Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Night Catches Us

I'm not getting soft or backing down from the continuing political debate, but it is close to Christmas and I don't necessarily feel like bashing republicans and right wing politicians right up to the end of the year...So as you may have noticed..my past few posts have been on well softer things like family , music ,people and what have you.

A couple of weeks ago ,I was enjoying one of my favorite past times other than reading or writing and that is, cinema. I love movies. I love independent movies the best and here in Philadelphia, we have three movie houses called the Ritz that shows independent movies from around the world and from American film-makers also. Since I won't be going to the Sundance film festival anytime soon,I go to the Ritz and enjoy my own private Sundance festival here.

I was actually there to see Clint Eastwood's film "Hereafter" with Matt Damon . While I was waiting to see that film , the best part of the movie experience caught my attention. You know what that is.. The coming attractions! During the previews, a little movie caught my attention. A movie called " Night Catches Us" by an unknown Black female director named Tanya Hamilton.
(I discovered a then unknown Black director named Spike Lee in the same way many years before.)

You know of course that being a Philadelphian...I like all things Philly. The movie was filmed here
and it starred two actors from my favorite television show of all time,' The Wire' Wendell Peirce ( Detective"Bunk " Moreland) and Jamie Hector -(Drug Kingpin, "Marlo Stansfield) Those two , a Philadelphia back drop and a banging score by Philly's own premiere hip-hop /funk band the Roots was certainly enough to tweak my interest and make me say-"I'm gonna see that when it comes out."

Film director Tanya Hamilton isn't a household name yet, but the craftsmanship of her new film, "Night Catches Us", should certainly make her one. The film takes a complicated look at the Black Panther Party in 1976 and examines how the political organization and the black power movement affected the intimate relationships of the people involved in it. The relationship central to the narrative is between Marcus and Patricia, played brilliantly by critically acclaimed actors Anthony Mackie( "Million Dollar Baby" , "The Hurt Locker") and Kerry Washington. (Who played Ray Charles wife in "Ray")

Tanya Hamilton's film is based on the true story of a family friend, Carol Lawson-Green, who helped raise her. Lawson-Green went to prison for a year after she organized a protest at the White House following the Selma march and "Bloody Sunday." Hamilton was always interested in how these events shaped Lawson-Green's life, for better or worse.

To me , this film loosely seems based on the 1969 murder (In Chicago) of Black Panther, Fred Hampton, but you have to see it and judge that for yourself. As is the problem with a lot of independent Black films, they are released with very little fanfare and in few venues....My wife and I drove around the day this film was released and could not find the theatre it was supposed to be released in. As luck would have it....It was being shown on Cable -(ON DEMAND)....the same day it was released in the movies.(I've never heard of that happening before.)

We went home and for an additional $4.99 to my cable bill, I was able to see a great movie and hear an incredible soulful soundtrack. If you get a chance....whether you live in Philadelphia or not...Go see this film...It is well worth your while.


2cute4u said...

Can't wait to see this movie..
Nice job..

CareyCarey said...

Whatsup Keith,

I've heard a lot of talk about this movie, but like you said, it's hard to find a theater that's showing it. One brother in Chicago (as large as it is) said it's only playing in one theater on the far south side. Also, it's been said that the company that's handling this movie has been known to drop the ball on promotion and releasing their films in limited venues.

I am also a huge movie fan. I was just thinking (last night) that I believe I've seen every movie that been nominated for an oscar, in the last 30 years. I am also a fan of the older movies that can be seen on TCM. And, I've gone to film festivals, including the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado.

Since it's Christmas season, you know I'll probably get my Miricle On 34th street,on. And every version of Scrooge.

And by the way, it may be the season of the Eagles. Go Vick.

♥ CG ♥ said...

I definitely want to see this.

Anonymous said...

Well how can I get the soundtrack? Ilove the songs being played on the movie...


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