Wednesday, 28 March 2012

I've Moved!!!

I've moved my blog over to wordpress! Visit me:

Cheers! :)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

What I'm Watching ...

I live up North, man, in a freakin' icebox of a place called Oslo, Norway. I get homesick sometimes and who can blame me? Snow is for white people! When I get homesick I seek out Jamaican entertainment until the tide passes over.

As a movie lover, film maker and actress, I'm not sure how this film passed over my radar without a blip back in 2002 when it was first leaked onto the market or 2006 when it was officially released by Sony, but somehow it did. I have vague memories of hearing about the film here and there, but dismissing it as just another low-budget poorly made Jamaican film that glorifies badmanism I occupied myself with other pursues.

Don't get me wrong I love a good gangsta flick, but I just feel like many movies that come out of Jamaica don't show a very nuanced picture of what the country is truly like for average Jamaicans. There's too much focus on just the gangstas. If I wasn't Jamaican I'd think the country was in a state of anarchy (most foreigners probably already think that).

Moreover, I didn't even know I possessed a latent Ky-mani Marley obsession at the time! That would all change when I saw the film One Love. Add Idris Elba (yum!!!) to the mix and I went haywire. 

Anyway to remedy my yaad longings I went on a Ky-mani Marley binge. I drooled at Ky-mani and Idris. After the film there goes me unto wikipedia, like I always do when I've fallen in love with some new to me actor, to find out if he's married...

There I discovered this little gem:

Shottas. The name alone gave me pause. I had very low expectations, but what better way to cure my yaad longing than to get on with my K. Marley fix. I pilfered the DVD from a brethren and cosy up to watch. If I expected to do anything while watching it wasn't to laugh my %!&"#? ass off. 

All dem claat deh weh cuss ... in some strange, ironic, weird way they were .... soothing. These were words I hadn't heard in AGES. If it wasn't for laughing too hard I'd've certainly suffered a wilder bout of yaad longing because the film is real Jamaican. I loved it! But man candy Ky-mani and foul mouth wangsta Teddy kept me on a high. 

Being in the film industry its woven into my nature to watch films with a critical eye even while I seek to be entertained. I don't purport to be an expert, but I know what I like aesthetically. I know what I appreciate in a film and what I don't.

Shottas was everything I expected it to be and a little bit: better production values than many before it, but sub-par in the grand scheme of what encompasses good film making, in my opinion. The gratuitous violence, rehearsed performances (although I liked what Spragga Benz was able to do, though his role is perhaps not much of a stretch from his real life), the cussing and the overabundance of silicone enhanced tits aside, what I loved about the film was that it was so quintessentially Jamaican. Writer/Director Cess Silvera obviously portrayed what he knew best and he did it fairly well. Cinematically the film fell flat, but an art house film with copious  festival ambitions was clearly not Silvera's intention so who the fuck cares. 

Like I said before, and the sisterhood may hate on me for this, I actually love gangster movies. I really do. Give me The Godfather, The Sopranos, Prison Break, The Departed, Godfellas and the Shottas of the world over the chick flicks any day. As long it remains on screen I love the gun touting machismo, the posturing, the sex and the cussing. Being the sentimental fool that I am, though, the only beef I had--because it is such an innate part of the gangster genre--is that the men weren't more protective of their women! I'm thinking of Biggs in particular since he was the only one with a woman ... and especially since he's the only one who displayed any form for conscience throughout the picture.

But really that's only a bit issue. I'm one of those equity feminists who believe women can and should look out for themselves so its all good. Besides who the fuck sits through a gun fight and do not run for it? I guess people are different (or Cess Silvera is just a bad director). As mi see gun dis likkle brown gyal woulda pull a Jackie Kennedy and splurt!

All in all though this film was wicked fun. Spragga, Teddy Bruck Shut & dat bad ass shower scene made the film for me. 

Favourite quotes from Shottas:

  • Go protec yu sowa muma! Teddy Bruck Shut
  • A escort yu a bloodclaat escort mi enuh Biggs - Teddy Bruck Shut
  • As u slip mi inna u raas! - Inspector at airport
  • Ha gway murder dem bloodclaat, watch mi n dem pussyclaat - Teddy Bruck Shut
  • Don't u eva seh nuttin 'bout nuh banana boat again! - Teddy Bruck Shut
  • Plan fi tan dunce like 'im fadda - Biggs
  • Check im likkle latta wen di fire a blaze up - Weed selling father of Fire
  • So mek u nuh guh back a Merca to u muma weh u caan nyam steak! Ms. Pauline

Saturday, 7 January 2012

What I'm Writing...

The Many Moods of Miriam

A short film about a young woman who is driven to madness by a sadistic group of psychiatric doctors. 

Taking a break from "Untitled..." to do a 3rd rewrite on this short.

Friday, 6 January 2012

A Jamaican Love Story

This is a screenplay about a young Jamaican couple, Michelle and Gong, struggling to make their relationship work amidst the sensational extradition battle for Jamaica's best known drug don, Dudus. 

