Tag Archives: As You Are

Mediaversity Reviews: “As You Are”

Originally published on Mediaversity

Title: As You Are (2017)
Director: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte 👨🏼🇺🇸
Writers: Madison Harrison 👨🏼🇺🇸 and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte 👨🏼🇺🇸

Reviewed by Mimi 👩🏻🇺🇸

Quality: 4/5
The film received rave reviews at Sundance, as well as a Special Jury Award, and has seemingly launched the career of its 23-year-old director. There’s much to laud in his feature-length debut, from the cinematography and editing to the writing of three-dimensional teen protagonists. The young actors—Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, and Amandla Stenberg—are absolutely riveting as a trio of outcasts who come to love each other.

While the 90s-throwback certainly has an aesthetic appeal, I’m not sure that the period setting did much to enhance the storytelling other than to do away with cellphones and computers. Finally, I wasn’t totally sold on the film’s ending, which I felt relied too heavily on its narrative gimmick rather than being earned through actual character development.

Gender: 3/5
Does it pass the Bechdel Test? NO
Told mainly through the eyes of Jack (Campbell), the coming-of-age story features only two female characters—Jack’s friend, Sarah (Stenberg), and his mother, Karen (Mary Stuart Masterson)—who interact minimally with each other. Sarah seizes many opportunities to demonstrate her agency, although many of her actions primarily serve to create conflict for Jack and Mark (Heaton). Karen and her male counterpart, Mark’s father Tom (Scott Cohen), are both presented as a tableau of rigid gender norms, against which the younger generation is attempting to push back.

Race: 4/5
The burden of being the sole actor of color rests on Stenberg (who is half-black), yet she’s able to imbue her supporting role with a sense of depth and grace. The fact that her character is shown to have two white parents is also seamlessly woven into the story. Additionally, I appreciated seeing a diverse student body, especially knowing that the movie, which was shot in Albany, NY, (the actual hometown of the director and his co-writer) used local high students as extras.

LGBTQ: 5/5
The film’s greatest strength lies in its exploration of love and sexuality. The evolution of Jack and Mark’s relationship debunks any easy labels such as best friends, brothers, or boyfriends. And the constant ebb and flow of boundaries appear to happen organically, capturing what it actually feels like to be young—as well as gay, bi, queer, or questioning.

Mediaversity Grade: B+ (4/5)
It’s certainly exciting to see how easily this younger generation is able to dismantle heteronormativity, although I do wonder if Jack’s reckoning with his sexual identity was fully conceived or cheaply cut short. Overall, though, I think the trend of straight allies being invested in making art that is inclusive and nuanced is worth celebrating.

Diverse Film Alert: “Suicide Squad,” “Birth of a Nation” + More

With so much news surrounding diverse films and a lack of credit given to them, it seems prudent to revive my once-regular series of posts showing off films featuring diversity. So without further ado, let’s get into it. There will be videos, press releases, and other stuff, so just take everything in as best as you can.

Suicide Squad:

Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong:

In this sparkling romance, Ruby (Jamie Chung), a Chinese American toy designer from LA, visits Hong Kong for the first time on business. Finding herself stranded, she meets Josh (Bryan Greenberg), an American expat who shows her the city. Meandering through nighttime streets pulsing with energy and possibility, they fall into a winding and carefree conversation, buoyed by an undeniable attraction. As effervescent as a perfect first date, Emily Ting’s charming directorial debut takes full advantage of the chemistry of its leads, the playfulness of their exchanges, and the magical landscape that is Hong Kong at night. ALREADY TOMORROW IN HONG KONG is written and directed by Emily Ting and produced by Ting and Sophia Shek.

Produced By: Sophia Shek & Emily Ting
Written & Directed By: Emily Ting
Starring: Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures

Imperial Dreams:

The Birth of a Nation (plus several other films, including Southside with You, As You Are, Tallulah, and others)

Presenting the world premieres of 16 narrative feature films, the Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.

Posted by Sundance Film Festival on Friday, December 18, 2015

First Look at Nate Parker’s Nat Turner Film ‘The Birth of a Nation’ (Shadow and Act)

Ip Man 3:

IPMAN3_KeyArt_WebUse

Starring: MIKE TYSON & DONNIE YEN (upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)

Directed by: WILSON YIP (Ip Man, Ip Man 2)

Action Directed by: YUEN WOO-PING (Kill Bill, The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)

Donnie Yen ignites the screen in a return to his iconic role of Ip Man, the real-life Wing Chun Kung Fu master who mentored Bruce Lee. In this explosive third installment of the blockbuster martial arts series, when a band of brutal gangsters led by a crooked property developer (Mike Tyson) make a play to take over the city, Master Ip is forced to take a stand. Fists will fly as some of the most incredible fight scenes ever filmed play out on the big screen in this soon-to-be classic of the genre.

Persona Non Grata:

‘Japanese Schindler’Who Saved 6000 Lives During World War II Finally Gets A Movie

Under the Shadow:

Sundance 2016: Netflix Picks Up Streaming Rights to Iranian Horror Movie ‘Under the Shadow’

Keanu (Red band trailer):