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Oscar Predictions 2017, or What La La Land will win, or I Am The Saddest Man In The World, Please Kill Me, I’ve Lived Too Long Of A Life.

Best Picture should be Moonlight, but will probs be La La Land or Hacksaw Ridge. Best Director should be Barry Jenkins, and this one might be the bone the Academy throws to the minorities.

 

Best Actress should be Natalie Portman, but God still hates me for bringing fire to the people so Emma Stone will likely win some shit. Best Supporting Actress is hard to call…I think Naomie Harris SHOULD win, but Viola Davis would be the one who WOULD win that. Who am I kidding? That’s all Michelle Williams. She was in a movie where white dudes express their feelings. (I should see this movie before I shit on it.)

 
Best Actor should be Denzel, because he’s my Danny Day Lewis pick of the year, but Casey Affleck will win because of course this motherfucker will be awarded. Andrew Garfield is also cute so I’m happy he got a nom. Ryan Gosling WILL NOT WIN THIS AWARD, is what I’m going to call. Alsoo annoyed my favorite white man, Jesse Plemons got no love. Best Supporting Actor should be like Mahershala Ali, DP, or JB, but will be Lucas Hedges. Michael Shannon is my pick for awesome actor who never wins an award ever. I want him to remain better that most actors but never taste the rainbow, b/c it will keep his art good. Even Rocky’s body became weak because he got too used to victory. Eye of the tiger, Mike. I hated Don’t Think Twice, and think it would have been cool to throw a bone at Keegan Michael Key. But it’s not his time yet. Yet.
I do not give a fuck about best animated feature, but my girlfriend really likes Moana, so Moana. Kubo looked good, but fuck everything, nothing matters, La La Land won best picture.
Best Original Screenplay should be The Lobster, and The Lobster should have been nominated for WAY MORE, because my boy Colin does some REALLY STELLAR AND COMPLEX COMEDY. But no one gives a flying fuck about great comedy, only drama that manipulates you and bullies you into empathy. So what ever.  Viggo was nominated, but that’s a comedy drama and a cop out. The Lobster is very very funny and original and it should have better competition….
MATTER OF FACT:
Jackie, should actually  win best original screenplay for being the best and most complex film about grief this year, but FUCK IT, it wasn’t even nominated for being the lyrical masterpiece that it is, ON THE PAGE.
Haven’t seen 20th Century Women yet. So I may edit this.
But La La Land will win. The Academy can SMD.
Best Adapted Screenplay should be between Moonlight & Deadpool, but its an action comedy. Doesn’t matter that it is technically brilliant as a piece of genre film and as a movie that spoofs it’s genre. It is truly an effective action movie, but those are not the movies that speak to the Academy, so I’ll say, it should be Moonlight. Which really did a good job reinterpreting a play for film in a way that balanced the patient unfolding and vulnerability of stage with the boundaries of the new medium very well. It was wonderfully cinematic, but still has the urgency and immediacy of a play. I wasn’t surprised to later find out it was an adaptation. This is sort of where I thought the film Fences failed as an adaptation. Great movie, but it was structured around the performers and the words. Moonlight feels more etherial. It’s not about the actors or the words, but the world between them all. Zen as fuck. I think Moonlight will win this.
 
