Tony Revolori

Sundance 2015: ‘Dope’ is actually pretty dope

The first image in the film is a breakdown of the various meanings and uses of the word “dope” – drugs, stupid person, and slang for something being very cool. This is a pre-cursor to the overall theme of the film, that any one label is never representative of just one thing. Each of the central characters are dealing with labels being thrown at them, and through them a running dialogue throughout the film unearths what it means to be true to yourself. Director Rich Famuyiwa’s film follows Malcolm (Shameik Moore), a high school geek in Inglewood, CA, who with his friends Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) and Jib (Tony Revolori) – who are all obsessed with 90s hip hop culture – end up with a bag of dope from a local drug dealer, and must figure out how to unload it all before things go from bad to worse.

GFF 2014: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is perhaps Wes Anderson’s most ambitious film to date, and one of his best

More than perhaps any other director, the work of Ernst Lubitsch has been the most noticeable influence on Wes Anderson’s style. Though the great German-American writer-director, most prolific in the 1930s and 1940s, was never quite so aesthetically bold in the look of his sets, he too was preoccupied with meticulous staging for comedy within his chosen locales, be they the titular Shop Around the Corner or the Parisian hotel of Ninotchka; The Grand Budapest Hotel is set in a fictional European country, the Republic of Zubrowka, another Lubitsch trait from works like The Merry Widow and The Love Parade, though The Shop Around the Corner happens to be set in the city Anderson’s mountaintop lodging house takes its name from. He garnered the descriptor of ‘the Lubitsch touch’ thanks to the moving sincerity that always made itself evident within even his more broad comedic premises, and Anderson’s own best work is that in which a recognisable humanism always makes itself known and potent even within the stylised stiltedness through which most of his characters are written and performed.

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