Director: Debbie Tucker Green
Runtime: 58 minutes
I’m not sure there’s a way to discuss Random, an adaptation of a one-women show, without discussing the random event at the core of the film. A film like this doesn’t require “shock,” so much as the value of the film is in its construction. It’s an effecting emotional journey and if you wish to see it cold (as I you should see anything), than you should know I recommend and avoid this rest of this write-up.
Random is a poetic symphony of images, language and identity. Director Debbie Tucker Green is an English playwright and the winner of 2004 Lawrence Oliver award for most promising in that category. She has delivered on this promise. Random is a short feature film adaptation of a previous work, and it keeps theatrical conventions: it is narrated and performed bravely by Nadine Marshall. The incident at the core of the film concerns a random attack that kills her son. She’s a random women going about a random day, not receiving a text from her boyfriend, hating her bickering co-workers and contemplating if she should have warn heavier clothing (I can relate, I saw it on a chilly night in Toronto).
Much of this reminds me of September 11th, 2001 – I remember waking up, heading to the gym in my small New Jersey town, it was a beautiful day and watching the morning news broadcast from ABC 7 while on the treadmill. I thought, “just a normal day in New York City.” That it was not. Throughout the first 45 minutes of its 58 minutes, we ponder what is Green up to and the film garbles primarily black identity (as well as race relations forced as a result of multiculturalism) in London, having a suspicion of the police and even being racially profiled perhaps. It concludes with some blame and some resentment over life decisions. The process of grieving is dealt with in real-time, that day.
The film, for the most part works: it’s a visual symphony adding flesh and blood characters to the one-women show, which seemingly would be more fit for a radio play. The result is a cinematic hybrid, far less awkward than Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls which tried to merge the playwright Ntozake Shange‘s poetry with the accessibility of Perry previous melodramas. Theatre and cinema are different beasts, both with freedoms and limits. Random assembles images around a powerful monologue that is sharp in its immediacy and candor. However, I believe I would have preferred to see the performance of this one women play than the film.
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming […]
Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not […]
Genre film fans are likely familiar with writer Alex Garland‘s output over the last decade and a half. He made his name with a splash when his novel was adapted into the backpacking adventure thriller The Beach in 2000 and struck again with screenplay for 28 Days Later which some credit as the fire that helped reignite […]
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support […]
Latest posts from The Film Stage