Best Original Song: My girlfriend likes Moana a lot, so whatever song was in Moana.
But here is the funny thing. “Another Day of Sun” was the best song and moment of La La Land. That song should be nominated, but instead two lazily droned funeral dirges: “Audition” and “City of Stars”. I almost fell asleep. in. the. movie. and. I. was. drinking. coffee.
Best Original Score: La La Land will win and I can accept this. It was a spectacular score.
Jackie’s should win though. The music just has this ghostly presence. Mica Levi is amazing, and should have won way back when for Under The Skin. I be listening to scores like that you motherfuckers. I know what I’m talking about. Mica Levi is the queen. The music from Jackie reminds me of the music from Camelot if it was melted, then frozen, placed in an ice chipper, mashed back up again. Mica Levi make music that makes feel like dreams. Jackie is very much an American nightmare. A distortion of something once bright and hopeful. Listen to it, even if you did not see Jackie, because it is the sound of the current climate. And movies and the various elements that make them, should reflect or reject the times. It is such an effective score in what is generally an angry movie.
But yeah, La La Land was cute and the Epilogue was nice.
Best Cinematography I loved the cinematography of Moonlight and La La Land equally. I guess I have to see the other two, so whatever. But this is a tough call for me. I think lighting wise La La Land wins, but Moonlight has a slight edge with the way the color composition shapes the different stages of Chiron’s life. Matter of fact, I’ve never seen a movie where skin as has looked an beautiful. The movie does not really say a lot about race, but SKIN is front and center in this film. You can’t not think about skin in this movie. You can feel the humidity just by looking. Also the film stock is different in each segment, which makes you feel the change in Chiron.
But the landscapes and the pretty outfits and the primary color visual salad. It is a cobb salad in movie form.
Best Make-Up and Hair Styling should be Suicide Squad and will be. lol. This shit is stupid, but the make-up was superior to most of the movies that used make-up. Love Star Trek, but Idris looked like Sweet from Buffy. Which is fine.
Hilarious that this movie could win.
 
Best Visual Effects should be A Monster Calls, but might be Jungle Book. Though I really like Doctor Strange’s cosmic shit, there just wasn’t enough of it. And Star Wars was pretty great, but that’s just Star Wars doing Star Wars.
I didn’t see Kubo, so I don’t care. I know a lot of work went into it. I should see it. But it’s mad white people doing the voices of non-white people so I feel all weird about it. Ugh. I’m an asshole.
 
Best Production Design lol nothing should win.
Best Sound Mixing La La Land sang live, whatever, so did Les Mis. A semi musical that you don’t want to look like shit should be sung live.
Rogue One should win. It wont.
Best Sound Editing. La La Land should win here. It will.
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Reality

Apocalypse 2003, or That Time I Was Preteen A Trump

To this day I have a co-dependent relationship with nightmares, thoughts of death, and the big and beautiful end of all things. I think this love has moments when I makes me a more courageous and thoughtful person; it also makes me terrible inside.

 

In 2003 there was a blackout on the northeast. It was summertime and I was at camp. I was about 12 and I remember it being scary to lots of kids at the time. This was two years after 9/11, so the terrorism paranoia was spread on real thick and chunky. Any day the terrorist would come and kill us.

 

So this blackout comes and the children were scared. And for a little bit I was too. But, I believe that it was that moment that something snapped in my brain. I saw a marker and a pile of construction paper and a kind of rapturous delirium took over. On several sheets of paper I wrote a series of deranged phrases like:

 

“THE END IS NIGH”

“THE END IS HERE”

“THEY COME FOR YOU”

“DEATH!!!!”

“THEY’RE HERE”

“ALIENS!!!”

“THEY’RE BACK!!!”

“REPENT”

“THE END!!! THE END!!!”

I’m pretty sure I actually only did the first two, but you get the idea. Less people found it funny than I thought. It scared most of the kids and even a few of the camp counselors. I walked around with my eyes all bugged out with the signs in front of me. I made a lot of people uncomfortable, because to a few kids, it really felt like we were caught in the death throes of civilization. No light. No parents. Only each other, the remains of the snacks, and scared ill-equipped teens as our guardians.

 

Kids believed it was the end, and my weird faux-prophetic signs added to the collective horror. Based on the reactions of the people, the end began to feel more real for me, and I started to believe myself. Christ, one of the guidance counselors violently ripped one of the signs away from me, only to see another one right behind it — they were THAT freaked out. If this is the end, I will maintain a firm grasp of the minds of my immediate community. Because as I see it now, knowing the fears of your audiences and dipping your finger into the psychic wound is how you rise to power. I was 12, skinny, awkward, insecure, quiet, wildly out of touch with my peers, and pretty much an easy target on a normal day.

