Sunday, May 7, 2017
Harlem Film Festival Capsules: GINA'S JOURNEY, SOME GIRLS, DAY AFTER DAY and INTERIOR NIGHT
I am mixed on Sean Durant’s GINA’s JOURNEY, a reconstruction of Regina Mason’s researching and writing of her book Life of William Grimes the Runaway Slave about her ancestor. The film uses reenactments and special effects to tell both Mason’s story and that of her forefather. Its an interesting story told very unevenly, the various styles and green screen effects lessening the effect and making it seem as if it’s something less than it should be. It feels more like something you’d see in school history class as opposed to something in a theater.
A look at a group of Latina- girls over four years as they investigate their roots and explore where they came from. It’s a very good film where we watch how their quest for an identity slowly begins to empower them and give them a sense of place in the world. Its not bad.
DAY AFTER DAY
Form over content story involving two couples trying to work things out is okay. The problem with the film, and the reason I’m not really discussing the details of the plot, is that the film seems way more interested in manipulating the image. Colors are shifted, grain is added and everything has some sort of effect. It all looks good but after about ten minutes I kind of wish it would have toned everything down and let the plot and characters speak for themselves. I tuned out.
Four characters come and go in an apartment one night. Over the course of the evening all of them have to come to terms with the dark secrets that they have been hiding. Okay drama is little more than a filmed stage play. This would have worked better on stage but on the big screen it just never seems ral just overdone.