How far would you go to retrieve a pair of shoes? For the lead of Kicks, it’s his mission — and it’s a dangerous one. The directorial debut of Justin Tipping, which earned the Best Cinematography award at Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, will arrive in theaters early this fall, and today the first impressive trailer has landed, featuring impeccably-crafted shots and even an astronaut.
“In terms of deciding what story to tell, The Bicycle Thief got me thinking how much this one object can mean to someone, how it can have all this emotional weight,” Tipping tells Filmmaker Magazine. “When developing the idea of Kicks, I was definitely referencing that. It kind of gave an emotional structure to it. Then I was also watching Fellini films and the dream sequences in 8 1/2, which I referenced with the astronaut sequences in Kicks.”
Starring Jahking Guillory, Christopher Meyer, Christopher Jordan Wallace, Kofi Siriboe, and Mahershala Ali, check out the trailer below.
In Justin Tipping’s feature debut Kicks, nothing is as simple as it seems. Fifteen-year-old Brandon longs for a pair of the freshest sneakers that money can buy; assuming that merely having them on his feet will help him escape the reality of being poor, neglected by the opposite sex and picked on by everyone — even his best friends. Working hard to get them, he soon finds that the titular shoes have instead made him a target after they are promptly snatched by local hood, Flaco. Seemingly the embodiment of menace, Flaco harbors complexities of his own that will be revealed when Brandon goes on a mission to retrieve his stolen sneakers with his two best friends in tow.
Boasting a strong ensemble cast and featuring a memorable lead performance by newcomer Jahking Guillory, the film transcends a deceptively traditional hero’s journey to deliver an entertaining and sobering look at the realities of inner-city life, the concept of manhood and the fetishization of sneaker culture. Visually and thematically rich, with an amazing soundtrack of both hip-hop classics and Bay Area favorites, Kicks creates an authentic and original portrait of a young man drowning in the expectations of machismo.
Kicks opens on September 9th.