But was different. Something unpredictable happened, and for a sliver of time, nothing made any sense. The center could not hold. Without streetlights, stoplights, and instant message — our immediate universe began to unravel so quickly that someone like me — a pre-pubescent homeschool student — could pull on the string. I desperately wanted attention, and with night just around the corner, a flashlight, markers, pastel construction paper, and a dumb joke I could hijack these people by the gut. I thought I wanted to tell a joke, but I really wanted power for a fraction of a moment — and in a moment where people gave into their fears and their worst selves, people gave it to me. Even if they HATED the joke and what I was doing. They gave me power over their minds because this is what people do. They give in to their worst fears. They become their worst selves.

And maybe…JUST MAYBE, being the focal point of my peers anxiety, masked my own fear and weakness.

 

 

At the time, it was so terribly funny to me. So many people drinking the piss. I was doing the same thing, only smiling. There was something cool and radical about leaning into the end times. This was the beginning of my fascination with apocalypse. The end of all things. Just as we live, we die. We’re all careening towards the same black hole.

 

 

So, if the world must end, why should I be scared? That’s so fucking boring. Why be the butt of the joke, when you can be in on it? When you can shape it, and the reaction people have to it.

 

 

At the time, I was staying over my Aunt Sharon’s, and I had been relying on my cousin Alex to touch base with her since he had a cell phone, and my sister, he, and I all travelled together. I forget what we ate for dinner that night. I remember that we went walking a lot. I think we went to visit my great aunt. I remember looking up and being able to see the stars for a bit.

 

I went to bed at a reasonable time; I was still a child.

I’m not watching the inauguration right now.

1-13743-c0141244-black_hole_artwork-spl-1

I’m not certain what the point of this story was on this day. I don’t really think there is a moral to take away. I’m even uncertain of the growth I experienced in this story or since this story. I was an emotionally challenged child who would have rare sociopathic tantrums. I am now an emotionally challenged man, and am generally too tired or busy to manipulate people.

 

 

As I stated we are all dying, and when I am false or manipulative, I physically feel myself die quicker. If you ever see me drop dead without any medical or external cause of death, it’s because I lied a lot that day.

 

 

There is no point to this story. It is barely cathartic. It is not a confession. There will be no uplifting epilogue. I have wasted your time.

 

 

Maybe, I’m telling this story because I want to understand the atmosphere of apocalypse that we are collectively smothered by. It is not enough to say that if you are reading this, you are still alive. Why?

 

 

If you know me, you’ve likely heard me say “the world has already ended.” So what does that even mean? Am I saying we are fucked? Is it a meaningless platitude I mutter to sound cool?

 

 

I’ll admit, I have a collection of phrases that I think make me sound cool, and I think a few of them have landed with people. But I truly believe that the apocalypse is not one event, but a death of worlds over and over and over. It’s a smattering of events that mean something in the long run. Every post-apocalypse is the birth of some new world. This is not a new idea, but perhaps one that needs restatement.

 

 

So the question is not, “when will the world end?” but “when did the world end?”

 

 

Will there be a final cataclysm to shatter EVERYTHING? Yes, but that’s like a science conversation that I am not really equipped to lead. Everything ends, but what does that even mean? Again, I’m not going to go there.

 

 

 

We are the ashen roaches in the aftermath, scuttling along the ruins of the wasteland. In fact, human beings are lightyears worse than any vermin – we build bombs and kill children to honor man-made concepts of power.

 

 

But whatever, we’re gross nightmare creatures who probably don’t deserve a shot in the universe, but we have one. And from the moment we are shat into the world to the moment we are shat into the next, we have a billion-billion chances to do something good. And we can fuck up that many chances and still have that many opportunities to point ourselves in the right direction and try again. It doesn’t matter who we choose to follow, or who we deem “in charge” — we have that chance to do something. Live. Die. Right. Wrong. Create. Destroy.

