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Showing posts from December, 2016

Love For The Brothers: Blackhorrormovies.com Creator Mark H. Harris

The man who declares "the most thankless job in Hollywood is the black horror movie victim" is someone who has much to say about Black people in the horror genre. Blackhorrormovies.com is a virtual haven that has been around for quite awhile. It was and remains a well of insight that is balanced in both its seriousness and humorous approach to a topic that some of us horror fans hold close: which spaces can Blacks occupy on screen in a horror narrative? While I laughed and took notes, I wondered who was the man behind this project. I mean, really pondered.

The Monsters Among Us: Filmmaker R. Shanea Williams' Favorite Horror Movie Monsters of All Time

By R. Shanea Williams (@rshanea722)
“What are you afraid of?”

It's a question I get asked often now when doing interviews or post-screening Q&A’s since my short psychological horror-thriller Paralysis has been on the festival circuit this year. My answer is always, “the human mind.” Perhaps which is why I love the sub-genre of psychological horror so much. When they excel, these films can truly capture the terrifying ways our minds can betray us. But I admit, there are other fears I have: primarily the Unknown. I am both fascinated and horrified by the Unknown, but more than anything, I’m intensely curious and intrigued by it. What fascinates me in particular about the Unknown are the monsters: the ones within, the ones we create and the ones that are very real.

Witchly Transitions: Venefica (2016)

A young woman experiences an anxious moment in her life as she must complete a ritual that determines if her existence will be governed by the light or darkness.

Written and directed by Maria Wilson
The word venefica "suggests veneration and honor." It has been used to describe women who pull from natural and feminine divinity to advise communities. Additionally, there are interpretations that say a Venefica sorceress is "a female who poisons." With these seemingly conflicting descriptions, Venefica fits perfectly as a story of a young witch named Penelope (played by Wilson) who must endure a rite of passage where good or evil will take resonance with her powerful identity. And she has no say in which.

There are intriguing, dark humor nib-lets to chew on during Penelope's process that rely heavily on our own perceptions. Venefica is atmospheric and beautifully shot, giving clues their shine with vibrant colors in contrast to the fear and unexplained intentions …

#SciFiSunday: Multimedia Comic, The Last Days of Kartika

Actor Tarik R. Davis recently made an impassioned statement about being the superheroes we wanted to see. As a child, superheroes were extraordinary others who made tsunami impacts on the lives of people. As an adult, I understand the capes and abilities and personal conflicts as remarks on just how ordinarily allegorical superheroes are. As creative creators, we should all strive to use our own 'superpowers' in the profession that suits our strengths for growth, collaboration, and inspiration for others. Wi-Moto Nyoka, put her rings in music, motion, and illustration together to create The Last Days of Kartika. The "motion comic performance art installation" follows Dusky Diana, a fierce freedom fighter whose mission is "to rescue her kid sister from the sinister clutches of the Phercy Corporation" and ultimately, be an activist that rids society of "passivity, complacency, apathy, sexism, racism, boredom and overall negligence."

Night-Mares & Crafting A Scare: Nicole Witte Solomon

Mare - night-goblin, incubus, monster, demoness of the corpses, queen of the nightmare.
European in origin. (Source)

Mare is the latest horror slider from director Nicole Witte Solomon (Small Talk) and her 4MileCircus partner Sean Mannion. This unsettling tale coming in just under five minutes manages to tell a well-rounded story through clever visual cues about a man's quiet, solitary day that toys with the thin line between dreams and reality. Certain technical choices are used to challenge the viewer, as Solomon reads 'harshness' in the exterior shots that bleach "the frame and exposing your fears" as a clue to what ails our protagonist. 
As a lover of genre fare that leans towards the abstract, I wanted a minute of Nicole's time to pick her brain not just about the film, but how nightmares are, at their core, very personal to our own anxieties.

Audre's Revenge FIlm: Flesh (2016) Movie Review

A young Black woman immersed in the punk/alternative scene turns to sinister behavior as the breaking point of her experiences with discrimination and invisibility come to an inevitable boil.

Written & Directed by Monika Estrella Negra

If there ever was a way to imagine what a Black woman-centric version of Maniac (1980) would look like, Monika Estrella Negra's direct approach with her inaugural project Flesh certainly sets the blueprint. Its poetic, experimental tone cuts emphatically at the jugular of social anxieties, the frustration, and the anger that (queer) women of color face. Specifically Rae's presence (played with effective menace by Ester Matthews Alegria) in her alt-social/creative environments and the hierarchy of whiteness, to the hypocrisy of its anti-establishment veneer, is still ever present and overshadowing with a distinct, alluring nuance.