Has anyone posted about this docu-series? It focuses on the stories of masculine gay black men. This is part 1. Hopefully there's more in the future.
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I have been hunting the internet for movies that one we as "masculine " gay community can one relate to that for one doesn't fall into the cliche route. If I can think of one I would say My Brother the Devil
Because I have been through a similar circumstance, less violence of course, I can relate to the feelings of the characters involved. That aside this is a good watch, that doesn't fall into the same trappings of the cliche
I stumbled upon a Huff Post Gay Voices review of this. Two black, Muslim teens navigate life in Brooklyn, hustling (by selling stuff, not their bodies) for money while exploring their mutual affection. Reviews from 2015 film festivals seem mixed, praising the characters, camerawork and authenticity while some state that the movie is somewhat shallow and the plot goes in disappointing directions. Variety says, "...what’s onscreen here feels observed rather than lived-in," possibly because it's written and directed by a white guy who based it upon interviews with Muslims regarding post-9/11 New York. It sounds like a decent way to spend 85 minutes. It will have a limited release in theaters on Friday, January 22 and a DVD and Video On Demand release the following week.
- Aug 28, 2015
- Daps Received:
I actually really enjoyed this. It was a very honest depiction of how two people can connect even in a short amount of time. It doesn't have that typical formula gay films use. I believe this is on Netflix
Moonlight’s Jharrel Jerome and Ashton Sanders won Best Kiss at the MTV Movie and TV Awards Sunday, beating out heavy kissers like La La Land’s Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
Sanders, 21, and Jerome, 19, were both shocked as they walked onstage to accept the award, but it was their speech that stood out even more.
“I really have to start with saying thank you to my parents,” said Jerome. “I love y’all so much. But on a real note, I think it is safe to say that it is OK for us young performers, especially us minority performers, to step out of the box. It’s OK for us to step out of the box and do whatever it takes to tell the story and whatever it takes to make the change.
“This award is for that,” he added. “It’s for us artists who are out there, who need to do whatever it takes to get people to wake up.”
Others nominated in the same category included Beauty and the Beast’s Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, Empire’s Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, and Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick for Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates.
Std rates are so high in the 'urban' community because mofos around the way just lay up n fuk. As non-contributing members of society, they don't have shyt else to do.
You can't be unsure of who ur baby daddy is, and then blame a 'dl' man for ur itching.
Rag Tag (2009)
Rag and Tag are childhood friends, separated as teenagers, their lives heading in very different directions. Years later they meet again, and realise how strong their feelings are for each other - but there are many obstacles in their way - a Zimbabwean crime ring, their own families and religious communities. Winner of three festival awards, and directed by Adaora Nwandu in the UK and Zimbabwe.
Brother to Brother (2004)
A gay art student befriends an older homeless guy who happens to be a major figure from the Harlem Renaissance. Flashbacks show what life was like during the guy's younger days. The student finds that he still faces some of the same challenges today. It's a decent look at past and present struggles and how things change and stay the same. And though there is a relationship, it is not relationship-focused, despite the impression given by the Youtube thumbnail. I think this is Anthony Mackie's first leading role, though it was overshadowed by his portrayal as lesbian-impregnating Jack in Spike Lee's She Hate Me, also released in 2004. (When I attended a SHM screening, the audience hollered at the ending. Possibly the greatest audience reaction I've ever experienced.)
A relative once told me that he wished there were more quality films with predominantly black casts that didn't cover familiar ground like growing up in the hood and slavery. He doesn't discount their importance, but would like to see more stories of black people in unfamiliar situations or slices of different kinds of lives. This year's Sundance Festival seems to offer a couple of those, stories featuring black people doing everyday things in a manner rarely shown by Hollywood, in addition to "Birth of a Nation" which tells a different kind of slavery tale. Both have had their rights purchased. I'm guessing they'll receive limited releases later this year.
