Archive for December, 2011

It is tempting to call Pariah this year’s Precious, since both movies have three major things in common: great acting, great directing and an enormous amount of critical acclaim.  Pariah, however, exercises much more restraint than Precious, especially when it comes to cultural or thematic stereotypes. These stereotypes tend to develop in both films unfortunately, due to the fact they are set in worlds that much of the viewing audiences have never seen.  Pariah’s strength lies is its ability to cover serious social issues with such deft that one does not  consciously realize they are being referenced. The central focus steadily remains upon its main character, Alike (Adepero Oduye), and her dubious relationship with her mother, Audrey (Kim Wayans).

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Date of Interview: 12/08/2011

By accepting the role of  “Audrey,” Kim Wayans boldly pushed her professional envelope in Pariah, Dee Rees’ critically-acclaimed feature film. Although a few humorous moments emerge on-screen, the beloved comedienne fearlessly tackled her first dramatic role. A true actor: Kim Wayans can seamlessly juxtapose tears of laughter and pain.

In the midst of a promotional campaign for Pariah’s theatrical release [limited – December 28, 2011 – New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco; nationwide – January 2012], Kim Wayans squeezed some time out of her busy schedule to settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on her connection with “Audrey,” Hollywood’s small cadre of leading women, and the influence of growing up in the Wayans household.

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Date of Interview: 12/08/2011

In a breakthrough debut performance, Adepero Oduye reprises the role of “Alike” in Pariah, Dee Rees’ timely coming-of-age drama. Initially introduced at Sundance as modest film short, the full-length treatment encouraged Oduye to embody the spirit of her character with a level of ease as if it were her own. In acknowledgement and praise of Adepero’s talent and dynamic portrayal, the Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) bestowed the actress with its “Rising Star” Signature Award.

In support of Pariah’s theatrical release [limited – December 28, 2011 – New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco; nationwide – January 2012], Adepero Oduye squeezed some time out of her busy schedule to settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on the abandonment of her pre-medical studies, discovering her voice, and the inspiration she drew from Robert Duvall’s performance in The Apostle.

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Date of Interview: 12/08/2011

Dee Rees is the writer and director of Pariah, a theatrical tour de force that elicited recognition for her efforts as “Best Director” by the Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) on December 19, 2011. Initially fashioned as a film short, Pariah’s evolution into a full-length feature was propelled by its “finalist” designation for the 2009 Sundance/NHK International Award. After two years of fundraising – with the assistance of producer Nekisa Cooper – and constructive guidance from NYU professor Spike Lee, Focus Features acquired Pariah immediately following its world-premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

In anticipation of Pariah’s theatrical release [limited – December 28, 2011 – New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco; nationwide – January 2012], Dee Rees managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule to settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on the importance of character development, her love of John Cassavetes, and cruising Brooklyn in a RV.

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