Some of the ideas that I wanted to express with the character of Renesha come from the many moments in the film where she’s pushed to the background, or to the side, or is out of focus. That’s for a reason, to make you think about how we choose not to see or hear people. Then in the moments where I let you sit with her, what do you notice in what she’s not saying? All of that was intentional. — Shatara Michelle Ford
In her feature debut TEST PATTERN, writer-director Ford presents her case—against the ineptitudes of the health care system, the inadequacies of the police, and the insidious predations of hipster Austin’s bro-culture—against a wonderfully sensitive consideration of the relationship between Renesha (Brittany S. Hall) and Evan (Will Brill), before and after a sexual assault.
Streaming now on the Kino Marquee, the film is also playing at the Noho 7 through April 15. See link below for details.
In her beautiful, hard, and certain essay, “The Love of God and Affliction,” the religious philosopher Simone Weil said: “The great enigma of human life is not suffering but affliction. It is not surprising that the innocent are killed, tortured, driven from their country, made destitute or reduced to slavery, imprisoned in camps or cells, since there are criminals to perform such actions.” I am certain that Alice Neel, more than many an American artist, had a deep understanding of affliction. She did not use her work to escape it, but rather to plunge further into it—into the trauma of being despised, or forsaken. Indeed, if she had any credo as an artist, it was to show us ourselves, and herself, even when (or especially when) it was dangerous and hard to do so. — Hilton Als*
ICA Boston presents the singular documentary ALICE NEEL—directed by her grandson Andrew. See link below for streaming information.
AMERICA is sort of a grandiose title, but I didn’t want to shy away from what it would mean to title the film after my country, because the impetus for this was to visually illustrate inclusivity and make a case for the beauty of what that could mean… The heart and soul of the project asks us to evaluate the role of pleasure particularly within communities still in some ways barred from that fundamental experience or right. So AMERICA is both a meditation and recognition of the beauty that exists in the past, a resurfacing of that beauty, and also a proposal for the future. — Garrett Bradley
A series of historical enactments of twentieth-century Black life, the work takes the unfinished film Lime Kiln Club Field Day (1914, starring comedian Bert Williams) as an initial point of investigation. AMERICA features a score by Trevor Mathison and Udit Duseja. See link below for details.