"Southside With You" is about the first date between Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) and Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) during the summer of 1989. A critic favorably compares it to Before Sunrise, a romance that's basically a series of conversations between two strangers wandering around Vienna, Austria, with a bit of discussion of black identity. It seems like Parker did not try to perfectly emulate his voice. This early review makes it sound like a cool romance. It gives a lot of details about the plot, in case you like to see movies with as little advance knowledge as possible. And here's a brief clip.
Sundance Film Review: ‘Southside With You’
"Morris From America" is a dramedy about 13-year-old aspiring rapper Morris (Markees Christmas) coming of age in Germany with his widowed father (Craig Robinson). He grapples with living in a place where everyone looks and speaks differently, and may find young love with a girl who might expand his musical tastes. It sounds like the plot follows familiar coming-of-age story beats, but praises the relationship between Morris and his dad, the hip-hop and EDM score, the story's maturity, and the writing of the characters, in general.
Sundance Film Review: ‘Morris From America’
- Aug 28, 2015
- Daps Received:
Personally I will never tire of slavery period pieces. There should be at least one released per year. We have yet to scratch the surface theatrically on all the atrocities of slavery all because it will make whites and many blacks uncomfortable. I want to spend money to see this. PROPS to Nate!
Strange Fruit (2004)
New York attorney William Boyals has escaped the Louisiana bayou of his childhood, but he must return to investigate the death of a childhood friend who, like Boyals himself, was both black and gay.
I wrote a review and posted clips from this film on the site 4 years ago. Still one of the ONLY non-stereotypical black gay films ever made that wasn't about dating and relationships.
WATCH: Clips From Black Gay Mystery/Thriller “Strange Fruit”
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Lee Daniels recently announced the premise behind his upcoming remake of the ’80s sentimental classic Terms of Endearment. In the original, Debra Winger’s character dies of cancer, but in this filmmaker’s version, which also will feature Oprah Winfrey, one of the leads will have AIDS—a disease she contracted by having sex with a man who is presumably on the down low.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Daniels believes this storyline is “important.”
“I’ve got to tell stories that are important to me, and so many African-American women died,” he said. “I want to make Flap [played by Jeff Daniels in the 1983 film] gay and infect the Debra Winger character. And then we explore the ’80s in a different way.”
Now, as a journalist who has covered AIDS in black America for over a decade, I commend the effort to bring stories about the epidemic to the screen. Aside from HBO’s Life Support, starring Queen Latifah, black HIV-positive women are usually completely ignored or unfairly demonized (think: Tyler Perry’s Temptation). But there is a way to center these voices without throwing black gay and bisexual men under a bus.
There just has to be.
I’ll admit, I haven’t seen the script, but I have an inkling that I really don’t need to given that these down-low narratives have one goal and one goal only: To paint black queer men as the enemy of our community. And let’s be real, since the down low became a cultural phenomenon in the early 2000s, pop culture’s handling of the topic hasn’t been known for its nuance and empathy.
These bogeyman cautionary tales are just a tired extension of our own paranoia and homophobia. But here’s the gag: It’s all been debunked. Yes, there are closeted black men who sleep with men and women and black women who have been infected by positive closeted men. But study after study has shown that the down low is not fueling HIV among African-American women.
The true culprit is a combination of factors, including high rates of undiagnosed and untreated sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV; disproportionate poverty and poor health; IV drug use; stigma, sexism and homophobia; and mass incarceration in black America that takes significant numbers of black men out of the community, leaving a lot of straight brothas on the outside to share the same female partners. Oh, and straight black men get HIV—roughly 1,900 each year—and 87 percent of the 4,100 black women who are newly diagnosed contract HIV through heterosexual sex ... so I’ll let you connect the dots.
But by all means, let’s keep pointing the finger at gay and bi black men.
It’s not just these alternative facts that infuriate me; it’s also the timing. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that Moonlight won a slew of Oscars, including Best Picture? Barry Jenkins’ insanely beautiful film about the struggles to come to terms with one’s sexuality, the carnage homophobia leaves behind and the beauty of touch between two black men was a real sign that we are truly evolving.
