She fell asleep in all her glitter.
“I have my grandma’s feet” were her last words, slurred from the drowsiness.
A summer sunset… running… veins forming on her tender legs.
A summer breeze… lounging… there’s sand all over the dash.
Along the breathless curves of California, Marvin croons, as I gather my thoughts.
I don’t own this 911 (Porsche), but tomorrow’s her birthday.. and you can still jigger the ignition.
Maybe we’ll go to Sausalito, where the fog hovers the Bay like Sonic’s rings.
Further south, to waterfalls by the Bixby, for dinner at the edge of Nepenthe.
Seals foraging through the night, above my ancestors, in the tranquil of Monterey.
A dollar in my pocket, a minimum paid.
I’ve never known love like this.
it made Swann reminisce.
And made Marvin sing, and Lauryn sing, and Jill sing, and Michael dance, and Momma dance to them, and made Diamond buck, and Andre thizz, and Nol-ya bounce, and reminds you of life itself and why you live it.
But when this dance ends…
Shifting, the only direction is forward, the only feeling’s instinctual, to avoid the endless loop.
I hope she’s dreaming of me.
Northern California, 2018
“Bruh, they changed the sign already.”
“What did we just watch?”
Standing outside of Oakland’s historic Grand Lake Theater, looking at the marquee, an hour after SFFILM’s Centerpiece screening of Boots Riley’s Sorry To Bother You. A friend and fellow filmmaker has joined me, pacing around, after missing a chance to photograph the screening details. The wind, calm tonight – minimal traffic around the lake. But this canopy’s buzzing with energy – no one’s in a rush to be anywhere.
It was at Grand Lake that, decades earlier, a young Boots Riley watched, with wide eyes, Star Wars (the real one). Life’s path has brought the long-time Oakland musician here again, with his debut feature film work, alongside a bevy of collaborators as passionate as he is to share it. No one more passionate than actor Terry Crews, who portrays Sergio Green in Sorry To Bother You, a man reminiscent of many of our uncles living in the aftermath of a dream deferred. It was a role that spoke to Terry on a personal level, and one he would regret passing on in lieu of larger-scaled projects.
The film, set in an alternate, present-day Oakland, explores telemarketer Cassius Green’s (Lakeith Stanfield) propulsion to professional success, the wild, macabre universe he’s exposed to, and the many philosophical questions black people ask daily about the spaces we occupy. The heart of the story is in Cassius’ love and relationship with visual artist Detroit (Tessa Thompson), who exists fully in her antics and imperfections. I’d sit with the antics of these two a little while longer, but there’s more to examine: Steven Yeun’s infectious charm. The wit of Jermaine Fowler. Maybe that’s why this canopy’s still full.
There’s something magical in communal experiences in art, and in the cinema, particularly for independent artists, a space festivals continue to occupy for cinephiles and curious beings to engage. Given the locality of Sorry To Bother You, SFFILM, for the first time in their 61-year festival history, screened their Centerpiece film twice – on the same night, at San Francisco’s Castro Theater (their usual house) and Grand Lake Theater, staggered for the creators to get to both. The nightcap in The Town would be a well-earned homecoming for Boots.
The marquee lights are turning off now. So, we’ll walk to Colonial Donuts to carry on the conversation. 24 hours.
See the film in theaters July 6th. Watch the trailer here.
a review of Sorry To Bother You
as written for Indieplex
A Craftsman (2017)
USC Diploma Film.
password available upon request.