Hard-hitting, powerful, and one of the best films I've seen!
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Rude" is without a doubt one of the best films I've ever seen. Drawing on some of the most important issues concerning the black community today, it is hard-hitting, powerful, and deeply unsettling. Filled with a unique combination of artistic symbolism and painful realism, you can't possibly see this film and not be affected. All of the characters are vibrant and real, struggling with their own questions about good and evil. What is the most important thing a father can give his son? How do we stop youths from the projects from internalizing stereotypes about themselves? What makes the difference between a delinquent and a man? "Rude" features an incredible performance by veteran actor Clark Johnson, a recent star of the t.v. show, "Homicide: Life on the Street." You won't be sure whether to love or hate Reese, a dealer who never loads his gun. Meanwhile, his brother "General" Luke is faced with a tough decision--to achieve success in a capitalist society, or to finally discover what he wants his son to learn. Covering cultural issues from race and class to gender and sexual orientation, "Rude" is a great conversation starter. This is an internationally acclaimed film Canadians can be very, very proud of."
Visually Stunning and Provocative Debut for Clément Virgo
Ibochild | Los Angeles, CA USA | 10/26/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The plight of blacks in the inner city has been a subject that has been visited to death from filmmakers in the United States. Most present a rather myopic view of those communities and the people who live in them. These films in large part say the same thing -- flee the ghetto and survive or stay in the ghetto and perish. They also address black manhood and criminality through a series of macho clichés. However, with RUDE, Canadian director Clément Virgo's feature film debut broadens the scope of the inner city drama with a complex and risk-taking film.In this film, the filmmaker takes us on a journey in the lives of several very different people. It deals with black manhood and criminality (as these films often do), but broadens the focus to also examine issues such as homophobia, parenthood and love relationships. RUDE also distinguishes itself from its American counterparts in terms of its visual style. It utilizes theatrical and surrealistic lighting effects to tell its story. Sometimes, Virgo's stylistic flourishes come off as pretentious or showy. However, these same effects often serve to help weave the central (and on the surface, unrelated) stories into each other.All of the major plot lines deal with some sort of self-discovery and/or examination. The most dominant story involves General (Maurice Dean Wint from HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH), a man just released from prison who attempts to rebuild his life and reunite with his son and the child's mother. Making matters worse, upon his return, he's being pressured to return to the criminal activity that got him in prison in the first place.Another major story involves Maxine (Rachael Crawford from TV's LOVE SONGS), a woman at the end of a relationship, trying to make some sense of her life. A third story deals with Jordan (Richard Chevolleau from TV's "Soul Food"), a young boxer coming to terms with conflicts about his sexuality.Throughout these stories, we hear the "stream of consciousness" observations of the title character (Sharon M. Lewis), the disc jockey of a pirate radio station. Listening to her is like listening to an evening of avant garde poetry. Her descriptions are graphic and at times provocative, but perhaps featured a bit too prominently in the film.Each story concludes without easy resolutions. Absent are the typical "let's get out of the ghetto and go to paradise" endings. Instead, you are left with "food for thought."Overall, RUDE is a fascinating film to watch. It's not always clear what Clément Virgo is trying to leave the viewer with at the end. However, one thing is for sure: you're be thinking about this film long after it ends.RUDE is for the adventurous filmgoer that is tired of formulas. If you really want to see something different -- see this film. The cast which also includes a fine performance by Clark Johnson (TV's "Homicide") is generally strong. Perhaps because the film was shot in Canada, the film avoids the complexioned-based casting that is often found in black films from the States. Clément Virgo is definitely a filmmaker to watch.On a side note, history was made when Clément Virgo made RUDE. It became the first feature film written, produced and directed by a black Canadian. The filmmaker is also no stranger to the inner city. He grew up in one of the toughest housing developments in Toronto and is one of the subjects in A WAY OUT, a documentary on people who escaped the inner city by Christene Browne (another pioneering black Canadian director)."
One of the Better Films I've Seen In a While
Ibochild | 12/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I happened upon this film by accident one night bored and wanting something very different to watch on TV. I came upon this film by flicking my remote control from station to station. When I came upon this film it was already in progress, and after finishing watching it I was disappointed that I had not seen it from the beginning. I had never heard of the actor Maurice Dean Wint but I felt he was outstanding in his role, and I might add has a certain mystery about him on screen.Of the three vingettes while I thought had a poignant message, I felt the storyline with Luke, Jessica, and Johnny was most interesting to me. First of all, it was nice to see a light complexioned brother with a darker skinned sister, and a darker skinned offspring. This in itself has a powerful message about the sterotypes of skin color in people of color. Secondly, I would have liked to have seen a more concentrated focus on this storyline because it left me with the thought that had the storyline continued "Luc" would not have succumbed to the temptations that landed him in jail.I liked seeing a woman of color in a positive role and having a positive relationship with her man and child.I found the other storylines involving Jordan and Maxine, while were of interest, to be less powerful in their plot and for me could have been eliminated.Accolades go to Mr. Virgo for his creativity and foresight into making this film, and letting us know that you do not have to be a product of your environment."