Meanwhile, the premise of Terms of Endearment 2.0 seems to be the exact opposite—dated, irresponsible and pedestrian—kind of like Dave Chappelle’s recent Netflix specials.
Now, before I am reminded that Daniels is an actual black gay man who, through his own life experiences, is capable of penning a multilayered and compassionate screenplay, let’s look at the receipts.
For years, the Empire creator has been caught in the crosshairs of “the sunken place,” making disparaging comments about black women,denying that racism has impacted his own life and career, and insisting that black folks are more homophobic than anyone else. Just a few months ago, he shared that he cast a white actress for the lead of his Fox show Star because “the country needed to heal” and this “white girl is so fabulous that black people will embrace her and white people will embrace her.”
Between these obvious internalized demons and the chronic heavy-handedness of his work in general, we all know how this remake is going to play out. And as a black woman, an HIV/AIDS advocate, an LGBTQ ally and an aspiring filmmaker, I am like Auntie Maxine when it comes to No. 45: I refuse to have a “just wait and see” attitude with this melodramatic mess.
Directors cannot just carve out black gay male characters from vilifying stereotypes and play revisionist history with the HIV epidemic and expect people to give them the benefit of the doubt because they are gay themselves, have a few Oscar nominations under their belt and an extensive IMDb page.
Not in this #StayWoke era.
Right now the state of black film—straight and LGBTQ—is at an interesting intersectional crossroads. Looking at what we’ve seen so far this year and what’s coming down the pipeline, it’s clear that black writers and directors are expanding the rigid notion of what it means to be black in America, and they are doing so by telling fresh and complicated stories about our lives in damn near every genre.
Now is not the time for us to move backward—we cannot afford to. And quiet as it’s kept, Mr. Daniels, neither can you.
Kellee Terrell is an award-winning filmmaker and Chicago-based freelance writer who writes about race, gender, health and pop culture. Her articles and interviews have been featured in Essence, The Advocate, Hello Beautiful, Ebony, Al-Jazeera, The Body and the Huffington Post. Follow her on Twitter.
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“Moonlight” editors Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders
As the A24 logo appears on screen the sound of ocean waves and Boris Gardiner’s soulful 1973 “Every N***r is a Star” comes on the soundtrack. The film then cuts to Juan (Mahershala Ali) pulling onto a quiet, brightly colored residential street in the hot mid-day sun. In a continuous shot, Juan gets out of his car to survey the drug corner he controls. As he converses with one of his dealers and an addict looking to score, the camera swirls around the three men, who fall in and out of frame.
From a narrative standpoint, we are grounded in Juan’s power and control over this patch of Miami, while seeing glimpses of his compassion that will make him the father figure to the film’s protagonist, Chiron. However, that use of sound, movement, light, and color also introduces us to the world of “Moonlight.” Sound and character ground us in the familiar, but that camera refuses to let the viewer grab onto anything solid or settle into the assumption that this will be yet another black urban drug film.
We’ve come to expect that an American independent film that wants to realistically portray what it’s like to grow up during Miami’s crack epidemic (inspired by the real-life childhoods of Jenkins and co-writer Tarell McCraney) would be matched by a realist cinematic style. Yet “Moonlight” defies the handheld improvised naturalism, or documentary style, that’s has become synonymous with indies tackling real-world issues and characters who live on the margins of society.
Alone, the power of Jenkins’ story and characters would have made “Moonlight” one of the better films of 2016, possibly enough to get garner awards attention for acting, script and maybe even a Best Picture nod. However, there’s an element of craft in “Moonlight” that isn’t often seen in a film with a $1.5 million budget, which is why it is the extremely rare indie to also receive below-the-line nominations (Best Score, Cinematography, and Editing) and has a very realistic chance of becoming the first ultra-low-budget American film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
“Moonlight” is filled with countless bold aesthetic choices, each perfectly in sync with Jenkins’ vision of Chiron’s world. Cinematographer James Laxton’s high-contrast, rich color palette photography captures the beauty and harshness of Liberty City. Nicholas Brittel’s chopped-and-screwed score mixes wonderfully with the film’s subjective sound design, bringing us inside Chiron’s emotional world. Editors Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders seamlessly weave the film’s ocean-inspired dreaminess and violent realities.
