFTER DEATHTHE SKY IS PINKOBSESSEDREVIEW|
Before the world premiere of Bad Hair at Sundance, Justin Simien stepped out on in front of a packed house at the Ray Theater and gushed about his love for films like Carrie and Rosemary’s Baby. That said, his latest feature can be described as many things: a psychological thriller, a satire and a horror, but he reveals that he made this film with one group of people in mind: black women.Justin Simien with the cast of ‘Bad Hair’
In the film, he names characters after the strong black women in his life. His mom Anna, and his aunts Virgie, Edna and Zora. And with these characters, he wanted to “shine a light on the absurdities we are living in reality sometimes.”
With that, he used one of his favorite genres, his culture and personal life to tell a story that is more than just a horror film. “I hope I can do this genre that I am absolutely in love to interrogate the system that is obsessed with black culture but doesn’t give a fuck about black lives,” he said. “I hope I can use this genre to interrogate a system that mines black women for their culture, ideas, compassion, wisdom and perseverance but does not give them enough options to shine in this light.”
The film gives off some Brian De Palma energy mixed with B-movie delight is set in 1989 Los Angeles in which Simien said was “the year of the weave.” In it, newcomer Elle Lorraine plays Anna Bludso, who had a traumatic experience during her childhood when her scalp was burned from a mild relaxer perm. Fast forward to her adult life and she is working at a music video TV show called Culture, which is drenched in synthetic fabrics, ’90s hip hop flair and New Jack Swing. Amidst women in broad-shouldered blouses, her life is turned upside down when her dreadlocked boss is replaced by Zora Vanessa Williams, a vicious ex-supermodel who looks to switch things up. When she warns Anna about her natural hair, she goes out and gets a weave from a bougie, yet mystical hairdresser Laverne Cox. She looks good and starts excelling at work with her new hair, but after a while, it begins to have a bloody mind of its own — literally.“The movie took on something bigger than me and I went with that,” said Simien after the screening during the Q&A with the cast. Lena Waithe, who stars in the film, was involved with it from the very beginning and she adds to that sentiment saying that Simien made a beautiful blueprint for the women in the film to work with. “We were able to come in and give thoughts and ideas and the way it sort of morphed into this film is a testament to the way [Simien’s] brain works and how talented you are and how dedicated you are to not colonize stories of black women…and that’s why it feels so fresh and so special.” Lorraine, who...
SPOILER ALERT: If you are among the few who haven’t actually watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, this review contains a lot of details about what goes down in the sad big cat saga.
With Netflix poised in the coming days to cash in and crank the base up a notch with more Tiger King, it's time to come out and say it: I hate the Red State porn that is the crash and burn of Joe Exotic
The initial seven episodes of this septic and shallow patchwork of trademark infringement, sex, guns, labor exploitation, song, drugs, mullets, betrayal, animal activism, revenge, and a lot of big cats may be much binged over these weeks of coronavirus lockdown, but that doesn't mean it's actually worth watching.
Now, I get it, I sound like I'm just a dour critic who hates anything that isn't prestige premium cable or aspirational. C'mon man, you want to say, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is just so unbelievable, I can't look away.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact, propose Tiger King isn't just bad, but dangerous in a divided America persistently looking to reduce the other side to caricature.
In a presently ailing nation where TV is more voluminous and vital than ever, the truth is the March 20 launched Tiger King is a clawed white trash misery index. Gawking at some clearly fragile and damaged people like would-be reality TV star Exotic and their below the Mason-Dixon line antics, the series subsequently provides a cultural circus for those smug bicoastals under stay at home orders and screaming to rise up in moral superiority.
Essentially, the tale of big cat collector, self-styled Oklahoma zoo proprietor and 2016 Presidential candidate Exotic AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage and his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to have rival Carole Baskin knocked off by a hitman hired for $3,000, Tiger King is in that context more a zero-sum game, literally and figuratively, than hitting the zeitgeist.
Obviously, Netflix are pretty damn good at gauging and dragging the public mood over the years, as the likes of the then phenomenon of 2015's Making A Murderer or 2018’s Wild Wild Country prove. Yet, for all the attention it has drawn, this unfocused murder for hire exploration of sorts emerges as a bastard child of Cops, a million Dateline segments from the 1990s and Fox’s short-lived Murder in Small Town X reality show from 2001.
Not exactly the prestige product that the home of Roma, The Irishman and American Factory likes to brag about at award shows. Then again, with the knowledge that the Romans sold out the Colosseum every night feeding Christians to the lions, the bottom line based House of Hastings surely loves the subscription sign up that the currently incarcerated Maldonado-Passage and the accompanying motley gaggle of...