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QUEEN & SLIM Not Bonnie & Clyde

from the LA Times

Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas don’t want you comparing ‘Queen & Slim’ to ‘Bonnie and Clyde’

By SONAIYA KELLEY

Lena Waithe, left, and Melina Matsoukas at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles.
Lena Waithe, left, and Melina Matsoukas at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles.(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

For “Queen & Slim,” screenwriter Lena Waithe’s meditation on race relations and police brutality, director Melina Matsoukas drew visual inspiration from sources as diverse as Alfonso Cuarón’s 2001 dramedy “Y Tu Mamá También” and Spike Lee’s 1989 classic “Do the Right Thing.” But the biggest influence came straight from YouTube.

“One of the key references for me has been real life, authentic struggles in the black community,” said Matsoukas, who makes her feature debut with the movie, in theaters on Thanksgiving. “I watched a lot of YouTube videos of black people being pulled over by the police or encountering law enforcement and it not necessarily ending well. Unfortunately, there are so many of those videos, but they were a major influence in how I wanted to approach shooting the opening scene.”

Starring Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith, our protagonists (known simply as Slim and Queen until the end) are forced on the run within the first 10 minutes of the movie. “A Million Little Pieces” author James Frey pitched the idea for the opening to Waithe at a party.

“He was like, ‘Yo, I have this idea for a movie that I can’t write,’” she remembered. “And I was like ‘What’s that?’”

Frey described a scenario in which a black couple driving home from a first date are pulled over by a cop and forced to kill him in self-defense. “I was like, ‘You’re right, you shouldn’t write that,’” said Waithe. “But then we exchanged information. I think he thought he was never going to hear from or see me again, but it just stayed with me.”

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on October 30, 2019 by Editor

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