Certainly Jenkins and his team of artisans deserve recognition, but it’s also worth exploring how the film was able to defy its limitations. “Moonlight” producer Adele Romanski (“Morris From America,” “Kicks”), a veteran indie producer who worked with Jenkins for years to get this film off the ground, has seen firsthand what can got wrong on a film with a 25-day shoot schedule, four weeks of prep, and not always the most experienced crew.
“I see it happen time and time again,” said Romanski in a recent interview with IndieWire. “You have a good plan going in and that pressure cooker of production where suddenly because of [time and budget] constraints everybody is at risk of failure, which doesn’t lead to a creative work environment. There’s no margin for error and it becomes about getting through the shoot.”
A documentary approach to shooting can give an element of authenticity; it’s also a practical choice when a director’s energy is focused on shaping naturalistic performances — especially when children are involved. This is especially true for low budget filmmakers who often don’t have the luxury of rehearsing with actors before production. These were burdens that Jenkins faced as well, having three days to shoot Oscar nominee Naomi Harris, while fellow nominee Ali flew into Miami on weekends while shooting Marvel’s “Luke Cage” in New York during the week.
What “Moonlight” had going for it was a close group of collaborators approaching their professional peaks. Romanski, Laxton, Jenkins, McMillon, and Sanders have been working together since they met at Florida State film school 15 years ago.
“Barry and I landed in Miami in August and officially we started prepping middle of September, with a four week prep with our team, but we spent three years talking about this movie,” said Romanski, who is married to Laxton. “There’s a great benefit from the depths of the relationships at play here. How long we’ve known each other and the shared aesthetic and shared film language — that’s been allowed to develop over a long period of time. Barry comes over every Sunday night for roast chicken. We sit around a table, talk art, and the work. That’s not on the clock, but I think it is sort of inherent in the final film.”
Romanski said at the heart of the film’s success is how in sync Laxton and Jenkins were in the filmic language of “Moonlight.” Last month, when Jenkins presented Laxton with the Best Cinematography Award at the New York Film Critics Circle, he recalled how in 2000 he was a kid who grew up in a world very similar to “Moonlight” and knew little about filmmaking.
“[James] came home with two Criterion DVDs, ‘George Washington’ and ‘In the Mood for Love,'” recalled Jenkins. “I had never seen a film with subtitles before and James said, ‘You should watch these.’ Ever since that moment, I knew I wanted him to carry my vision, whatever that would be.”
As Jenkins told IndieWire back in October, the world he and McCraney grew up had a harshness to it, but you could also feel the ocean in the air and there was great natural beauty and color to Liberty City. This led him to want to visually create a “beautiful nightmare” look to the film. To this end, Laxton and Jenkins shot tests and experimented with how to create the film’s high-contrast lighting scheme, while collaborating with colorist Alex Bickel to figure out how to pull rich color from Miami’s pastel colors, lush vegetation, and the actors’ skin tones.
“[James and Barry] worked so quick, man, they just cut through it,” said Romanski. “They say as few words as possible to each other and know what the other is wanting because they’ve been discussing films and film references for over a decade. Barry could take more time to invest in crafting performance of actors who have never met each other, because he knows James is going to prop up the visual side based on the years they spent talking about how they want to the film to look.”
One thing often overlooked in creating the look of a film is the right costumes, the perfect set dressing, and the ideal location mean nothing if they don’t read on camera, something of particular concern given how Laxton and Jenkins pushed the film’s color palette and lighting. That meant coordination and collaboration between department heads and adjusting to each other’s work. Romanski said that the uniquely close collaboration extended well beyond the Florida State crew.
