Black Lightning – waiting for a strike (early impressions review)

With the imminent release of Black Panther on the horizon – can’t wait! – and a general shifting toward the listening to the voices of minorities in western civilisation, the landscape of film and television is affording more opportunities for fare that would not have found a large audience outside of its particular niche.
With the popularity of superhero films in cinemas and its filtering to television and subscription services, the once niche market of comic geekery is now known to all. Netflix, to their credit, have been at the forefront when it comes to programming in the superhero genre. Having predominantly screened Marvel fare – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders – with the exception of the risible Iron Fist (review here), the comic book adaptions have been good to great, Marvel continuing to prove that their grasp of the genre is solid.
Black Lightning is the latest addition to DC’s roster of televisual super beings. Unlike their filmic output, DC’s television shows have been strong, with Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Heroes of Tomorrow all established shows. As I mentioned before, it seems with the race to embrace minority friendly content, DC have dug through their archives of characters and found the little known – even amongst comic geeks – character of Black Lightning.
As a black person myself, I embrace the advent of minority programming and love seeing people on the screen I can readily identify with. That being said, three episodes into Black Lightning it is difficult to find much to be excited about. In fact, there is so much wrong with Black Lightning, it is difficult to know where to start.
Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is Black Lightning, a meta-human able to generate electrical beams, lightning, from his hands. He is also an expert martial artist. None of this is addressed in the show, I learned it all on Wikipedia. How he came to be Black Lightning, his origin story, is not even alluded to. We meet Jefferson as a high school principal in Freeland. He has retired from the superhero/vigilante game, feeling he can help more as a pillar of the community. He also knows that it was being Black Lightning that broke his relationship with his estranged wife Lynn (Christine Adams) as she could not bear the thought of him being in danger every night.
Elsewhere his youngest daughter, Jennifer (China Anne McClain) is getting close to a young, would-be, gang banger, LaShawn (Al-Jaleel Knox), cousin to local dealer and area boss of the notorious one hundred gang, Lala (William Catlett). When LaShawn takes Jennifer to see his cousin, trying to impress her, Lala embarrasses him and insults Jennifer. When later on Jennifer is caught up in a gang-related situation, Black Lightning is forced to come out of retirement. So far so cliche.
Let’s start with the costume; it is god awful, easily the worse costume of modern-day heroes. Not in anyway subtle, it is a shiny, carbon-blue coloured, motorcycle suit, with a bright lightning bolt ‘V’ on the chest. He wears goggles – GOGGLES! – as his disguise. So people, who have known him most of their lives do not recognise him with a pair of sunglasses on!
A peruse of IMDB shows a divide of opinion; many comic show fans hate the show, the biggest gripe being the acting. I feel that this is unfair as, if anything, the acting is probably the best thing about the show. Unfortunately, the actors are given not only a weak premise to work with – I will get to that – but also dull scripts. The dialogue in the show is so poor it is almost a sedative. The only actors who get to invest believably in their roles are the aforementioned William Catlett, Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III, who plays Tobias Whale and Damon Gupton as Inspector Henderson.
The show’s story and premise go for the lazy and overworked, using the old ‘gangs taking over and terrorising the ghetto/neighbourhood’ trope that is often attributed to black stories/communities. It was the same story they used in Luke Cage, though that show did have a much better script.
As well as following the black gangs and a frightened community staple, the show also jumps on the ‘empowering women’ bandwagon, as well as the wife and youngest daughter, there is also Anissa (Nefessa Williams), the eldest daughter, who is a lesbian. Notably, the lesbians in this show are strictly of the lipstick variety; utterly beautiful.
Unusually, Black Lightning has made no effort at an origin story, thus we are given a vague sense of Black Lightning as a figure of folklore, missed by the god-fearing – yep, the church loving staple is in there too – community.

I will say, as a positive, that – aside for the costume – the show looks technically good, especially the third episode. The lighting and colours look rich and deep and the editing, fight scenes and sound are top class.
Netflix has, unusually, opted to release Black Lightning week by week, unlike many of the other superhero shows. Whether the show will be able to retain its audience over its thirteen episode run remains to be seen. Whilst not unwatchable, Black Lightning is far from unmissable television. As I am a long time fan of the superhero genre, I will no doubt keep watching. Hopefully Black Lightning will find its feet later in its run.