The film is driven by Gong & Michelle's love story, but is precipitated by the extradition battle for the drug lord and the consequences that follow. 

I attempt to explore several themes in this film, the main ones being love, betrayal, lack of opportunity and corruption as well as a police force hamstrung by incompetence and a lack of vital crime fighting resources.  

A Jamaican Love story

I'm separating the updates on my screenplay A Jamaican Love Story from my "What I'm Writing ..." segment. I'll use this blog and this section to track my own progress as I work to complete the script within the deadline, and to keep those interested in the development of the project, in the loop. The story is about two Jamaican lovers whose lives are permanently altered by the "Dudus" saga that erupted in Jamaica a few years ago. I started to call the screenplay "Dudus", but its a misrepresentation of the story. This is a story about love, not Dudus, and its very much a story about Jamaican love so A Jamaican Love Story is quite appropriate. There's also another meaning to this title that won't be revealed until the film is made and released. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Fucker, Move!

I promised my mom that for her 60th birthday I'd stop cursing. But I get pissed off sometimes, and I lose my temper. 

I'm still simmering from an incident that occurred yesterday. Me being my usual naive, over nice and too trusting self I put my faith in the heartless and got burned. But that's my own grind, yeah. I can change that if I work on it.

But what I can't change is dipshit idiots who roll through life caring about nothing but their own asses, who make promises they know they can't keep and destroy other people's lives in the process! Since I can't freakin' murder these fools and get away with it (I have way too many plans to spend the rest of my life in prison!)... all I can do and say to these asshats is: 


What I'm Writing...

PLEASE NOTE: This was my first post in my "What I'm Writing..." segment. However, since some readers have expressed an interest in following my development of this film project I've moved all future discussions and updates on the screenplay mentioned herein to the "A Jamaican love story" folder. 


The script for my feature film, Dudus (working title). I'm pretty sure this title will change as the script develops because the film is not about Dudus at all.

This is the story of a young Jamaican couple, Michelle and Gong, struggling to make their relationship work amidst the sensational extradition battle for Jamaica's best known drug don, Dudus. Michelle is a Jamaican-American and Gong is a Jamaican Rastafarian. The two met when Gong (a local police commissioner) attended the University of Miami for a conference on fighting crime arranged by the JDF and US Homeland Security. They fall in love and Michelle moves to Jamaica. She finds work as a General Manager at a boutique hotel in Negril where she and Gong lives with her (maybe his) mother and their baby daughter. They're engaged to be married, but so far no wedding date has been set.

They're faced with both internal and external conflict that strain their relationship: money problems, Gong's inertia, Gong's relationship with his 9 year old son (and the boy's Ghetto fab mother Bey'utey), a millionaire American hotel developer who tries to seduce Michelle and finally the ensuing war that erupted when Dudus is arrested.

The film is driven by Gong & Michelle's love story, but is precipitated by the extradition battle for the drug lord and the consequences that follow. 

I attempt to explore several themes in this film, the main ones being love, betrayal, lack of opportunity and corruption. A police force hamstrung by incompetence and a lack of vital crime fighting resources will also be revealed.  

I've figured out the story arc and most of the scenes. Now its time to get it out of my head and onto paper! The most difficult part! Sigh ... 

Sunday, 1 January 2012

What I'm Reading...

A magnificent series of interviews with some of the film world's greatest. A must read for every (young) director.

What I'm Watching...

The Wire is no doubt one of the best TV series ever made. Setting aside the fact that I'll watch anything the scrumptious Mr. Idris Elba is in, the series is a gritty, take no prisoners crime drama about sophisticated drug kingpins and the dangerous, tireless police work that go into bringing them to justice. I started season one in 2010, but never got around to finishing it. You see, while this is among the best of the best, the action is slow to build. You don't get much of the CSI effect where all problems are neatly resolved at break neck pace within the hour of the show. The Wire is relentless in its realism. A fact I appreciate, but nevertheless, its easy to lose me when there isn't any action keeping me on the edge of my seat. I enjoy the show most when the chase is in the streets and when the bad guys are strategizing to become the hunter rather than the hunted. So I fell off the wagon for a while, but I always knew I'd return to the series at some point. It is so good, if you have the patience to allow the story to culminate into its peak. 
A cautionary tale to would be drug mules and thrill seeking travelers who tend to err on the wrong side of the law. The personal stories of travelers who got caught up in the game on foreign soil inspire an equal mix of shock (such as the fact that drug offenses can you get the Death penalty in many South East Asian countries), dread, excitement and hilarity. The dumbass things some people do ... 


It's officially 2012.

2011 is done and gone, and I think a reflection on all the things I'm grateful for going into the new year makes an appropriate first post on my new blog.

I'm grateful to be alive and healthy!
I'm grateful that my loved ones are alive and healthy.
I'm grateful that after months of struggle I finally found a job.
I'm grateful that I'm a little wiser than I was this time last year.
I'm grateful that I have the courage to never give up and go after what I want.
I'm grateful that I have the courage to work on being happy.
I'm grateful to be free.

As I embark on the onward journey of life in a new year I pray for: