Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 20th 2014 Contents The worst week for film choice for the year demands repeating a relatively
recent lead pick today and offers up precious little in the way of Also Rans,
which are limited to a decent Clint Eastwood WWII flick (Letters from Iwo
Jima, 12.30 midday HBOC), an oddball
Western (Alvarez Kelly, 4.15 pm Enc3)
and an outstanding film that screened
at last year s T&T Film Festival, but you
have to speak French or read Spanish
subtitles to follow (La Pirogue, 1 pm
Max). The week is even worse, offering
nothing to write home or film pick fea-
TODAY'S BEST FILM:
*42 aka 42: The Jackie Robinson Story (Brian Helgeland/2013/USA/ Biog-
raphy--Drama-Sport/128 mins/PG-13 for thematic elements, including
language) 10.30 am today HBO Family. Watch this if you liked The Hurricane,
Invictus or The Blind Side. Looking back from the age of an American
president Americans would call black, it s hard to remember, sometimes, that
the Civil Rights Movement was in near full swing a scant half-century ago.
This remarkable biography of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the colour
bar in US baseball, is a beautifully made reminder of how ugly the time was---
and how strong the individual, Jackie Robinson, was, to stand alone against
the baseball world. Touching to the point of poignancy in parts, distressing
to distraction in others, excellent throughout, this is as good as real-life
biography gets; even if the liberal might worry about a feelgood element
threatening to creep in and pass itself off as pride.
Today and rest of the week:
Boyz n the Hood (John Singleton/1991/USA/Crime-Drama/112 mins/R
for language, violence and sensuality) 10 pm Saturday TCM. Watch this if
you liked Menace II Society, Juice or New Jack City. Once you can get past
the fact that what they call poverty in America is actually upper middle-
class in the Caribbean---everybody has their own house, car and yard---John
Singleton s debut feature about life in an inner-city LA neighbourhood is
strong on performances, hard on content and runs tightly all the way through.
Doughboy remains Ice Cube s best role, even if he had to take a taxi from
his own middle-class area into the hood.
Schindler's List (Steven Spielberg/1993/USA/Biography-War-Drama-His-
tory-Holocaust/195 mins/R for language, some sexuality and violence) 5 pm
Wednesday Turner Classic Movies BEST FILM OF THE WEEK. Watch this
if you liked Downfall, The Pianist or Life is Beautiful. A contender for Steven
Spielberg s great work and near the top of most lists of Holocaust films,
Schindler s List is as lovingly made as its subject-matter is distressing. With
hardly a lag in its three-hours-plus length, the film details one of humanity s
great sins---the systematic, racist murder of six million innocents, three-
quarters of them women and children---with surprising restraint. The film
could hardly avoid being harrowing but remains spellbinding. The sequence
in which the rooftop camera follows the child, identified by her spot-coloured
coat in a sea of black and white, foreshadowed the use of the blood-splattered
lens in the cinematography of Saving Private Ryan. The performances of the
male leads are astonishing. Yes, he lays the sentimentality on a little thick
at the end---but it at least gives you something to be gruff, instead of weepy,
Best of the rest:
Mon: Biutiful, midnight MaxW; Tues: Forbidden Planet, 4.15 pm TCM;
Wed: The Smurfs 2, 9 pm HBOF; Thurs: A Shot in the Dark, 4.40 pm TCM;
Fri: Wayne s World, 6.45 pm TCM; Sat: Groundhog Day, 6 am TCM.
*Starred films have been chosen in the last three months. Scheduled
Internet times often vary on the day, particularly around month-end.
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 20, 2014
A Trifecta of the Week's Best Films on the Box
CONTINUES FROM B3
He produces primarily black and white portraits,
sometimes inserting himself into the frame. For him,
the human body serves as a means of fleshing out
facile understandings of who people are. His use of
black and white photography is a strategic choice for
dismantling a false sense of homogeneity, revealing
the many hues in lived experiences and exposing a
rich diversity in what it means to be black and queer.
"A black and white photograph is not devoid of
colour. When I see black and white photography, I
see different kinds of blacks; different kinds of whites.
That is how identity works," he explained.
His work is also characterised by tightly cropped
visuals---he zooms in on body parts---that draw on
the practice of voyeurism and the aesthetic of porno-
graphic images but he remixes these reference points
to produce moments that are sensitive, intimate and
personal rather than clinical and dispassionate.
Low camera angles are another feature of his prac-
tice. "I am interested in conveying an idea of sculptures
or monuments. It creates a power position between
the subject of the image and the viewer so I am
playing around with that perspective," he said.
Play is key to this photographer s art. "I would
argue that while most people have sex, a lot of people
do not explore their sexuality so they don t really
know where their boundaries are. My work plays
with that," he said. Ajamu experiments and constructs
all of his images in his studio space, which acts as
a kind of laboratory for fantasising, reimagining and
inventing self---a space that heightens the idea that
identities can be made and remade. While in Trinidad,
he used the idea of play along with those of exper-
imentation, curiosity and risk as pivoting points for
a two-day photography workshop he facilitated.
Ajamu led a number of participants in a dialogue
about the socio-cultural biases---gender, race, class---
a photographer can bring to the act of taking a pho-
As part of his stay, he also engaged in a conversation
with local photographer Rodell Warner. The event
was moderated by Guardian Sunday Arts Section
contributor Shivanee Ramlochan and it gave insight
into the processes and intentions of the two image-
Ajamu leaves Trinidad with thoughts about bac-
chanal and how the concept might play a role in his
photography. He is also set to work on part two of
his Fierce project.
In 2013 he produced 25 portraits of black, queer
artists and cultural activists---all under 35 and living
and working in London.
"There is another generation coming up who are
looking for representations of themselves, so Fierce
is there for them."
Fierce 2 will go beyond the bounds of London to
share faces from Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and
other places in an effort to expand the mental pictures
people often conjure up when they think of the
Ajamu holds on to the belief that his work can
make a difference. "Photography can be used for
social and cultural change," he said. "I am still romantic
about the medium."
Ice Cube in his breakout role as Doughboy in Boyz in the Hood.
From ghetto to ghetto
'Play key to this
Self Portrait by Ajamu.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY THE ARTIST
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