 

Bright – Not Really (a review)

BRIGHT is the latest offering from David Ayer, the writer, director and producer, whose most recent works include Suicide Squad, Sabotage and End Of Watch. He is perhaps best known for two of his earlier works, The Fast And The Furious and the critically acclaimed Training Day. On Bright, Ayer is on director duty, the screenplay having been written by Max Landis, whose most notable writing credit is the 2012 superpowers thriller, Chronicle.
Bright tells the story of a world where humans, orcs and elves live an uneasy coexistence, with elves being societies elite, orcs the bottom of the pile and the humans somewhere in-between. Quite why Landis decided to use orcs and elves, as opposed to creating new beings or characters, is not a question I can answer. I can only think that by using the normally opposed races Landis was hoping it would speed the story along. It doesn’t. If anything, it pulls you out of the story, especially the elves, who are LOTR (Lord Of The Rings) extras in Matrix get up. The budget does not quite stretch to creating the orcs with the same intensity they had in LOTR.
Will Smith, turning in an I, Robot performance, plays Daryl Ward, a street cop forced to work with the affable orc Nick Jakoby, played by Joel Edgerton, only recognisable by his gait under the orc make-up. Ward distrust Jakoby after he is shot by an orc whilst waiting for his partner to buy lunch. He suspects that Jakoby let the assailant escape due to him being an Orc. On returning to duty, his human colleagues, all of whom are small-minded and wear their prejudice with pride, try to encourage him to turn against his orc partner. Giving them short shrift, Ward and Jacob hit the streets.
They encounter Montehugh, a hirsute, dirty, half-naked man, wielding a sword and after persuading him to put the sword down, arrest him. Whilst in the back of the car, the seemingly crazy man suddenly – with an exposition scene that lands like Thor’s hammer – starts talking in orcish. He also throws up in the back of the car, which later leads to a scene in which Internal Affairs come to have a covert meeting with Ward to persuade him that turning on his partner would be in his best interest.
Meanwhile, Montehugh, the orcish speaking, sword-wielding vagabond, is visited by an elf and a human from the magic division – really – who wants to know about his babblings. As this is going on, Ward and Jakoby are attending a call where they come upon charred bodies and an elf crucifixion. They also meet Tikka (Lucy Fry) a terrified elf who is protecting a much sort after, wand. When back-up for Ward and Jakoby turn up, their four colleagues, in another exposition scene, try to persuade Ward to kill Jakoby so as they might keep the wand that can grant them any wish they desire – once again, really.
Exposition is next given in one sentence when Ward warns Jakoby not to reach for his gun because he would stand no chance against him in a gunfight. He then proceeds to kill the other four policemen who, of course, had planned to kill them both anyway; he is amazing in gunfights. The wand is now common knowledge in the city and everybody wants it. It’s a wishing wand you know. Humans cannot touch the wand without exploding – or maybe that’s anyone, that is never quite explained. Humans definitely explode though. Unless they are a….Bright. Really.
Remember babbling exposition man, Montehugh, in the back of the police car? He signposts that Ward is a Bright – that is not a spoiler, a small child would have seen it. The rest of the film is basically a chase film, where everyone pursues the wand – not the ring. Sorry.
Bright suffers from two major faults – there are more, but only two major ones – it is too shorts for the many varied themes it tries to cover. Bright would undoubtedly have been served better as a short series, four to six episodes maybe. Secondly, it is rushed, which sort of feeds into the first point, but if the slight book that was The Hobbit can be stretched into a trilogy of – admittedly – overlong films, how can a similar story be condensed into less than two hours? It can’t.
Bright tries to cover themes of race, prejudice, class, greed and avarice. Unfortunately, it fails on all fronts due to some heavy-handed writing and a runtime that is short by present standards. Bright turns out to be pretty dim.

Artistic Borders

    Jules Winnfield, Zeus Carver, Mace Windu are all names that are familiar to film fans around the world. The Bible-quoting hitman, the reluctant, foul-mouthed, heroic, John McClane sidekick and the black Jedi. These characters, along with dozens – over one hundred – others, were brought to life by one man; Samuel L. Jackson.

   Samuel L. Jackson is one of the finest actors working today. He is also one of the hardest working having already appeared in over one hundred films with several either due to arrive in 2017 or slated for 2018. He is a man in demand. It was not always like that. Jackson achieved fame and acclaim late, not becoming well known until his mid-forties. A veteran of the business and having overcome substance abuse problems he had in younger years, Jackson wears his fame comfortably, exuding confidence and fulfilling the role of Samuel L. Jackson, movie star.

