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10 Questions With Rashaad Ernesto Green (Writer/Director "Gun Hill Road")

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by Tambay A. Obenson
December 14, 2011 12:14 PM
7 Comments
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Rashaad Ernesto Green

Yes, the series still lives; some of you have asked me about it recently. I unloaded several at once a few weeks ago, and haven't posted any since then. More are coming, so don't worry :)

I believe this is installment number 7 of the "10 Questions" series. Thus far you've read replies from Barry JenkinsSeith Mann, Ava DuVernay, Victoria Mahoney, Leila Djansi, and Rodney Evans, and all were well received across the blogosphere.

Continuing on with the series today is Mr Rashaad Ernesto Green, like all those who came before him, another name that should be immediately familiar to most of you, given how much we've written about this talnted filmmaker and his feature film debut, the critically-acclaimed Gun Hill Road.

After debuting at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival , the film was immediately acquired for distribution and released theatrically this past summer, making a healthy $150,000 at the box office.

Gun Hill Road is a provocative family drama that stars Esai Morales as a macho father who, after three years in prison, returns to the Bronx to find that the world he previously knew has radically changed. His wife, played by Judy Reyes, is distant, and his teenage son, played by newcomer Harmony Santana (in an award-nominated performance), is going through a sexual/gender transformation that the father can't quite grasp, challenging his ideas about manhood.

I thought the film was a contemplative, compelling drama of a family in strife, moving towards reconciliation, with sensitivity and understanding, as well as all-around wonderful performances! An auspicious debut for Rashaad. 

It's not on home video yet, so if you missed it in theaters, it should be on your short list of 2011 films to see when it is out on DVD/VOD/Blu-ray.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Rashaad does next.

And without further ado, here are his responses to my randomly-selected 10 questions (thanks Rashaad!):

1. I've watched (and will continue to watch) movies on my mobile device (phone, PDA, iPad, etc) - yes/no?

Nope.

2. Celluloid or digital?

35mm film has yet to be matched by digital. It isn't just the resolution. There's an emotional quality that film gives off that is hard to describe. With that said, I've seen some great imagery captured by digital cameras, and the considerable financial savings makes it a sensible option for independent filmmakers.

3. The one city I've never been to that I'm really anxious to visit is this one...

I've never been to Cuba. I'd really like to check out Havana, walk the streets, and experience the deep emotional history that they contain.

4. If I had Bill Gates' billions, I'd do this...

There's so much I'd like to do. I'd build a film studio and help cure this nation's education crisis in disadvantaged communities.

5. I'd like to see what this musician could do with a film camera...

Adele. Whatever she touches seems to turn to gold. I'd be very interested to see how she expressed herself in this medium.

6. Theism or atheism?

Theism, but not as described by any religion or human explanation.

7. If I could go back in time, I'd return to this period/moment/place/etc...

Late 60's, New York City. So much revolt and transition occurred during that time. So much possibility lay ahead. I would have loved to experience it firsthand.

8. I want my tombstone to read…

"A man of his word."

9. Not including these popular choices, "Do The Right Thing," "Malcolm X," and "She's Gotta Have It," which other Spike Lee film would be your favorite?

Bamboozled. It's often overlooked, but I find Spike's first venture into satire a very deep and enjoyable one.

10. If I could recommend 2 movies newly released in 2011 that everyone should see, they would be these (not including my own)...

Kinyarwanda and Pariah, because if we don't support our fellow artists, who will?

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7 Comments

  • Ivan Smith | December 22, 2011 2:09 PMReply

    This a great interview and great person as well.I hope you RA could achieve all your goods DREAM as you did with GHR. Very cool.

  • Tommy Oliver | December 22, 2011 1:34 PMReply

    Very cool - particularly 4, 8 & 10.

  • Mecca | December 15, 2011 5:27 PMReply

    #4 Would have to be the best answer out of all. I dig his aspirations.

  • Kia | December 14, 2011 7:40 PMReply

    I really do enjoy these. Loved Rashaad's answers to #4 and #8-10.

  • bondgirl | December 14, 2011 6:05 PMReply

    #8 is def my favorite! Witty and delightful answers, although not quite sure 1960's NYC was the best era for Blacks & Latinos with the cracking skulls policy of NYPD. I look forward to seeing what he does next.

  • MiddleMyatt | December 14, 2011 3:50 PMReply

    Great Questions -- great answers, too ("Theism, but not as described by any religion or human explanation" was my favorite -- followed closely by his on-the-money recommendation to see Kinyarwanda and Pariah, two films that I eagerly anticipate enjoying).

    Keep the 10 Questions coming, S & A!

  • ROKO | December 14, 2011 3:41 PMReply

    I like this series. Keep em comin!

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