“As an example, we never worked with Caroline Eselin before, our costume designer, and she and James discovered this incredible process working together,” said Romanski. “Caroline has been married for many years to a top cinematographer, so they had a ease of working together and quick, profound respect through the process. There was just a level of coordination you don’t always see on smaller films.”
Romanski also said there was an “egoless-ness” to making “Moonlight.” She attributes that to Jenkins, who had a way of turning the pressure-cooker schedule into a positive, creative environment.
“Something I attribute specifically to Barry in that regard is his ability to really elevate everybody through true appreciation, love, and respect that allow collaborations to really spread,” said Romanski. “This was a big part of why Barry’s vision seeped into every department.”
That also allowed for visual improvisation and adjusting to magic happening on set. One example was the much-discussed scene in which Chiron learns to swim. Once they got into the water, Jenkins decided to try have the camera struggle to stay above water, almost drowning, as Chiron fights the panic mixed with the feeling of freedom.
“There also was the shot of Andre [Holland] smoking the cigarette at the diner,” said Romanski of the romantic, dreamlike cutaways in the film’s final chapter. “We called camera wrap and we were done for the day. I don’t remember if it was James or Barry, but one of them was like, ‘Andre, get against the wall and smoke a cigarette.’ Because it’s such a creatively free and inspiring environment within the structure that Barry set, we were often finding moments of improvisation like this.”
For months leading up to the shooting of “Moonlight,’ Jenkins shared with key team members a Dropbox folder filled with tones and songs as he tried to define his film’s soundscape. Not only had Jenkins written into the script nearby sounds of Miami’s serene beaches breezing through the harsher environments of Chiron’s neighborhood, he also spent months figuring out the tones and songs that would help him capture Chiron’s various mental states, since he often doesn’t connect with the world around him.
“I can actually go back into that ‘Moonlight’ playlist now, and half of it is the tone and feeling of the film and the other half is shit, specifically songs, that [are] in the actual movie,” said Romanski.
In exploring and experimenting with the sound of “Moonlight,” it led to Jenkins bringing in Brittel before production. The composer worked from the same playlist to figure out how his score would weave organically with this soundscape. From this, he found a way to create the same contrast found in the beauty and harshness of the film’s cinematography, manipulating his traditional elegiac score and transforming it into deep, distorted sounds as Chiron’s emotions erupt in the film’s second chapter.
Romanski attributes another key factor that allowed “Moonlight” to operating differently than other low-budget films: A24.
“I think people think that meant we had more money, but what it really meant was they simply wanted to ensure we made the best film. There was not pressure about getting ready for a Sundance deadline or how we’d sell the film,” said Romanski. “There’s confidence from knowing someone is taking care of getting this out in the world, which is part of the pressure cooker of making an indie without distribution. The focus was kept on making the best film we could. “
The Craft of ‘Moonlight’: How a $1.5 Million Indie Landed Eight Oscar Nominations
- Thread: Star Wars? Ugh
If it was two white guys posing like this nobody would care. He is just kind of holding his head in support like 'I got you' or something...they are not even that close to each other and they are barely even touching. The reactions you all are talking about are surprising to me.
I agree 100%
There are countless WWII movies still made to this day, which lasted somewhere around 7yrs.
Slavery was a Holocaust that lasted far longer and took countless lives that will never be documented, memorialized or mourned.
The insidious impact of it still resonates within society today and needs to consistently be addressed and never forgotten.
(gets down off soapbox)
- Thread: Gay Like Me
I am not even 10 minutes into the video, and I am already triggered. First, Mr. Lowery can get it. Brotha is fine AF.
I was one of those people who shielded myself with achievements. On this my 33rd year of life, I look back at how hard I pushed myself very early on to be damn near perfect. I used that quest for an achievement to hide. In many ways, I am sad about it. I never allowed myself to be merely live. I stayed up late, always did the extra credit, made perfect grades. In my extracurriculars, I had to not only be on the team but lead it whether it was sports or drama. When Mr. Lowery spoke about his quest to achieve, he was talking directly to me.