   Popular on both sides of the Atlantic, he is a regular in celebrity pages, on talk shows and in the press. He has talked of a love of golf, how seeing himself on screen is fantastic and fronted an important campaign highlighting awareness of testicular cancer. Jackson is no wallflower.

   Recently he has been in the press opining on the seemingly popular fad of casting black British actors for African-American roles. He asks, somewhat rhetorically, if African-American roles cannot be filled by African-American actors? Hmm. No doubt there are many African-American actors who, seeing the likes of David Oyelowo, Idris Elba, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Thandie Newton, John Boyega and most recently Daniel Kaluuya, have wondered what it is they have to do to be considered for such leading roles? Brush up on their English accents perhaps?

   Truth be told, Jackson’s comments are somewhat misguided considering his own situation. I doubt he is required to audition for the ‘Samuel L. Jackson’ like parts that are offered to him! Also in a country whose track record in race relations and African-American relations, in particular, is so poor, they still manage to have several notable figures who wield enough power and influence to not only get films made but bankroll them as well.

     With an entire network – BET: black entertainment television – dedicated to black televisual output as well as powerful producers and movers and shakers in entertainment, the avenues for black actors Stateside are many and varied, thus attracting talent from this side of the pond, where the opportunities for actors of colour are few and far between.

   Whereas the ‘Oscarssowhite’ hashtag was trending for the last couple of award ceremonies in the US, as actors of colour felt their contributions were being overlooked, here in Blighty such hashtags would be somewhat redundant as there is barely enough media featuring people or persons of colour to consider for awards.

   I suspect that Samuel had probably been hanging out with some of his lesser known black acting buddies and they got to whining about how them damn ‘Brits’ keep nabbing the plum roles. Samuel, being a good guy, felt that he could voice the concerns of some of his fellow black thesps, helping them out perhaps. He was wrong.

La La Land – How musicals should be.

Damien Chazelle loves music. Jazz music to be more precise. A quick peruse through his IMDB credits shows that. Writer-director Chazelle made one of my favourite films of 2015 in the brilliant  Whiplash, an intense study of a young music college student, who longs to be a great drummer and the maniacal music mentor, who drives him to the brink. Whiplash soundtrack is an ode to jazz, with classic jazz staples played throughout.

For his follow-up film, Chazelle once again shows his great affection for jazz. A very different film in every other aspect, La La Land is an extraordinary film, whilst still showing a Clint Eastwood-esque level of love for jazz.

Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress, working as a barista in LA. As well as working, she is caught up in the soul-destroying circus of audition attending, that is the lot of actors everywhere. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a pianist. A jazz pianist. He can play other things, but he only wants to play jazz, much to his own detriment. He dreams of opening a nightclub where like-minded individuals can come and eat chicken and listen to jazz.

Mia and Sebastian first meet, briefly, on the LA freeway, where a tailgating Sebastian, angrily sounds his horn at the inert Mia as she sits it the traffic learning lines for an audition. They cross paths again when, having had her car towed after a night out, Mia wanders into a bar and is captivated by the piano player; Sebastian. When she goes to compliment him on his playing, he brushes past her, ignoring her completely. Their next meeting is at a party where Sebastian is working as part of an eighties tribute act, playing the keyboard. When leaving the party, Sebastian saves Mia from a boring writer and their relationship flourishes on the walk to her car.

Everything is great until they realise that their individual dreams will ultimately take them away from one another. So it proves when Sebastian decides to shelve his dream of ‘pure’ jazz and a nightclub, to join an old friend, Keith’s (John Legend) modern jazz band, thus beginning a life of touring. Meanwhile, encouraged by Sebastian, Mia writes a one-woman stage show, that flops on the opening night. Crushed by its failure and disappointed that Sebastian could not be there for the show, she leaves town and goes to her parents.

Sebastian receives a call from an agent looking for Mia. He goes and finds her and tells she must do the audition. The audition is successful but the job entails going to Paris. Mia takes the job. Five years pass. Mia is a star. Sebastian has a nightclub. They are no longer together.

That is the bare bones of the story, but La La Land is so much more than that. For one thing, it is a musical. I am not a big fan of modern musicals. I love the classics; West Side Story, Sound Of Music, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady, Singing In The Rain and so many more, those fifties and sixties, technicolored extravaganzas, that had characters burst into song for no reason other than it seemed right too. La La Land is that kind of musical. From the opening number, I was hooked.

