The besties review
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Black Is… Black Ain’t
Lyrical, meditative, thoughtful. A really fascinating and affecting video essay from Marlon Riggs that feels handmade and personal.
Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property
I decided to watch this because I was taught next to nothing about Nat Turner and his rebellion in school. What I really liked most about this was that it was less about Turner, and more about the various artistic interpretations of him over the years. It made me think a lot about how most docs/biopics of old famous people are probably based on a great deal of conjecture, since we don't always have accurate information available to base these stories on.
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Huey P. Newton
Oh, hey, I didn’t see you there! I was just naming important figures in modern American history that were never once uttered throughout my 12 years of public education in a wealthy and supposedly liberal suburb of New York City!
I Am Not Your Negro
I have come to realize (as many of us have) that I am going to have to do a lot of self-educating, because the schools in this country have failed, repeatedly.
How can we expect our society to change when its citizens are either not informed or misinformed? We can all see what is happening now, but when are we going to attack the source and teach our children (aka the fucking future) about more than just the Civil War and Civil Rights. This movie was two hours long and it still did more to educate me about the history of racism in American than any schooling I’ve ever had. Two full years of “US History” and nothing about this.
Khalik Allah’s documentary about Jamaica is about as pretty and poetic as an abstract video essay can get. What I love about Allah’s work is the way he mixes his audio and images. It’s a unique style of editing that I have not seen replicated. Not everything in Allah’s films works for me, but that’s okay because I know it’s not made for me. Still, I have come to appreciate and admire his artistic vision and I can’t wait for him to continue creating thought-provoking work.
What is 5 Film Film Festival (5FFF)?
In short, 5 Film Film Festival is an ongoing personal project to help me watch more classic films. For each mini “festival,” I will choose a random theme (be it a genre, actor, director, etc.) and curate five movies that fit that theme to watch for the first time. When I started this journey, I posted my brief, unpolished thoughts on Letterboxd. I like this more informal, less pretentious mode of watching older movies, so as I begin documenting the project here on the site, don’t expect a lot of in-depth analysis— every “review” will read more like a “first reaction.”
If you’re like me, and you have more than a few blind spots in your cinematic knowledge, then consider joining me on this lifelong endeavor. Watch along, recommend themes, and organize some mini festivals of your own!