Black Films That Influenced Me – R.T. Thorne

DGC Ontario Director R.T. Thorne shares with us the Black films and Directors who influenced his art. R.T. currently serves as the DGC BIPOC Members Committee Chair and is the creator, Executive Producer and Director of Utopia Falls.
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Moonlight ( 2016)

“Bold, heartbreaking, and vital. An experience of Black queerness that sadly has rarely been seen on a big screen. Top to bottom riveting and deeply touching, raw filmmaking this was the one time in a long time that Oscar got it right. Mahershala Ali, Trevante Rhodes, Janelle Monae, Naomi Harris all shine as bright as James Laxton’s stunning cinematography.”

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Do The Right Thing (1989)

“First up is the film that altered my consciousness around the idea that movies could be more than entertainment. Do The Right Thing is the story of love and hate on the hottest day in Brooklyn. Director Spike Lee created a polarizing portrait of race relations with a film no one can watch and not come out feeling ways. Laughter, drama, heartbreak, anger, it’s my favourite film of all time. A classic.”

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Coming To America (1988)

“Anatomy of a classic. There aren’t many comedians that can make legit good movies consistently. Eddie Murphy was one of those and this was his crown jewel. Before #Wakanda there was Zamunda. All star cast including James Earl Jones, John Amos, Eric LaSalle, Samuel L Jackson, Arsenio Hall, Eddie Murphy, Eddie Murphy, and Eddie Murphy.”

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Dead Presidents (1995)

“You know the halloween costume but do you really know the movie? The Hughes brothers searing indictment of the way America treats it Black war veterans after they return home. Part drama, part heist movie, all epic.”

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Love Jones (1997)

“There are romantic comedies and there are romantic movies (actually there really aren’t these days). Love Jones is one of my favourites. A nice slice of non stereotypical, flawed, prideful characters that felt like friends of mine. It’s got that 90s nostalgia Janet Jackson Thats the way love goes sheen on it and that’s a good thing. Shout out to my longtime teenage crush Nia Long & Larenz Tate for a complicated vision of Black love.”

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Black Panther (2018)

“In 2018, during Black History Month Marvel releases Ryan Coogler’s event movie that is about a Afrofuturism and makes world wide history. Understand I’m a comic book kid and a sci-fi nerd so this movie is a convergence of almost everything I love. The power of this movie won’t be justified if it wins an Oscar (Editor’s Note: Black panther won Oscars for Costume Design, Production Design and Score) its already justified in that it unified 1.3 billion worth of people in the desire of seeing inspiring imagery of Black excellence and adventure, something never seen before.”

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