I get where the that logic is coming from but I don't agree with this premise. This isn't just some Disney movie, hence why everyone is so excited about it. I don't really feel the need to go in on what this movie means or represents for black people (especially to black people who should know what it means). My question to Dr. Boyce Watkins is name a initiative in the African American community that we ALL agree on AND ALL are included in (same with black lgbt community)? This is the same as the"shop black" argument, it sounds good but not everyone is down for the cause. We are a divided yet together people.
By the way black people aren't the only ones excited for this movie. Its low key annoying involving politics into things such as the arts.
LOL! I don't know the back story on this but, I kinda wish people would leave Wil and Jada alone already. Who really gives a f$%k anymore of they're closet gays. Not EVERYBODY has to be an LGBTXYZ123 Spokes Person. Let them people live they lives already.
The Morehouse College sophomore, whose extra credit assignment went viral, will soon get to share his talents with younger kids, because he and his younger brother have just landed a deal with “Sesame Street”.
Julien Turner, a marketing major at the Atlanta HBCU, shared the news on his social media accounts this week.
“Thankful to announce that my brother and I have become two of the youngest filmmakers to ever be commissioned to produce a Sesame Street film. It will be featured in the 2018-2019 season,” he wrote.
No word yet on the details of the project, but the 19-year-old, who began a production company called Dreadhead Films with his brother Justen six years ago, is well equipped to get the job done.
When his biology professor asked students to submit an extra credit project, Turner produced a video that unexpectedly sent the internet into a frenzy.
Inspired by Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO Tour Llif3,” the Ohioan created a music video about cell mitosis called “XY Cell Life” for the Biological Science for Non-Majors course.
While the original lyrics are “Push me to the edge/ All my friends are dead,” he remixed them to “If my genes go left unread/ All my cells are dead.”
He posted his creation to his Twitter page, quickly going viral and garnering national attention. Since its upload nearly a month ago, it’s been retweeted more than 180,000 times and liked more than 357,000 times.
Now, he and his brother have the opportunity to make learning more fun for kiddies, too.
Want to learn more? Follow their journey here.
Morehouse student who created viral extra credit video lands ‘Sesame Street’ deal
The buzz of an electric razor, the sound of trainers kicking a wet football in a drab park – London-based filmmaker Seye Isikalu uses the everyday mundane backdrop of dreary landscapes and multi-storey car parks to tell the story of the strained relationship between affection and black males. Black men are denied the chance to be affectionate with each other due to the fierce policing of black masculinity. The four-minute film highlights the misconception that black male intimacy is gay by default and illustrates that there is an essential grey area.
The short ends with the words: “Grey is the wonderland we’ve learned not to trek to because displays of black male affection are strategically met with seeds of suspicion that sprout this myth that if black men are touching it means we’re either fighting or fucking. For us, there is no grey. But this too is distortion … Our emancipation resides in the grey we’re denied.”
PEARL OF AFRICA (2016)
The rights of many LGBT black people around the globe remain under threat. Pearl of Africa is a web series that follows the story of Cleopatra Kambugu, a 27-year-old transgender woman who makes the brave choice to transition despite Uganda’s fierce opposition to trans rights. Watch her risk the threat of incarceration by defiantly challenging the system that condemns her existence all in the hope of becoming who she has always known she was.
‘When did you become a black man?’ asks Shikeith Cathey, whose 45-minute documentary attempts to unpick the nuances of racial identity. Rather than assuming a man is always a black man at his essence, it plays with the idea that there are defining moments in his life where he first realises that he is “other”. The anonymised participants lay bare their sexual experiences, mental health issues and microaggressions that form their complex identities.
This bizarre tale of a young good looking black man named Clay and Lula, a provocative white woman. It follows an interaction after the two meet on the train which quickly becomes laden with problematic stereotypes, for example, his smart attire is dubbed a “white disguise” by Lula. Importantly it explores the danger black men have faced at the hands of their fetishized masculinity. The film is based on a play by African-American playwright Amiri Baraka.