 

 

So what have we learned from this? Probably not a lot, but whatever, I hope this was a welcome distraction from whatever negative feelings you have. I probably need something like whatever this was more than you.

 

 

 

I am writing this. You are reading this. The world ended a long time ago, and though I don’t know when that was, you and I are still here.

 

 

We have that chance.

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LA LA LAND THE POEM

On my notebooks from school

On my desk and the trees

On the sand on the snow

I hate this movie

On every page read

On all the white sheets

Stone blood paper or ash

I hate this movie

On the golden images

On the soldier’s weapons

On the crowns of kings

I hate this movie

On the jungle the desert

The nests and the bushes

On the echo of childhood

I hate this movie

On the wonder of nights

On the white bread of days

On the seasons engaged

I hate this movie

On all my blue rags

On the pond mildewed sun

On the lake living moon

I hate this movie

On the fields the horizon

The wings of the birds

On the windmill of shadows

I hate this movie

On each breath of the dawn

On the ships on the sea

On the mountain demented

I hate this movie

On the foam of the clouds

On the sweat of the storm

On dark insipid rain

I hate this movie

On the glittering forms

On the bells of colour

On physical truth

I hate this movie

On the wakened paths

On the opened ways

On the scattered places

I hate this movie

On the lamp that gives light

On the lamp that is drowned

On my house reunited

I hate this movie

On the bisected fruit

Of my mirror and room

On my bed’s empty shell

I hate this movie

On my dog greedy tender

On his listening ears

On his awkward paws

I hate this movie

On the sill of my door

On familiar things

On the fire’s sacred stream

I hate this movie

On all flesh that’s in tune

On the brows of my friends

On each hand that extends

I hate this movie

On the glass of surprises

On lips that attend

High over the silence

I hate this movie

On my ravaged refuges

On my fallen lighthouses

On the walls of my boredom

I hate this movie

On passionless absence

On naked solitude

On the marches of death

I hate this movie

On health that’s regained

On danger that’s past

On hope without memories

I hate this movie

By the power of the word

I regain my life

I was born to know you

And to name you

LA LA LAND

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Case Against La La Land, Part II

Why I Hate La La Land as an Idea
First, a snapshot of my interior life:
I am a black man. America is the way it is, and the 2016 was the way that it was. I work very hard and I am very tired. Sometimes I have to work twice as hard to be taken seriously. I work very hard to pay my bills. I work very hard on my art, writing and comedy. I work very hard in performance. I do not have the same kind of access or immediate cultural capital that white dudes have, but hey, that’s life and I have bigger shit to worry about I recognize that in many ways, it is harder for me to do anything in this life, because I am a black man. And that kind of racial fatigue makes things even harder, sometimes even in my interpersonal life. I am in love with a lovely woman, and sometimes we fight sometimes about the regular things couples fight about, but its alright because beyond it all, there is an unspoken sense of “ride-or-die.” A sense that our problems are our problems, but the world still turns whether we resolve them or not. Even when we are mad, or stressed, or scared there is an understanding that life is very hard for both of us, and our relationship cannot block our need to cope and survive in this world. There is an ebb and flow.
I think the movie totally lost me on Page 54 wwhich led to the argument where Seb burnt the fucking apple pie. A stupid manufactured conflict that the film did not need. Whether this is true or not, I thought to myself “What an insanely movie white person thing to do. I would never do this, and I don’t know any real white people that would ever get lost in an argument so STUPID that they would burn a fucking pie.” I am not a perfect bastion of morality because of my race…but fuck. They burned a pie for no reason. It’s almost as if the deterioration of their relationship could have been expressed some other musical way…like as if it was a musical film about music….hmmmm…was that fight lazy storytelling?
Yes. The movie goes from bad and benignly racist to lazy.
 
