THE OBENSON REPORT

Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Film Festival Highlight - 'Prince of Broadway'

The Los Angeles Film Festival started today, and I've been keeping my eyes and ears alert for any projects worth mentioning, specifically those by and/or about people of the African Diaspora. I already mentioned Medicine For Melancholy below this post, which just got blessed with a distribution deal thanks to IFC Films, and will be screening thrice at the festival, which runs from the 19th to the 29th of this month.
Here's another one: It's a fictional narrative called Prince of Broadway.

The synopsis: Lucky rules New York. Well, at least the short strip of sidewalk where he runs a nonstop spiel hustling wary tourists into the back room of a clothing store to sell them all manner of knock-off designer merchandise. Watching Lucky work his magic, anything seems possible for the Ghanaian immigrant - right up until his ex-girlfriend drops their 2-year-old son in his arms and disappears.

The trailer for the DV feature follows below.

My quick thoughts: I've still not entirely acclimated myself to the cold, harsh edges of digital video. I'm a celluloid snob, I know :o) But I did shoot my feature, Beautiful Things, with a Sony VX2000 Mini-DV camcorder, although I did almost everything I could to mash the quality of the images so that they looked, not necessarily like film, but as unlike DV as possible. I think I succeeded mostly... some audiences were fooled!

When I watch trailers like this one for Prince of Broadway, I can't help but feel indifferent about what I see, regardless of how compelling the content might be. I press the play button, and I immediately turn cold and apathetic thanks almost solely to the visual presentation. It's not the film nor the filmmaker's fault, mind you. It's me and my "elitist" preferences. Like I started off saying, I'm a celluloid snob... but I'm coming along... slowly... gradually... I realize that once I'm able to get past the look of "prosumer" digital video footage, I'll be able to fully enjoy what films produced on that format have to offer.

So, all that to say, given my celluloid bias, I'm not sure if I'm fully qualified to say how good this trailer makes the film look. The story seems primed for lots of tender, comedic moments and feels vaguely familiar - a single, independent, usually immature man's life is suddenly shaken up by the emergence of a young child he never knew he had, thrusting him into a life he likely eschewed up until that point, and in the end forcing him to, essentially, grow up - from boy to man! At least, that's what I gather from the 2 1/2 minute trailer below.

I will still see it if it comes to my neck of the woods. Given that it's playing at the Los Angeles Film Festival is definitely a plus, because it gives it a certain prestige that I wouldn't afford it, if I was instead talking about the American Black Film Festival or the Hollywood black Film Festival! Sorry ABFF and HBFF... it's just one man's opinion, of course!

Learn more about the film at its website HERE.

Anyway, here's the trailer for Prince of Broadway. Whadaya think?:

4 comments:

  1. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...
     

    Yeah, Tambini, you're letting your celluloid snob get in the way of what sesms like some quite compelling content.

    I'm certainly with you on the ABFF/HBFF snob vibe though... This is the kind of content they just might overlook for brasher, showier (wannabe Hollywood) films. That it has as it's main protagonist a Ghanaian immigrant who isn't portrayed as being at the mercy of the system, but who finds himself a part and plays it as best he can, is certainly refreshing.

    And that he steps up to the plate when faced with the kind of responsibility he hadn't quite bargained for is testament to his character and wholehearted readiness to embrace a new life in the new country he has decided to call home.

    I'd watch it, celluloid or not.

    :P

  2. The Obenson Report said...
     

    I did say I'd see it... I'm sure it'll make it's way east, to New York sooner than later. Possibly the UrbanWorld Film Festival in September. Or some other event before then. I'll certainly post a review after I see it.

  3. albertine said...
     

    Dude, you better get over your celluloid elitist ways Lol! There's a wealth of really good digital work out there that you might miss.

    Which reminds me, I just ordered your film from Amazon. I'll let you know my thoughts after I see it.

    Oh and Prince of Broadway looks like something I'd see. I like the sort of unconventional soundtrack that we don't often get with films like this.

  4. echo said...
     

    Looks interesting to me. At first I was unsure whether it was going to be just another "baby mama drama" film. But after watching it again and reading all your comments I started to see more. So I'd see it if it comes to my town which it probably won't.

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