Thursday, July 19, 2018

Boots Riley: 'Sorry to Bother You' (2018)

Boots Riley's first film, Sorry to Bother You (2018), takes the side of workers against one-percenters, the proletariat vs. late capitalism. The movie is satirical and surreal with a variety of sometimes bizarre comic elements. It's not all fun and games, certainly. During a first watch, one may feel anxious and uprooted by dread. After experiencing Sorry to Bother You, who will engage in direct action? Who will think about culture and economics a little more deeply?    
The tone of Sorry to Bother You very much reminds me of Lindsay Anderson's O Lucky Man! (1973) and, to a lesser extent, Anderson's Britannia Hospital (1982). The music is at times as eerie as the soundtrack of Liquid Sky (1982). It could have also been accompanied by a few choice Gang of Four cuts.  
In addition to its lively critique of capitalism, Sorry to Bother You takes into consideration interrelated variables of race/culture, gender, possibility, technology/communications, art/production/consumption and location (in this case, Oakland) -- among other things.   
Boots Riley is a music dude, too -- check out The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club if you want to sample some. 

This kaleidoscope of modern American life is creating a stir, for sure. Actors in Sorry to Bother You include Lakeith Stanfield (Cassius "Cash" Green), Tessa Thompson (Detroit), Danny Glover, Armie Hammer, Omari Hardwick and Stven Yeun. 

Today's Rune: Separation (Reversed). 

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