Unlike some modern musicals penchant for singing every line, La La Land goes the tried and trusted route of songs interspersing with the story. The songs enhance the story, maybe not the dance routines so much, but the energy and commitment of Gosling and Stone make even the musical indulgences a pleasure.

Neither actor is what you would term a ‘singer’, but their ability to carry a tune is more than adequate in the film, both singing – and dancing – their parts happily as if veteran stage performers. They also really work as a screen couple, which I feel is down to Stone’s innate, doe-eyed, femininity.

Even though it was the strong character of Olive in Easy A that brought Emma Stone to worldwide attention, as an actor, she has not felt the need, it seems, to take on feminist icon roles, her roles to date being a mixture of lead and supporting lead parts. Gosling does Gosling. That is not a criticism. In this film, as the jazz classics obsessed Sebastian, it absolutely works. His cool detachment and suppressed emotion, contrast with his total passion for the music, the connection, that is jazz. You believe that he lives for the music.

The film is also a bit of an LA travelogue, making the watcher yearn to visit LA. Colours are crisp and bright, city visages, clear and inviting. The greatest compliment I can pay this film is that I am not sure I can ever visit Los Angeles. To find out that it is not actually like Chazelle’s La La Land would be a massive disappointment. You may never go to Los Angeles but you should definitely go see La La Land. Beautiful.

Nocturnal Animals – review

Nocturnal Animals tells the story of disillusioned, upper-middle-class, art-gallery owner Susan Morrow (Amy Adams), who is slowly coming to the realisation that her pursing-of-the-Joneses lifestyle, with the slick clothing, show home apartment and Adonis-esque husband (an underused Arnie Hammer), is not at all what she thought would be.

Estranged from her husband, who makes a great play of working on a deal, she unexpectedly receives a manuscript from her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal), a man who she left broken in the most unkind of circumstances nearly two decades before. The manuscript is dedicated to her and called – Nocturnal Animals.

As she reads the manuscript, she recalls moments in her past with him and moments that directed to her to her present, the book resonates strongly with her, creating feelings of guilt and regret.

Tom Ford, he of Gucci revival fame, is the visionary behind this venture. Anyone who knows anything about fashion, especially the high end, ultra sharp, show-me driven looks of the first decade of the new millennium, has witnessed the strong look of Tom Ford. He was always going to bring a strong visual style to cinema and Nocturnal Animals looks spectacular.

From the Michael Mann like landscape and cityscape shots to the pin sharp, clinically clean look of the city interiors, even the sun-scorched Texas desert scenes look good. This is a film shot with high resolution screening in mind. The blacks are inky and deep, making navy and even charcoal easily discernible. It is a truly colour rich film.

Not that the colour is used blithely. Susan’s city, gallery and bedroom scenes contrast easily with the softer remembrance scenes, the manuscript scenes stand out also with a different type of harshness.

The visual extravaganza is accompanied by a haunting, emotional soundtrack by Abel Korzeniowski. As much as the visuals keep you engaged, the music keeps an air of foreboding about the proceedings, keeping you wondering where the story is going take you.

For all his brilliance – and Ford is quite impressive – I felt the weakest, though not weak, part of his film was the script. It is a good script and a thoroughly engaging film, but the parts of the script that one would assume would be easiest for him to write, relate to; the gallery scenes, the party in the home – are the most clunky, almost heavy handed. The best scenes are the story-within-a-story scenes, where we are as engaged as Susan is and just as curious as to the outcome.

Because of the nature of the film and story, it is told in a meandering fashion, with present day, memory and fiction all being viewed simultaneously. It is, especially as a second feature, an incredibly brave piece of filmmaking. Tom Ford should be not only proud, he should perhaps not wait another seven years to make his next feature!

The Accountant – before the Dark Knight

Ben Affleck’s Christian Wolff is an accountant whose brilliance and discretion bring him to the attention of many high profile criminal types, who use his expertise to look after their finances. He is also noticed by J. K. Simmons’ nearing retirement, chief treasury officer, Ray King,  who uses unorthodox methods to enlist the help of the keen-minded Cynthia Addai-Robinson’s treasury officer Maybeth Medina to find out who the gentleman in every photo with the very bad people is.

Wolff, as shown by flashbacks to his youth, is a man in the autism spectrum. He does not like incomplete task and acts out when unable to complete a task. As a person of low normal emotional communication, his mother, Justine (Alison Wright,  finds it difficult to deal with his autism and leaves him and his brother, Brax, (always good value Jon Bernthal) to be brought up by their father, Ed (Andy Umberger), a military man.

