Sunday, February 2, 2020

About QUEEN & SLIM

This post is, in a way, a bookend to my previous one. The post previous one is about the groundbreaking African American playwright and screenwriter, Lorraine Hansberry. Hansberry, a Civil Rights activist and a lesbian, wrote the 1961 screenplay adaptation of her hit play. For a black person, especially a black woman, to get an onscreen card in the opening credits that had her name -- and her name alone -- under the words "Screen Play By" was a huge and historic achievement in a production from a top Hollywood studio. This weekend, I saw the 2019 drama QUEEN & SLIM, released by Universal. The credits roll at the end of the movie. There is a single card onscreen that reads "Screenplay By Lena Waithe." Another huge achievement from another talented black lesbian writer in a production from a top Hollywood studio. QUEEN & SLIM was directed by Melina Matsoukas. What an impressive job she did. QUEEN & SLIM is her first feature-length film.
Someone might describe this as a "Black Lives Matter" movie, but it's more than that. BOYZ N THE HOOD, the 1991 classic from director John Singleton took place in the modern-day South Central Los Angeles, where I grew up. Nonetheless, at its heart, BOYZ N THE HOOD is a modern-day equivalent of a classic John Ford western -- a western like THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE.  In QUEEN & SLIM, we meet two young African American adults on an achingly innocent first date in a diner. As he escorts her home, they're pulled over by a white cop. Slim is a responsible young man. Almost pleasantly boring. He doesn't drink. There's no drug substance in his car. No weapon. Just a pocketknife in the glove compartment. Queen, by the way, is a lawyer. The cop gets increasingly aggressive as he questions Slim and orders him out of the car. The situation turns ugly. The cop ignores Queen who identifies herself as an attorney and requests his badge number and name. Things get uglier. Two shots are fired. She's wounded. The cop is dead. This is a first date that would make folks swear off Tinder forever.

The two black characters must flee and this becomes a road movie. On the road from Ohio to Florida, they will find family dysfunction, violence, disappointment, support and love. They will discover things about themselves and each other. This story could've been a classic western with a more psychological depth than the standard old Hollywood westerns. Think of William Wellman's THE OX-BOW INCIDENT, Fred Zinnemann's HIGH NOON and Martin Ritt's HOMBRE.  It could've also been a film set in an earlier decade while also being an ode to a certain genre -- like Arthur Penn's BONNIE AND CLYDE in 1967. Penn's hit film about two real-life Depression-era outlaws was a Warner Bros. release. In the 1930s, Warner Bros. was the king studio for gangster movies and other "crime doesn't pay" stories. James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart all had machine gun duty in some 1930s Depression era films from Warner Bros.  Lena Waithe's screenplay is tough, tender, smart, relevant and, at times, funny. The direction is economical and intelligent. Two young black people are on the run in a car. They feel hunted and trapped. Yet notice how often they appear to be free. Theirs is often the only vehicle on the road -- the long, long road. Melina Matsoukas doesn't fill the frame with excess. She lets space exist around people and between people.
The opening scene is one of wit and revelation. Queen and Slim sit facing each other at a diner table. They've just received their orders. She makes an exasperated face as he folds his hand and says a rather long silent grace before his meal. She claims to be an atheist. We learn that Tinder brought them together. She's understandably a bit tense and critical because of work. A client of hers was executed. She abhors the death penalty. She points out to him that he ordered scrambled eggs but got them over easy instead. She wants the waitress to correct it. He casually lets it go because he's acquainted with the waitress. He knows she's working hard to raise four kids and has an alcoholic husband. He likes the diner because he supports black-owned businesses. Queen and Slim are played by Jodie Turner-Smith and (from GET OUT) Daniel Kaluuya. Here's a trailer.
Flea, the Red Hot Chili Peppers band member, has a supporting role in this film. He's very good as a sympathetic friend to the pair on the run. He was also very good as the homophobic and verbally abusive gay conversion therapy staff member in the 2018 film, BOY ERASED. As for Waithe's screenwriting wit, there's one scene that really broke me up. The two are early in their getaway journey. They stop at a fast food joint and give a mouthy little boy some cash so he'll buy them some food. He can keep the change. A minor accident occurs. It's a scene that adds another bite of racial significance to the story while also giving you a flavor of BONNIE AND CLYDE meets SANFORD AND SON.

Writer, actress, producer Lena Waithe has got the gift. So does QUEEN & SLIM director Melina Matsoukas. QUEEN & SLIM is tense, moving, well-acted entertainment.


17 comments:

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    DOCTOR LOSA CAN AS WELL CURE THE FOLLOWING DISEASE:-
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    2. HERPES
    3. CANCER
    4. ALS
    5. Hepatitis
    6 Diabetes
    7 LOVE SPELL
    8 IF YOU NEED YOUR EX LOVER BACK TO LOVE YOU AGAIN.