What pisses me off:
You suggested in your comment that what pisses me off is what the PR team did to promote the film and that it won awards. That’s not the case, my friend. I’m annoyed it won certain awards in catergories like Best Direction & Best Original Screenplay.
What pisses me off is that Barry Jenkins directed 3 different men who never met each other into having the same soul on the camera. Barry Jenkins did literal magic. What pisses me off is that there is a biopic screenplay about grief that is alive, complicated, and all mixed-up in a way that makes you experience the dizzying cycles loss, confusion, rage, horror, and love. Mind you, Jackie wasn’t nominated.
What pisses me off is there is better shit out there.
 
“Also curious about what makes them selfish and what your thoughts are on being selfish if it fulfills your dreams.”
 
Nothing wrong with dreams. But I don’t give a shit about their dreams. She is an actress who paid to perform a one woman show in LA. She’s clearly an idiot who deserved to fail.
 
He is a white savior of black music. They made a movie and installed a white man as the Jesus Christ of black music and they cast John Legend as the devil (who was right, btw, but the film, I guess ignored his point). Do you know, there were black people killed for jazz music? For him to become its Moses is fucking white privilege at it’s best. Look, I broke my new years resolution of not using that phrase.
 
They do nothing to earn their dreams apart from break up, but become famous and successful anyway. I mean, they’re white, so we expect them to land on their feet. For a movie being pitched to me as the second coming of The Way We Were, I was expecting a more nuanced expression of the tensions between love and success. Maybe they aren’t forces opposed to each other and that’s just a bullshit narrative just to justify the plot rather than having story come from CHARACTER.
 
Also…what is Emma Stone’s character in this movie? What’s her philosophy on performace? Be Girl? Oh right, she’s girl.
 
What could have saved the movie
An ensemble would have made this film ACCESSIBLE for all of the non-straight, non-white people out here. This movie wanted to be a modern musical, but was barely a musical (in a way that I could forgive) and it was barely an expression of the world we live in. Unless we are cool with a solipsistic, white centric movie about white people killing it in black artistic spaces.
The elements of the movie that I wanted more of were the themes of success and dreams, and I think a looser grip on the obnoxious romantic subplot could have thickened the stew. Imagine a version of RENT (a retrospectively reductive white liberal musical about cultural tourism) with ONLY Roger and Mimi. NOT GOOD.
It needed a group a viewpoints to challenge the ones we saw. I feel like the current one verged on being didactic. I’d even say, make John Legend a different character, make Ryan Gosling John Legend’s character…cast a white dude as the actor, cast a black woman as the musician…or make them both women in love….it’s my fan fiction, but here are opportunities in CASTING to subvert the norm of more white centric musical universes. You CAN cast gay or Black characters as the focal point of stories and not just marginalize them, LIKE ALWAYS. It’s not just because, these are people that exist and occupy BOTH of those spaces. This enhances the reality and depth that the filmmakers intended.
You say we has “the sister” and “John’s characters” but can you remember both of their names? Can you remember if they had any wants? There was no depth to either of them.
This movie sparked my wrath because I saw it, I don’t have to like it, I don’t have to say nice things about it, but it was uniquely the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. On some level, when we pay to see movies, we participate in a conversation with it. As far as other movies go, Arrival shows how you can do an alien movie without a fight. Moonlight carves out space for a version of masculinity that is tender, pain that holds hands with joy, and love that endures…Moonlight was a truly magical film. And Jackie is just a silent rollercoaster of simmering drama that never pushes you or manipulates you when it can draw you in. It’s an american tragedy and Natalie wears so many masks in it. Fuck and Fences is just Denzel and Viola going to work…a portrayal of black life that speaks the way we do. And movies about my people or other peoples people do no get the BACK FLIPS that La La Land has gotten. And it’s because of white people shit, and in a world with so much white people shit out there, I’m going to hate this one because it makes me feel good.
La La Land did not even try in include me in the conversation. La La Land was shat into the world and over the course of 2 hours tried to convince me that I did not exist.
And so here we are. I’m still in the office, wondering if this essay was a waste of my time. Probably not. I don’t want to make you or anyone reading this hate this movie.
I hate this movie. On January 20th, Trump becomes president. The day after, my sister becomes 24. Life will go on. My hating will power my creating, and I will do my best not to watch TOO many movies where white people deadass be fucking up cause even though they got the head start they still wanna be dumb AF.
And now please read my poems.
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Uncategorized

