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QUEEN & SLIM On Racism, Police Brutality

from The Chicago Tribune

‘Queen & Slim’ a tale of outlaws, but also a love story and a meditation on racism and police brutality

By SONAIYA KELLEY, LOS ANGELES TIMES

Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) in “Queen & Slim,” directed by Melina Matsoukas.
Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) in “Queen & Slim,” directed by Melina Matsoukas. (Andre D. Wagner/Universal Pictur / HANDOUT)

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 Cuaron’s 2001 dramedy “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and Spike Lee’s 1989 classic “Do the Right Thing.” But the biggest influence came 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?’”

[ click to continue reading at Chicago Tribune ]

Posted on November 10, 2019 by Editor

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