As I’ve said before on this site, I love films (and especially black films) that go in unexpected directions. And as I have also said, there are 40 million black people in the USA, which means there are 40 million different stories. So as a filmmaker, why do the same old, same old?
Here comes filmmaker Zach Wechter with his short film "Straight Down Low," which definitely puts a different spin on things. Don’t let the title fool you, as It’s not some routine gangsta hood picture, nor is it another one of those “nice black woman who marries a good man only to find out that he’s on the down low and now she’s HIV positive,” kinds of films (How many of those have been made in the last few years?).
Instead Wechter’s film, which was clearly inspired by Rian Johnson’s 2005 high school-set film noir thriller "Brick," with Joseph Gordon Levitt, is more of an homage to those film noir detective mysteries, with a contemporary twist which deals with issues such as race, class and yes, as you can guess, even sexuality.
It a highly stylized, beautifully photographed film, in a rain soaked Los Angeles, and Wechter obviously knows his film noir for hitting the right tone, and getting the dialogue and cadences pretty much on target.
Starring Shamar Sanders and Daniele Watts, it’s definitely worth watching (like now):