Case Against La La Land, Part I

Why I Did Not Love La La Land.
You are allowed to love a bad movie. I love Batman Forever.
1. La La Land was made for White People. It’s aggressively okay.
I do not love La La Land, but La La Land was not made for me, it was made for white people. Nostalgia is for white people. White savior narratives are for white people. Macklemore is for white people.
2. La La Land expressed nothing previously unexpressed. It’s mediocre and dead.
It was not the best, but will be seen as a masterpiece in spite of it’s mediocrity when compared to other films this year that really challenged the way that film engages with subject matter. Style and substance working hand-in-hand communicating something FRESH, or previously unarticulated. I’ve never seen Moonlight before. I’ve never seen Jackie before. Never seen Swiss Army Man,Imperial Dreams, Victoria, Shame, Felt, fuckin’ Beasts of No Nation, Carol…you get the idea.
3. La La Land didn’t do anything we’ve seen before well.
And then you have other great movies that don’t add anything new, but do an old thing very well, homage really REALLY well, or subvert expectations. Creed was a love letter to the sports melodrama and the franchise the bore it. The Artist, It Follows, Fucking Captain America:Winter Soldier and the political thriller… you get me…
I’m getting off the rails: There are some movies that add something new and take risks, and there are some movies that do something old and do it well.
4. La La Land’s only redeeming qualities.
La La Land doesn’t do anything new that is compelling or anything old that is amazing. Sure, the cinematography is beautiful, but everything else is aggressively mediocre, or lifeless, or bad.
I actually liked the very first number with Emma Stone, but the film came early and ate a sandwich for the rest of my time in the theater. It was boring. The non-musical parts were…BORING. The fantasia does not really work the way it is intended to
The epilogue was the movie I wanted to see…beautiful but still not enough to sell me on the idea that I made the right choice with my Christmas Eve afternoon.
I like Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling…they still were not enough.
I love that this movie made me think about what I liked about movies. So why do I hate this movie?
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Spec for Horror Anthology.

The Ashen Horse.
The same Macktavist douche wearing a “Grab Her By the Brain” in 2016 is the same Pop-Left Liberal who wore a “Consent is sexy” t-shirt in 2015. 
His favorite actor is Casey Affleck. His favorite rapper is Macklemore. The first funk album he listened to was Donald Glover’s. He once went on a trip to some country in Africa and has pictures with a gaggle of African children who are not his. He will never not talk about his volunteering. 
Even though you are a woman he will correct you on applications of feminism. There is something wrong with him, but you can’t figure out what it is. But it’s on the tip of the tongue. 
And then at 3AM, he will send you a poorly lit close up picture of his ruddy, semi erect, drunk penis. 
You are no longer asleep. You are not awake. You’re neither alive nor dead. You’re in a state that can only exist in between disbelief and horror in the twilight zone.

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I have a bad feeling about this.

I was going to write a long sad thing, and I still might.

As much as I am saddened by the loss of someone like Carrie Fisher, I am happy that she served as a model of powerful femininity for so many women that I know. She was not the only one of course, but she was an important voice to see in the industry and in one of the largest science-fiction franchises of all time. Actress, writer, script doctor…. just really fucking significant.

She just did her fucking work, and it is sad that she won’t be around to do it.

But there is more work to be done. There are more fearless princesses waiting to be born. There are more worlds to create.

Like every bit of bad news we got this year, feel your feelings. Then do your work.

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