Monday, April 30, 2007

BLACK SNAKE MOAN - crazy beautiful

 I think we’re fucked up. I know I am. But that don't mean what I feel ain't real, that I can't love somebodyYup, you saw right. Half-naked white chick chained up by a hard-ass black man. Writer-director, Craig Brewer is winking at us. He's pouring gasoline on the outrage that's smoking out the Message Boards and the Blogosphere. He's daring the judgmetal and hasty to find this flick racist and exploitative. Heck, he's enjoying it!

Because, as I see it, Craig Brewer's pulled a fast one. BLACK SNAKE MOAN's no more a serious treatise on race-relations than it is a GRINDHOUSE-style exploitation flick. Ricci and Jackson may be running around in white underpants and a wife-beater but this is actually a desperately sweet movie about unexpected friendship and redemption through the awesome medium of blues music. Redemption? Well, maybe acceptance. Jackson's character can't cure Ricci of her nymphomania - but he does prompt her to confront her demons and make a savagely honest declaration of love to her similarly afflicted boyfriend, played by Justin Timberlake. As emotional journeys go, Christina Ricci gives the performance of her career, and perhaps of the year.

This tricksy double-play - provocative exterior - humble feel-good interior - is the same mix we saw in Brewer's last film, HUSTLE AND FLOW. On the face of it, the central character in HUSTLE AND FLOW is absolutely abnoxious! A murdering, drug-dealing pimp whines about how HE has it hard! But underneath it all, the movie is a gorgeous-sweet story of a guy taking a shot at redemption through the medium of rap music. Except he doesn't quite get redeemed. Brewer's movies aren't Disney. The endings aren't that neat. People don't escape their fundamental natures. But they do end up channelling them better, and with hope of a sort.

BLACK SNAKE MOAN was released in the US in March. It opens in the UK on May 18th, in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden on the weekend of the 30th May. It opens in Singapore on June 7th, Denmark on June 15th, Norway on June 22nd and in Australia on July 26th 2007.

1 comment:

  1. To be honest, I just love the look of the poster. This one and the Grindhouse ones are making me want to find somewhere that sells these kinda classic style movie posters, so I can put some up in my new place in a couple of months.