After premiering at Cannes this past July, celebrated Writer/Director Kogonada’s second feature AFTER YANG finally makes its North American debut. It takes place in the near future, where families live with sentient AI android helpers and companions. When Yang (Justin H. Min from The Umbrella Academy), the AI helper for Jake (Colin Farrell), Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith) and young Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja), malfunctions and breaks down, the family is distraught. Jake bought him “certified refurbished”, so he cannot just get him repaired quickly. When his attempts at fixing Yang uncover that he has been recording memories, it sets Jake off on an existential journey he did not expect.
AFTER YANG is a quiet, contemplative film that examines loss and grief, at the same time as it hones in on joy and humanity. The Science-Fiction elements are a mere conduit for Kogonada (adapting Alexander Weinstein’s short story) to be able to hop in and out of dreams and memories. There is some feeling hovering around the power of nostalgia in some instances, but it feels more like the kind of heady, introspective material that makes you rethink your own memories. The rhythmic, fever dream nature of the Film will be off-putting to some, and spiritually hypnotic to others. Fair warning to the naysayers though – you will miss out on some of the most majestic production design and incredibly expansive use of colour to hit the screen in a long time.
The entire Cast is magnificent, with Farrell adding another terrific, meditative performance to his on-going career renaissance, and Turner-Smith and Tjandrawidjaja bringing a plethora of emotion and beauty to every scene they appear in. Min is great in his small role, as is Haley Lu Richardson who plays the mysterious Ada. And while I will not give away the circumstances, AFTER YANG contains one of the greatest post-modern dance scenes of the past decade. Maybe of all time. Expect many delightful memes and gifs to appear online once this wonderfully picture sees wide release.
AFTER YANG screens at Sundance as follows:
PREMIERE Jan 21 1:45PM EST Available Until Jan 21 4:45PM EST
SECOND SCREENING Jan 23 10:00AM EST Available Until Jan 24 10:00AM EST
One of this Fall’s biggest sleeper hits could well be QUEEN & SLIM. From Emmy-winning Writer Lena Waithe (Master of None) and first-time Feature Director Melina Matsoukas (Director of Beyoncé‘s “Formation” Video), the dialogue-generating Thriller in the spirit of Bonnie & Clyde and Thelma & Louise soon is set for release. The Duo came to Toronto this weekend to promote the Film including special Advance Screenings plus Q&As at Varsity Cinemas and TIFF Bell Lightbox, which completely were sold-out.
Starring Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith as a couple who go on a Tinder date gone-wrong after they are pulled-over by a police officer, we soon find these polar opposites in a thrill ride to escape capture. They soon rise to prominence as figures, representing the fears and uproar of America’s black community against discriminatory policing.
We’ve never seen anything like this genre-bending Romance-meets-Drama-Thriller and cannot stop thinking about Kaluuya‘s brilliant performance and an unforgettable debut by Turner-Smith. Bokeem Woodbine also delivers a standout performance as Uncle Earl. The Film is provocative as it should be, exploring further the dialogue about how often we remember and immortalize Black Americans in loss and how they are made to feel threatened by the police. Waithe’s Script accomplishes exactly what she hopes to achieve, the humanizing of Black Americans for those who might need that. Brought to life by gorgeous Cinematography and curated by a phenomenal Soundtrack, Queen and Slim cannot be missed.
See the Trailer:
Matsoukas and Waithe we met with standing ovations and if this is any early indication of what’s to come, expect the community to turn-up at the Box Office for this Film, which already is garnering tons of buzz with a rating of 91% on the Tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes.
See an intro by CBC‘s Amanda Parris:
See some Snaps:
eOne Films release QUEEN AND SLIMWednesday, November 27, 2019.
eOne Films x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win Advance Passes to see QUEEN AND SLIM in Toronto, Scarborough, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Halifax on November 25, 2019.
Synopsis: Costco worker Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and criminal defense attorney Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) go on a first date after meeting on Tinder. They hit it off, even though she tells him she picked him because he looked sad in his picture, which made her feel sorry for him. As they’re chatting on the drive home, Slim forgets to put his turn signal on and is pulled over by a white police officer.
The officer takes offense when Slim makes a comment about how cold it is outside and angrily tells Slim to put his hands up and get on the ground. Queen gets out of the car to ask why Slim is being arrested. She tells the police officer she’s an attorney and informs him she’s going to take out her cell phone. However, the police officer reaches for his gun. In the ensuing chaos, the police officer is shot dead and the entire incident is captured on his dashcam video.
Rather than turn themselves in and face a bigoted police force, Queen and Slim go on the run and are dubbed “the black Bonnie & Clyde.” Thrown together, the two begin to fall in love as they try to elude the authorities.
See the Trailer:
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