FRUITVALE STATION, PARIAH, MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY and RAISING VICTOR VARGAS. Four films that kind of define our topic “Urban Films (That Aren’t That Urban).” But what does that mean, exactly? Well, since it was Jeff who came up with this idea I would have to defer to him. However, my best educated guess would explain that “not that urban” refers to indie films dealing with a certain minority experience while ignoring the more exploitative aspects. Like gangstas, rap, drugs, pimping, you name it. Indeed, these selected flicks take a microscope and points it at the day to day lives of ordinary people.
You have your coming of age. You have your “inspired by a true story” that resulted in horrible tragedy. You have your lesbian teenager point of view. And a quiet piece focusing on the ins and outs of navigating both personal identity and the challenging world of dating.
And like the numb nuts we are, we thought it would be appropriate to shoot this episode on my roof in Brooklyn. Hence the “atmosphere:” Police sirens, wind, subways running along an elevated track. The occasional boom box. Intentional or not it gives this entry a bit of verisimilitude. Heck, I’m impressed I used the word “verisimilitude.” That must make me smart. But not smart enough to have avoided shooting this episode on our roof, apparently.
Anyway, Jeff gives his insight on how his personal experience informed his reactions to these films. I pretty much sit there and relax. And Lola… Lola thought we were going to discuss The Films Of Prince. That’s not even a joke. So, she gives a good college try keeping up.