The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Saturday, July 22, 2023

Graffiti Bridge (1990)

"Graffiti Bridge" (1990) is a music-drama film written and directed by Prince. Some consider the movie a sequel to his 1984 "Purple Rain." However, only a few of the same characters were in "Graffiti Bridge, " including Prince, Morris Day, and Jerome Benton. Despite this movie being a sequel, not much of the original story rolled over from "Purple Rain." Instead, Prince took an artistic, spiritual, sexual, and abstract approach to this movie. Additional cast members are Ingrid Chavez and Robin Power. There are also performances by George Clinton, Mavis Staples, and Tevin Campbell. Unfortunately, the film did not do well at the box office, grossing over $4 million on a $7 million budget. Yet, the soundtrack had better reception reaching number six US Billboard 200 and US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

Director: Prince
Writer: Prince

Starring Prince, Morris Day, Jerome Benton, Ingrid Chavez, Robin Power, Jill Jones, George Clinton, Mavis Staples, Tevin Campbell, The Time, T.C. Ellis

"The Kid" (Prince) struggles to maintain control of the Glam Slam nightclub where he plays. Morris Day is the godfather of the nightclub scene and tries to force the Kid out. The Kid is about to succumb when Aura, a sensual guardian angel-type character (Chavez), comes to Prince's aid.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The Visit (2000)

"The Visit" (2000) is a prison drama movie written and directed by Jordan Walker-Pearlman, which he adapted from Kosmond Russell's play. The film first appeared at the second annual Method Fest, dedicated to independent films, and features an incredible cast, including Hill Harper, Obba Babatundé, Phylicia Rashad, Billy Dee Williams, Marla Gibbs, and Rae Dong Chong.

Many prison films are cliche with the same formula of violence, confrontations, authoritative abuse, etc. "The Visit" steers away from those cliches and relies entirely on acting and emotions to drive the message. Hill Harper plays Alex, a convicted felon accused of a brutal rape. At some point, Alex contracted HIV and is now dying of AIDS. With life looking bleak, his brother (Obba Babatundé) visits him, and now Alex will attempt to reconcile relationships with his self-made father (Billy Dee Williams) and his mother (Marla Gibbs).

This movie does a great job of keeping your attention and touching your emotions in different areas. Most of the scenes are mainly in prison visiting rooms with several flashbacks within the story. I highly recommend it for viewing.

Director: Jordan Walker-Pearlman
Writers: Kosmond Russell, Jordan Walker-Pearlman

Starring Hill Harper, Obba Babatundé, Phylicia Rashad, Billy Dee Williams, Marla Gibbs, Rae Dong Chong, Tim DeZarn, Jennifer Freeman, Jascha Washington

Alex Waters (Hill Harper) has been convicted of rape and sentenced to 25 years in prison, although he maintains he is innocent. Alex is up for parole, dying of AIDS, and seeking redemption. As a psychiatrist (Phylicia Rashad) helps him reconcile with his past, he receives visits from the essential figures in his life: his older brother (Obba Babatunde), his authoritarian father (Billy Dee Williams) and his loving mother (Marla Gibbs). As he works past his anger, Alex evolves into a new man.