Ed refuses to allow Christian’s autism to be a hindrance, forcing both his sons to be strong and decisive, both mentally and physically. Christian follows his father into the military. During an altercation at his mother’s funeral, his father is shot dead. Christian ends up in jail and is befriended by an older prisoner, Francis plays by Jeffery Tambor, who was an accountant for various mob types. He helps Wolff, showing him how to move money for the type of people he introduces him to.

Wolff, as well as doing accountancy for nefarious types, does accountants for everybody else who requires his services. he is employed by Lamar Black (John Lithgow) a billionaire businessman, to track down the source of missing funds. He is given the assistance of Anna Kendrick’s Dana Cummings. He refuses her assistance, as he works better alone. Being of brilliant and singular purpose, he quickly finds the issue. His plan to get to the root of the problem is cut short when Black thanks him for his trouble and lets him go. Wolff does not take the news well. As he looks into the business more, people start to die.

Gavin O’Connor directs a slightly out of the ordinary story in from Bill Dubuque’s screenplay. At just over two hours, the film whips along at a nice pace, with Affleck’s Wolff at the centre. As seemingly, at various times, the most hated actor in social media history, particular for the comic roles he has chosen – Daredevil and Batman –  Affleck is unfairly vilified for just about any performance he puts in. Some of this is jealousy, some just meanness. As the autistic Wolff, Affleck is completely believable, never over-emoting or doing anything that pulls you out of the film. He is of such a physical size that you believe he would be able to handle himself and the fight scenes in the film are reminiscent of the brilliant fight choreography on the Keanu Reeves starrer, John Wick.

Jon Bernthal, for the little screen time he has, is a joy to watch. Anna Kendrick is underused. It would be difficult to say how she could have been utilised differently in the context of the film and its characters, considering any other direction would have resulted in a cliched story arc.

As necessary as the Treasury angle was for the story, these were the dullest parts of the film. Watching treasury officer Medina scroll through figures, as attractive as she is, is boring.

This is a Ben Affleck film and really kicks into high gear whenever he is on the screen. Because of his character in the film, you never know how he is going to react to something or deal with a situation. The Accountant is a good way to waste a couple of eyeball hours.

Logan – The film X-fans were waiting for.

As a big X-men fan – collected the comics throughout the golden Chris Claremont era – and a would-be screenwriter and filmmaker, I have watched all the Fox iterations of X-men films and their connected films. Even though Bryan Singer strayed somewhat – okay, massively – from the source material, as films his first two were good. He even returned to save the franchise after the God awful Last Stand.

So when he made Days Of Future Past, making Wolverine the central character it was, though not right, a good film, but not right. He then followed up with Apocalypse and made Raven a hero. A hero! It is an enjoyable film and I did enjoy it, but it is plain wrong.

Hugh Jackman has become world famous playing the most popular character of Wolverine. The fact that he, at six-two, is a full eight inches taller than the character Wolverine he was portraying, mattered little after his scene-stealing performance in the first X-men film. Jackman was Wolverine.

Jackman, more than any of the other actors, had embraced the spirit of his character.

So popular was his portrayal, it was inevitable that he would get a solo spin-off project. He did. Twice.

The first, an origin story, was poor but, for myself, enjoyable enough. The second was just awful, so bad. When it was announced that Hugh Jackman was doing only one more Wolverine film, it was strange, though not unexpected. All the other X-men, previously played by other actors have been replaced, so it seemed inevitable that he would be replaced by a younger actor, even though the character in the comic is never young.

Extraordinarily, The Wolverine was directed by James Mangold, a filmmaker with an impressive track record in film, having directed Copland, Walk The Line and Girl, Interrupted among others.

The fact that he returned to make Logan is mind blowing. Truth is, had I realised it was the same director of the risible The Wolverine, I would have been reluctant to watch Logan. Thank the lord I did not! Logan is a fantastic film. In look, feel and execution, it just gets everything right. The rating of R for a Wolverine film is perfect. The claws are in full effect in this film and how! This film is every X-men/Wolverine fans wet dream of a film.

I absolutely loved this film and will probably go and see it again. If this is Jackman’s final bow as the Wolverine, not only do I pity the actor who has to follow in his footsteps, but what a way to bow out. Go see Logan.

Quiet Suppression – We’ll Take That

Back in the mid eighties I and many of my friends, in our mid to late teens, listened to the same music. This was around the time I started going to clubs and meeting people who would become life long friends. One of the commonalities among us was music.

