Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Black Horror At BlackStar: Blood Runs Down (2018)

In the eye of a storm in rural Louisiana on the eve of a young girl's birthday, she is forced to confront her mother's bizarre behavior and come to terms with its outcome that will inevatibly affect her future.

Written & Directed by Zandashé Brown

Many of the critical scenes in 1976's Stephen King film adaptation Carrie between the title character played by Sissy Spacek and her mother, Margaret White (Piper Laurie) are lit with candles and dim tones that make the sympathetic and jarringly tense exchange between crazed, religious-fanatic of a mother and daughter who simply craves normalcy, some of the most memorable scenes in film history. Upon its multiple duplicates, in my opinion, none shine as bright at the first.

And while filmmaker Zandashé Brown is a pure original, her short Blood Runs Down echoes this similar aesthetic choice and lets her roots blossom with a detailed reflection on generational trauma amongst Black women and girls. What does that look like when its given a supernatural identity that we're forced to face? Mother Elise (Treme's Idella Johnson) and daughter Ana (Farrah Martin) highlight the intimate and ethno-astute place where black mothers and daughters often exchange emotions on growing up and the dreaded snag of a brush through tresses. As the pureness of Ana's innocence as well as her pending, highly anticipated celebration lulls you into a false sense of ease, tension builds as the score swells and the brief isolation between Elise and Ana on this stormy night unboxes a manipulative presence that whispers and hides in the shadows of their home.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Dread Nation: Subverting The White Gaze In Fiction With Author Justina Ireland

Dread Nation, Justina Ireland’s young adult alternative history novel is on the New York Times bestseller list! Not only that, the book is opening a dialogue about portrayals of racial inequality, societal expectations of women, and the survival of marginalized people in the United States — what some are calling a reflection of what America is now facing. But with zombies.

So what is this young adult book all about?

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