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Now That It's Officially Opened, Let's Talk 'Middle Of Nowhere'...

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 15, 2012 at 12:06PM

I should first note that the film will continue to expand to other cities over the next several weekends, so while you folks in NYC, LA, ATL, Philly and DC may have seen it this past weekend, others do not yet have access to the film. And to those folks (and really anyone who hasn't seen it), I'd suggest that you AVOID this post altogether, if you don't want your experience potentially spoiled.
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Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle Of Nowhere) 2012
Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle Of Nowhere) 2012

I should first note that the film will continue to expand to other cities over the next several weekends, so while you folks in NYC, LA, ATL, Philly and DC may have seen it this past weekend, others do not yet have access to the film. And to those folks (and really anyone who hasn't seen it), I'd suggest that you AVOID this post altogether, if you don't want your experience potentially spoiled.

Not that we'll be revealing all of the film's plot-points, but I'm taking into consideration the fact that some of you may prefer to go into a film, free of as much influence as possible.

Consider this our attempt to keep the conversation about the film going, as it heads into its second weekend in theaters.

So those who have seen it, what did you think of the film? 

I saw it at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year, and, as I said in my review back then, what really snuck up on me, and that I dug about the film, was how adult the material felt to me. It's a straightforward drama about black people in very adult situations, and none of it is played for laughs.

I feel like we're constantly fed representations of black people in relationships that are too simplistically drawn, and lean more towards the comedic, than the dramatic. It's as if the belief is that we can't handle serious, complex adult situations/representations on film, with black people at the center - especially those set in the present-day. Our serious adult dramas often tend to be set in the past. 

This is especially true at the studio level (I believe it was Ice Cube who said that, for a black filmmaker/producer/actor working within the studio system, comedy was the path of least resistance; and that was his given reason for why his films primarily emphasize their comedic elements first).

You'd have to look to black indies for a reverse of that trend - like Middle Of Nowhere.

There are other aspects of the film that I loved, the most obvious being the strength of its acting, Bradford Young's warm and subtle cinematography, its steady, confident pace, and more. But I'll hand the mic over to you guys to share your own reactions to the film.

This article is related to: Ava DuVernay, Middle Of Nowhere


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