Romeo and Juliet in Harlem
2015, regia di Aleta Chappelle
Scheda: Nazione: USA - Produzione: TAG Films, Moon Shadow Films - Soggetto: basato sulla tragedia Romeo e Giulietta di William Shakespeare - Sceneggiatura: Aleta Chappelle - Fotografia: Brendan Flynt - Montaggio: Michael Cutrone - Formato: Color - Durata: 128'.
Cast: Harry Lennix, Hernando Caicedo, Aunjanue Ellis, Jasmine Carmichael, Langston Fishburne, Erica Gimpel, Jerome Preston Bates, Vladimir Versailles, Vicky Jeudy, Otoja Abit, Paul Campbell, Andrew Chappelle, Romina Schwedler, Mavis Martin, Sal Rodriguez, Justin Walker White.
Plot Summary, Synopsis, Review: IMDb - dnainfo.com - facebook.com - shaksper.net - indiegogo.com - bardfilm.blogspot.it - indiememphis2014.sched.org - warwickartscentre-assets.s3.amazonaws.com - libraryvideocompany.com - blogs.nottingham.ac.uk: «The second of the two films in Warwick’s annual Shakespeare Film Day was a very special occasion – the first screening in the UK (probably) of the first Shakespeare film made by an African-American woman. Aleta Chappelle’s most significant feature as director to date, which used a crowd-funded trailer to attract funding, is a low budget affair, shot entirely on location in Harlem with hand-held cameras, a young cast and Shakespeare’s dialogue. The budget shows. Particularly in the opening scenes, as the younger cast members walk around Harlem’s streets dressed in all-black vest tops and slacks, they do look like drama school students doing a class project (and the undisguised reactions of passers-by rather reinforces this). At times this is a real problem, notably during the Tybalt-Mercutio-Romeo drawl as other residents of the playground recline on benches eating lunch. But for most of the film it is wonderfully evocative of a community experience; interpreted outside of a naturalistic mode, this is a film about tensions in its community, performed by members of that community.
While Romeo and Juliet are played by Latino and black actors respectively (Hernando Caicedo and Jasmine Carmichael), the film sidesteps any overt discussion of race – indeed, until the film’s very last moments introduce Montague, Romeo is the only member of his family seen onscreen (Benvolia, played by the African-American actor Vicky Jeudy, is a friend rather than kin). The subtext is clear though, particularly as the sweaty New York heat recalls both West Side Story and Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. Tensions simmer and are ready to boil over at a moment’s notice, as is clear in the central fight. For sequences of violence – the start and end, as well as this duel – the bleached sunny colours turn to true black and white, allowing the stylised fight sequences (involving knives and high roundhouse kicks) to be realised starkly. The film kicks off in high gear with a brawl in a park between two gangs, broken up by an overhead police helicopter, and quick introduction to all the characters through intercut scenes. The pace is fast and snappy, cutting back and forth between Romeo’s pining for Rosaline and Juliet shopping with her mother. We see several different sides of Harlem at the same time, from the bustling streets to the leafier, more upmarket private residences, and the film begins mapping its own geography. It is such a shame that, from the balcony scene onwards, the film’s structure reverts to pure Shakespeare, reducing the pace to a crawl as each scene is played out in lengthy detail. The first twenty minutes feel like a film with its own carefully constructed narrative identity, the rest a straight performance of Romeo and Juliet. ...».
Conosciuto anche con il titolo: Romeo & Juliet & Harlem.