It is 1977, Dublin rocks to the music of Thin Lizzy and the world is stunned by the death of Elvis Presley. Frankie, caught between acne and adulthood, has just completed his final exams in... See full summary »
Friends for ten years, a group of twenty-somethings head for the ski slopes as guests of Ian's father. (Ian and dad are estranged because dad worked too many hours when Ian was a lad.) Dad ... See full summary »
Jack is caught with the wife of his employer, a Vegas thug. The thug sends goons after Jack, who convinces his best friend, Pilot, to flee with him. Pilot insists that they head for Seattle... See full summary »
Sol Goode, a charismatic L.A. twenty-something, has always relied on charm, good looks, and fast talk to glide through life. But his luck may have run out; faced with eviction from his ... See full summary »
Two girls, Carla and Lou meet on the street outside a loft waiting for their boyfriends. In a short time, they find out that they're waiting for the same guy - young actor Blake, who said ... See full summary »
Robert Downey Jr.,
Natasha Gregson Wagner
Set in New York City, Black and White features several losely related stories centering on a pair of documentary filmmakers, Sam and her husband Terry, in following a group of caucasian teens, Raven, Charlie, Will, Marty, Wren and others who try to fit in with Harlem's black hip-hop crowd who include gangster rapper Rich Bower and his music partner Cigar in landing a recording gig, as well as college basketball player Dean who is conflicted on taking a fall on a game for shady gambler Mark Clear who has hidden agenda for Dean and Rich. Written by
It's the one Tobackonists have been waiting for since the thrill of his debut movie FINGERS--a movie with the soar and rush of obsession that also has the sanity and craft of a grown man. This movie about the uneasy millennium-era relationship of black and white people in America is not, as many people have said, a work of moony White Negroism. It resembles one of Godard's mid-sixties essay-movies like MASCULINE FEMININE or TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER, but with race substituted for sexual politics, and with a heavy dose of pornography and melodramatic pulp. Toback keeps cranking up the heat as the cast--a conceptual-art demonstration of stunt casting--leaves the audience openmouthed.
Bijou Phillips is a wonder as the wigga-talkin' Upper East Side chiclet who proclaims, "I wanna be black--I'm a kid in America." Ben Stiller, as a tormented dirty cop, gives the performance of his life in a high-speed monologue of self-analysis that's like a speed freak's channeling the essence of Robert Downey, Jr. The great man himself appears here as well, as a gay artist who comes on to Mike Tyson (playing himself) at a party. The scene of violence that ensues should have James Toback clinking a glass in celebration in the mirror: he managed to top the Jim Brown/Tisa Farrow head-smashing sequence in FINGERS. Brooke Shields is an amazement as a fervent, sincere documentarian with dredlocks--she's like a deadpan version of the Geraldine Chaplin character in NASHVILLE, and Shields astonishes.
Toback wants to cram everything into this bird's eye view of race--sexual fantasies, money machinations, the class strata of New York City. That none of the scenes is a dud, that the movie is beautifully shot and edited, that nothing feels merely "excessive," is a testament to the passion behind the camera. BLACK AND WHITE is a miracle to this viewer: it renewed my excitement and faith in movies at a moment when I felt it falling down.
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