Being black and having attended a predominantly black school, musical leanings were divided between two types; you were either a reggae person – most of the black people, children, I grew up around hailed from Jamaica, pretty much the birthplace of reggae – or you were a soul person. I was a soul person. Michael Jackson, on the brink of superstardom with Off The Wall, Luther Vandross in his fat phase, Stevie Wonder before the lazy, comedic impressions. I had a perm, I danced like I was about to fit and I loved music.

Music was – and still is – a great leveller for a black person growing up. We may not of had much in social status, or many role models, there were no faces to relate to on a regular basis on television – Sir Trevor was a lone, regular, face – and in my part of the world, urban south London, there was no mass expectation of going to ‘uni’ or getting a job that became a progressive career.

This was pre-internet, MTV was in its infancy, phone boxes still existed and vinyl was still the dominant musical format. Music mattered to us. It gave us identity; reggae was and will always be associated with Jamaica, but soul music was black. it embraced all of us, regardless of island origin, we could come together under the umbrella soul of music.

As ever, a lot of black cultural references come from our Stateside cousins. Film, music, fashion, even role models, have ever had blacks enviously looking across the pond. Of course we do not envy their everyday fear of being shot or living in some shitty hovel. We never had to – or our parents – face segregation or sitting at the back of a bus. No, we had any of that to contend with. We were lucky in that regard. Though there is something.

I was listening to Kiss 100 this morning, a commercial radio station that is not dissimilar from any other countrywide, 18-25 demographic driven station. In 1990 I was, as were many of my clubbing friends, at the Kiss fm launch party. The reason we were at the launch party was because we had been supporters of the station and knew many of the deejays that would populate its roster. Kiss was one of the pirate radio station that had helped to promote black music, the music we clubbed to and embraced. We felt like, in some part, it was our station. Fast forward fifteen years and any notion of it being a ‘black’ music station has all but disappeared. It is largely indistinguishable from any other popular music station, pumping largely white produced dance music. So what happened and what does this have to do with anything? The answer to that question is twofold and a little controversial.

Anything that is seen as black and popular, whites have tried to take it away and make it their own. In the States, with such a vocal section of blacks and with their natural inclination as a people, Americans, to highlight an issue, such a thing is not easy to do. Also, such is the number of blacks in America, they can influence at a level that matters; financially. In the UK that is not the case. Anything that is thought as being ‘black’ is not generally viewed as sellable or desirable. Unless it is repackaged as white. This is not a new thing, in fifties and sixties America the excitement initially generated by Elvis Presley was the notion of a white man who could sing ‘black’. Here in the UK the likes of UB40 and Culture Club in the eighties made a fortune singing reggae and ‘black’ music respectively. Jamiroquai also made his fortune adopting a black sound, yet black artist in this country have always struggled to make an impact. As recently as last year, Sam Smith, a soul singing depressive, white kid, garnered award upon award in black music categories, his beautiful ‘soul’ sound embraced by the masses.

Growing up, an insult that would sting any would be clubber was ‘you dance like a white person’. They really could not dance. Not to soul and funk and boogie anyway. Waltzes? Absolutely, but not stuff with a beat.  But as the decades went on and increasing amounts of whites got into soul music, mixed with blacks, clubbed with blacks, they got the beat. Now every talent show features a funky, all white, dance troupe.

There is no field, profession or area where black people are embraced, as leading, within the UK. After over five hundred years of immigration, integration and population, how is that possible? A quiet suppression. The powers that be say: Thank you, I’ll take that!

Focus (not the Will Smith film)

  Blogs have taken a back seat of late as I try and turn my attention  forcibly to writing script form fiction. It is nearly a year since I made my last film and in the interim, all I have done is purchase film equipment, at an alarming rate and mooch around worrying about the lack of progress in my film career!
   Blogging has been my only real nod to writing, having procrastinated over various unfinished projects, scripts, without joy. It is not writer’s block in the conventional sense; I have many a project on the go, waiting for this character or that character to do something. It more writer’s inertia. That fear of writing utter nonsense, which in itself is foolish, as I know I am going to rewrite anything I write anyway. There is also the not knowing what the next project will be like. I want it to be an improvement on the last in every aspect – story and visuals – and enjoyed the last experience so much that I crave a repeat, though fear that is unlikely. Not that I am worried about it being awful either, just frustrated at the inertia and silliness of thinking it. What I need is focus, a metaphorical kick up the backside; to take control of my destiny.
   Time to get writing.