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  8. Greatest thanks to Dr Oyagu for his herbal drugs that he prepared for me and when I start using it in just 2weeks I was completely cured and that ended my HERPES SIMPLEX 1&2 DISEASE i am so happy and grateful to Dr Oyagu . after reading about him on a testimony of Jason Cash on a blogger. I knew suddenly Dr Oyagu was the right Doctor to cure my HERPES SIMPLEX 1&2 DISEASE. I discuss with Dr Oyagu and he prepared a herbal medicine for me and when it got sent to me in south Korean . I used the herbal medicine and 2weeks and i went to check up again. after 15years of suffering from HERPES SIMPLEX 1&2 at last i am smiling once again. Dr Oyagu also has remedy to others disease like COLD SORES,HIV/AIDS,DIABETES.CANCER,HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND MANY MORE. I oblige everyone to contact this powerful herbalist Dr Oyagu and be free from your suffering. contact his WhatsApp line: +2348101755322 or visit his Website https://oyaguspellcaster.wixsite.com/oyaguherbalhome Email:Oyaguherbalhome@gmail.com

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  9. I found out, that taking herbal treatment is the best to get rid of hpv as soon as i feel the symptoms of hpv is appearing, i took the healing process by contacting Dr onokun for natural treatment it works wonders, amazingly ever since I had the herbal treatment i have not feel these horrible disease anymore and my doc told me the virus is gone, i am glad i finally got cured out from this horrible disease. every hpv or herpes patients should also get in touch with this herbalist Dr to get ride of these disease forever. his Email: Dronokunherbalcure@gmail.com

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  11. Am Here To Give My Testimony About A Doctor Who Helped Me In My Life. I Was Infected With HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS In 2019, I Went To Many Hospitals For Cure But There Was No Solution, So I Was Thinking How Can I Get A Solution Out So That My Body Can Be Okay. One Day I Was In The River Side Thinking Where I Can Go To Get Solution. So A Lady Walked To Me Telling Me Why Am I So Sad And I Open Up All To Her Telling Her My Problem, She Told Me That She Can Help Me Out, She Introduce Me To A Doctor Who Uses Herbal Medication To Cure HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS And Gave Me His Email, So I Mail Him. He Told Me All The Things I Need To Do And Also Give Me Instructions To Take, Which I Followed Properly. Before I Knew What Is Happening After Two Weeks The HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS That Was In My Body Got Vanished . So If You Are Also Heart Broken And Also Need A Help, You Can Also contact Him Through Dr. Oyagu reach him oyaguherbalhome@gmail.com visit his website https://oyaguspellcaster.wixsite.com/oyaguherbalhome Or whatsapp him via +2348101755322

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  13. Good luck to anyone reading this true life story of mine, I Was Diagnosed With type 2 Herpes Virus Last year, And I Was Looking For Solution To Be Cured Luckily I Saw Testimonies On How Dr OYAGU Cure Herpes Virus I Decided To Contact Dr OYAGU I Contacted Him He Prepared A Herbal Medicine Portion And Sent It To Me, I Started The Herbal Medicine For My Health. He Gave Me Step By Step Instructions On How To Apply It, When I Applied It As Instructed, I Was Cured Of This Deadly Herpes Within 2 weeks, I Am Now Herpes Negative. My Brother And Sister I No That There Are So Many People That Have The Same Herpes Virus Please contact Dr OYAGU To Help You Too, And Help Me To Thank Dr OYAGU For Cure Me, I’m Cured By Dr. OYAGU Herbal Medicine, His Contact Email:oyaguherbalhome@gmail.com or visit his website https://oyaguspellcaster.wixsite.com/oyaguherbalhome Or Cell Whatsapp Number +2348101755322 thank you

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  15. To know more about Chief Dr Lucky you can visit his website (https://chiefdrluckyherbaltherapy.wordpress.com/)
     
     A friend that suffered from Herpes and was cure with the help of this great herbal doctor Chief Lucky so i decided to contact him for help in getting rid of my families genital herpes virus 1/2 which i did and all i was told to provide was just some useful information and some materials used in preparation of the natural cure and that i did and now i am the happiest person on earth because i am writing this testimony of mine with joy and happiness in my heart to the whole world to know that natural remedy is real because i am a living testimony of Chief Lucky traditional herbal cure and i want you all to contact Chief Lucky via his email: chiefdrlucky@gmail.com or WhatsApp him +2348132777335 am sure he will help you too.

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  16. DR OYAGU herbal medicine is a good remedy for herpes simplex virus cure. My name is MIGNON WRIGHT , am from USA,I am here to give my testimony about DR OYAGU who helped me in my life, i want to inform the public how i was cured from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) by DR OYAGU, i visited different hospital but they gave me list of drugs like Familiar, Zovirax, and Valtrex which is very expensive to treat the symptoms and never cured me. I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on HERPES and i saw comment of people talking about how DR OYAGU cured them, when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, am a free person now without any problem, my HERPES result came out negative, I pray to God to never let me and my family forget you in our life, am now cured permanently, you can also get your self cured my friends if you really need this doctor help, you can reach him on his website ;https://oyaguspellcaster.wixsite.com/oyaguherbalhome Email: oyaguherbalhome@gmail.com or via whatsapp +2348101755322

    ReplyDelete
  17. Herpes is a serious and recurring disease which can't be cured through drugs or injections by the American doctors but the best way to deal with Herpes is by taking natural herbs medicine for it, I have read about DR odoma the great herbalist doctor who cure me from herpes with his powerful herbal medicine. i contacted him to know how he can help me and he told me never to worry that he will help me with the natural herbs from God!after 2 days of contacting him, he told me that the cure has been ready and he sent it to me via UPS SPEED POST and it got to me after 3 days!i used the medicine as he instructed me (MORNING and EVENING) and i was cured!it's really like a dream but i am so happy! for the people suffering from the following diseases, Cancer, hypothyroidism, Herpes, COPD, HIV, Arthritis, Hpv, Infections,Liver Disease, Autoimmune Diseases, Parkinson's disease,Lupus Canker sore and more should contact him for his herbal medicine because i am a living testimony and i was cured of herpes and his medicine is legit. I sent him what he requested and he sent me his medicine which I took for 3 good weeks and today I am out here with negative results. When I went for the test I was so happy after going through his medication. you can reach him through his email drodomasolutionhome20@gmail.com or call whatsapp number:+2348100649947 he will help you out.....visit his website:
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