Time for another what I’ve been watching post. I actually had a conversation with a friend recently about this – as friends do – and the film I found myself reccing to him was Passing, directed by Rebecca Hall (in her directorial debut), and starring Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok), Ruth Negga (Loving), and Andre Holland (Moonlight).
You’ll remember, if you’re a regular here, that I recced the book a while back – having read it (finally) in anticipation of the movie coming out. The book is by Harlem Renaissance writer Nella Larsen and is set in the 1920s, on the cusp of the 30s, in Harlem, NY. It addresses the theme of racial passing but also touches on other forms of passing and it is immaculate. What a beautiful, sublime film – poetic even (I haven’t used that word to describe a film since Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma). It captures the mood and atmosphere of the book, and the quiet tensions at play; so, yeah, I really like this film and would like to see it pick up Academy award nominations for adapted screenplay, direction, score, art direction, costume/wardrobe, and lead and supporting actress – supporting and screenplay seem most likely though, unfortunately.
I also recently watched Akillah’s Escape, which is co-written by a Canadian (Wendy ‘Motion’ Brathwaite) with Antiguan roots – which is why I wanted to see it, because I was (am still) hoping to line up an interview for CREATIVE SPACE. Because of that, I don’t know how much I should say; except if you’re a fan of the urban action genre (and game for one within a Caribbean-Canadian context with a focus on how violence can perpetuate generation to generation depending on the environment), this might be up your alley.
Finally, there is Halle Berry’s directorial debut Bruised – I rec it.
I know you’ve heard mixed reviews (if you’ve heard of it at all) and yes, it is a bit overstuffed, but this is easily one of the best performances of Halle Berry’s career (Oscar-nomination worthy) and the little one who plays her son will have you ripping your heart out and stomping on it because it hurt too much. It’s the eyes, man. I don’t love fights or fight movies but I loved the emotional arc interwoven in the fight scenes in this movie, especially the one in the final act. Also the woman who plays her trainer and more is a magnetic presence. More from her.
Anyway, Passing and Bruised can be seen on Netflix – come back and tell me what you think.