Yolonda-Ross

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After making an auspicious debut with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour is back with The Bad Batch. Watch the teaser trailer above. The film will be released on June 23 via Neon.

The post-apocalyptic love story boasts an eclectic cast that includes Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Yolonda Ross, Diego Luna, and Jim Carrey.

Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is unceremoniously dumped in a Texas wasteland fenced off from civilized society. While trying to orient her unforgiving environment, she is captured by a savage band of cannibals and quickly realizes she’ll have to fight her way through her new reality. As Arlen adjusts to life in ‘the bad batch’ she discovers that being good or bad mostly depends on who you’re standing next to.

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New Trailer for The Bad Batch Ready to Feast! 

Coming this June 23, 2017, is the latest film from A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night‘s Ana Lily Amirpour, entitled The Bad Batch; and it’s looking finger-licking good! Check out a new trailer!

This dystopian love story is set in a Texas wasteland among a community of cannibals and stars Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Giovanni Ribisi, Yolonda Ross, Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, Jayda Fink, Cory Roberts, Louie Lopez, and Diego Luna.

7

THE GET DOWN (2016)

If you follow me, please take a few minutes to let me persuade you...

You NEED TO WATCH THE GET DOWN.

So, I’ve been letting this brew in my head a while, trying to figure out how to put it out there in a way that will be well-received and persuasive, because it’s really fucking important, guys.

Everyday, my dashboard is inundated with posts demanding more POC representation in our media. We’re outraged at the white-washing of popular characters in Hollywood, we bemoan the lack of diversity in the shows we love, we seize on every show that comes along that has more than one POC (and oh my god, if we have more than one ethnicity being portrayed??? Does such a thing exist?)

Of course, just because it has diversity doesn’t mean it’s any good. I can’t tell you how fucking excited I was when I saw Quantico for the first time. It wasn’t just racial diversity, but religious diversity and LGBT representation, and so many female characters–Indian, Lebanese, Black, Gay, Jewish, Cuban, Muslim–and that’s just in the main cast, never mind all the secondary characters who are in most episodes. Sadly, the show itself is a train wreck, and try as I might, I just can’t deal with that bullshit (sorry if you like it. I make an effort not to talk shit about things on tumblr so I’m not raining on anyone’s parade.)

The point is, I’m not saying that we should support things only because they have a diverse cast, but we need to at least give them a chance. Some networks are finally understanding and starting to give us what we want, but it isn’t going to keep up if we don’t WATCH them.

I find it so discouraging and disheartening to see these same blogs, demanding this representation, flat out IGNORING The Get Down. This show is…gorgeous. Revolutionary. Absolutely wonderful and so important. 

I’m not even going to get into the obsession over Stranger Things, which came out at basically the same time, with it’s token black character. That’s a discussion for another place and time. But I would like each of you to consider *why* you haven’t watched it yet? It’s Baz Lurhman, for one thing, so you know it’s going to be visually stunning, with a delightful score and some fun, almost magical, grandiose, sweeping scenes that reach past the screen to grab you. 

At times it’s difficult to watch, the fictional characters in the very realistic setting of 1970s Bronx. There’s drugs, violence, exploitation of women and minorities, homophobia, etc. But it is so uplifting and hopeful, full of moments that make you clap and cheer with joy. Plus we’ve got all kinds of positive representation, not only of a multitude of different POC, but gay, bi, and trans as well.

These characters are complex and tragic and wonderful. And the actors! Every single one of them just terrific, especially the newcomers, but don’t forget they’ve got talents like Giancarlo Esposito, Jimmy Smits, Yolonda Ross, Kevin Corrigan, Zabryn Guevara, and Daveed Diggs supporting them.

Coming up soon, we’ve got Luke Cage on Netflix, too. Netflix is giving us such an awesome range of shows and characters playing in them, but they’re the same as any other network. They pay attention to the numbers, and they’re savvy enough to pay attention to social media, too. If people aren’t watching these shows, they’re going to get cancelled, and eventually they’re going to stop making more of them.

So please, give it a shot. And if you enjoy it, start talking about it. Start showing it other people. It starts out heavy, give it an episode before you make up your mind. Two if you’re going to be fair about it (though I think by the end of the first, most should be won over).

Alright, lecture over. Carry on.

5

Go for Sisters

How many dramatic or crime-centered movies have you seen in your lifetime that had not just one but two female protagonists of color who weren’t maimed or killed halfway through the film and who got what they desired in the final scenes? “Go for Sisters” is the only movie I’ve seen that fits this basic description, one which, hopefully, audiences will barely notice as something out-of-the-ordinary in coming years.

Bernice (LisaGay Brown) enlists her old friend Fontayne (Yolonda Ross) to help her find her missing son across the border in Tijuana after meeting her again by chance in her parole office. Fontayne and Bernice were like sisters in high school, but went their separate ways thereafter. Fontayne met trouble in the form of substance abuse and landed in jail. Their reunion comes at a time when Bernice is willing to do anything -even twist the rules she helps enforce- to find her son. She needs Fontayne’s help because she knows the streets better than her friend. There is a telling moment when Fontayne comments that Bernice was always doing things she wanted but never got in trouble, pointing out that she isn’t allowed to be on her cellphone while driving. We quickly understand that Bernice was privileged and used it, while Fontayne had little help growing up. She’s stuck, but decides to help Bernice, loyal to the end.

During the course of the film, the two represent different sides of the same path, one paved with the best of intentions, but made coarse by their individual difficulties. In the end, they meet at the center, putting a certain kind of classism aside. They are still like sisters, after all.

Another notable feature of the film is it’s lack of violence. We hear that Bernice’s son had his ear cut off, that the Chinese gang who has him is mailing pieces of him across the border as a warning for his ransom. And Bernice carries a gun for their guide and colleague in TJ, Ex-Detective Freddy Suarez (Edward James Almos). As for the only male co-star, detective Suarez’s most aggressive actions are logical and include attaching a tracking device on a van and playing mind-games with a professional rival who kidnaps him. There is very little jumping out of one’s seat over the content of this film.

The most crime film style scene in the film is when the two friends are threatened by local thugs in a shop, she pulls the pistol out of her bag and shoots one of the aggressors in the leg. Having shed some (but very little) blood for very good reasons (self defense in a lawless town), Bernice and Fontayne score points for playing a mindful pair of cops on a very personal mission. The crime and drama genres rarely see such tender and thoughtful activity when it comes to the use of firearms and the treatment of women- particularly attractive women who knowingly walk among treacherous villains. They would normally be punished, in one way of another, for daring to tempt danger with their desires- whatever kind they are, and not just from the vantage point of a misogynist lens, but also the usual logicians who assume enough to portray women in the same positions because it happens in life: a woman in a dark ally meets a sorry fate.

Well, it is with deep happiness that I’ll hereby assess that these women characters are treated very well by the much respected, devoted filmmaker, Indie film pioneer John Sayles. Having self-financed the feature, it’s clear that Sayles was determined to manifest his vision of these women and both their plight and destiny in a noble way, a building block for others to follow with their visions of women in film.