When Nadine Davis isn’t putting on exhibitions and events as one-half of the BBZ collective – a night celebrating the art and creativity of queer women of colour – she also makes films with her creative partner Elijah Ndoumbe. This particular trailer for the Undone series does not feature any black male characters, rather it is a frank and honest discussion about Nadine’s relationship with her sexuality and appearance. She explains that her decision to wear male clothing, a binder and “one earring instead of two” made her feel more comfortable in her own skin. But, being more masculine in appearance comes with its own adverse reactions from fetishization to black men feeling threatened by her “as if masculinity is all they have”. The short preview is an interesting look at how people’s perceptions can shift depending on how you choose to present yourself. The rest of the series is pending so keep an eye on the site for more to come.
CENTRAL PARK FIVE
Again, rather than exploring black men who belong to a sexual minority, this Ken Burns documentary deals with the pervasive attitudes of heterosexual black men as sexual predators and a danger to civil white society. After a white woman is raped in Central Park in 80s New York five black and brown youths are found guilty – aided in part by very public figures like Donald Trump – in what is now widely regarded as a complete miscarriage of justice. It is an illustration of how the American Criminal Justice system has often been weighted in favour of the notion that black men are more likely to be sexually violent and that their masculinity is something to be feared and punished. You can find the documentary in full here for now
BLACK BOYS DON’T CRY
“The narrow narrative of masculinity must be questioned to leave space for black men to show emotion without being considered less black or less of a man.” IGGYLDN uses spoken word, film and photography to look at how history has forced black males to be strong and without feeling and emotion. The visuals evoke the internal battle that men have with themselves, fighting to suppress their own emotion.
TONGUES UNTIED (1989)
A semi-documentary film directed by Marlon Briggs, Tongues Untied follows the isolating existence of being black and gay in 80s America. Being turned away from gay bars for being a person of colour, and being left beaten and ‘gay bashed’ on the sidewalk near your college – the brutal silence referred to throughout highlights the specificity of the prejudices the black LGBT communities faced. This seminal film ties together homophobic comedy routines by the likes of Eddie Murphy, real-life stories and fictional scenes to illustrate the myriad of issues that often went unnoticed.
The first feature-length fiction film directed by a black filmmaker (Horace Ové) in Britain is a depiction of the intergenerational struggle between first gen and second gen West Indian immigrants. From struggles with the police to the unfortunate distance from his heritage, Tony’s story is a portrait of 70s Britain. It questions everything from whether embracing the familiar Britishness he has grown up with makes him too white, whether he should be expected to perform blackness, and his proximity to a black power movement leaves him vulnerable to police brutality to the horror of his ashamed and embarrassed parents. His cultural gaps, educational achievements and pursuit of interracial friendships illustrate how often black males face pressures from outside and inside their communities to conform to certain behaviours.
Shown over the weekend as a part of gal-dem’s V&A event, the project directed by Almass Badat, and shot by Sannchia Gaston, both of House of Alt, is in continuous development and evolution, as gender is. Badat believes that “The narration of the Black man is brutal and unforgiving. He is heterosexual, strong and the alpha. The restrictions of white-dominated media have created very little space for the Black man to exercise a fluid identity, to the point where if he is not the hyper-masculine or macho, he is not man enough”. As such she speaks to the likes of Kojey Radical to change perceptions about race, gender and manhood.
Films to watch that satisfy your new Moonlight obsession
Fresh off of Moonlight’s Best Picture/Supporting Actor/Adapted Screenplay award winning night at the Oscars, Calvin Klein releases new underwear campaign featuring actors Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, Trevante Rhodes, and Ashton Sanders.
The collaboration was foreshadowed at last night’s Academy Awards. Calvin Klein dressed Hibbert, Sanders and Rhodes for the event (Ali wore Zegna).
All of the boys/men are looking great in these artistic black-and-white photos and with the success of the film, we hope to see more work from them all in the future.
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