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Friday, June 15, 2018

Sundance Institute Screening Of 'Sorry To Bother You'


As the summer season begins and in the midst of the Sequoias that are the splashy blockbuster movies, the film "Sorry To Bother You" serves as a refreshing satire that  is both eerily timely and brilliantly directed by Bootsy Riley. Starring Actor Lakeith Stanfield, of  FX hit show 'Atlanta' fame and Actress Tessa Thompson, who seems to be in every hot show and film in the last year with "Creed" squeal in post production, a standout performance in HBO's Westworld & her run as  Valkriye 'Thor Ragnarok'  both stars serve as the bedrock in which Bootsy builds this not so far off future that is the American Dream. 



With a tongue and cheek name like Cassius Green, played by Lakieth Stanfield, he is financially struggling and finds a come up in the telemarketing game. On his first day,  Legendary actor Danny Glover offers advice to Cassius "Use your white voice" proceeded by a white voice! It sounds bizarre but as Bootsy said in the post screening of the film he wanted to show the ridiculousness of that world to prove the foolishness in ours. Lakeith as an actor has had scene stealing roles in 'Atlanta' and even held down an episode of his own- most notably the creepy yet outstanding episode on the tragic Teddy Perkins -and other films but in "Sorry To Bother You" he establishes himself as an actor who can carry a movie from start to finish. First seen as down trodden with a girl who loves him yet he feels is slipping away in a desperate move and pure money grab Cassius becomes a "Power Baller" a top of the line salesmen for Regal View Telemarketing. The Power Baller sees Cassius leveling up  but he soon realizes it's a total front for selling slave labor to companies like Worry Free. Which has many aspects one of which is their TV department which grossly boasts the number one show in the country - humiliating their employees at the expense for ratings. How much money does it take to take a man's soul? At what cost? That is why Lakeith's performance is so good, the desperate measures he faces combined with  the power struggle on the tokenism of him being black man with providing financial means for himself is fascinating. Oh wait, there's more, a lot more.  

'Sorry To Bother You' Actor Lakeith Stanfield

 The seats filled at the Ace Hotel theater for the screening of 'Sorry To Bother You'. And I was walking in just from the Red Carpet and Lakeith Stanfield was in a greenish wig with a white bandana and I knew this screening would be different, wierd even, but good wierd. That type of wierd that cultivates great creative art. As Tessa  Thompson rolled in, I thought I really hope she gets a chance to shine in this film. And she did! As the foil to her power hungry man in "Sorry To Bother You" Tessa plays her character, Detroit as a carefree artist who goes with the flow but ultimately wants to see profits from her art while holding down her love in Cassius. If Cassius is a reflection of the sign of the times of the struggling worker, Tessa's character is the dichotomy of the idealistic, angsty, and radical artist who also seeks to gain validation and monetize their art through capitalistic gains. It's almost the same tug of war we face on the daily as millienials. We don't want to work for the man yet the man pays our bills and affords us those luxuries. But having a voice in all of this, isn't it worth it to buck the system? It definitely is, that's why it was so refreshing when Detriot called Cassius out on his bullshit and did not compromise until he found his way. Tessa's superpower as an actress is her authentic nature and the ability to automatically enhance her co-star's performance by being magnificent in her own role. She does it so effortlessly you almost take for granted her performance then BANG, she's off screen, and with that the joy is sucked out of Cassius the rock that was his girl is no more. He's lost in his career and the greed of money has taken over until the moral decay is finally struck by a bolt of consciousness.   


The there is no wasted minute, scene, or second in 'Sorry To Bother You' and that's all thanks to Director and Writer Bootsy Collin. Cutting his teeth as musician for over 20 years and a native of Oakland his fingerprints are all over this film because he once was Cassius. Working for telemarketing company he revealed that along with stating actual times he would say "I'm going to use that in a movie". What was the most exciting part of the night was the support Bootsy got from the Sundance Institute. Sundance Film Festival is world renowned and they've cultivated a branch of their film festival to grow the new generation of filmmakers through their Sundance Lab and Sundance Catalsyt. Workshops sorting out the kinks in scripts, connecting the creative to investors that will fund their film, and making their movies come to the screen. The film 'Sorry To Bother You' was wrought with symbolism, overt and hidden pop culture gems. Bootsy's Oakland roots show in the film - it's funk, like his style yet fresh, it's strange but for the sake of it but to drive a message home, it's wild but not for the point of making chaos but to create change and most of all it's damn fun! Go see 'Sorry To Bother You' when it comes out in July 6th and remember to use your voice for good. 


Actress Rosario Dawson

Singer Jhene Aiko

'Superior Donuts' Actor Jermaine Fowler

'Atlanta' Actor RJ Walker

 

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Feel Young, Be Bold, Live Regal