Saturday, September 16, 2017

Lemon (2017)

From the minds of married couple Brett Gelmann and Janicza Bravo, comes Lemon, a dark romantic comedy about a self obsessed actor who under goes an immediate self progression, after his indifferent wife suddenly leaves him. 

Based on comedian Brett Gelmann's most recent work, Dinner with Friends with Brett Gelmann and Dinner in America with Brett Gelmann, as well as knowing his marriage to film director Janicza Bravo who happens to be an African American woman, the topic of racial injustice toward African Americans is very much on Brett Gelmann's mind. So much so to write and star in a feature length film about the subtilizes of racism of Lemon. 

Lemon is a brilliantly and deliberately avant-garde made film that is much about a white actor who gets dumped by his girlfriend than it is about the world of acting. What Lemon actually focuses on is the way supposed white liberals and art types, treat and respond to African Americans. That though the idea is that they understand and recognize the struggle of the African American experience, it doesn't mean they want to be personally integrated with Africans Americans themselves. Lemon uses adoptive parenting, vandalism, art critiquing and media as constant physical means of a white person's ignorance of racism in the 21 century. In the movies opening scene, a television program featuring a black woman describing slave era events of her ancestors is on the TV, as our protagonist is sat up sleeping in front the television with a urine stain on the front his pants. Later through the movie the protagonists sister has an adoptive black child and in a later scene our protagonist bonds the most with a wheelchair bound elderly black woman at an Black populated get together, pointing out the deep down aloofness of Jewish white people only being okay with being in the accompaniment of black children and elderly black people and not young black adults to avoid black culture. 

Lemon also comments about the male Ignorance of misogyny and male dominated spaces, having a female characters lines and scenes cut mid way of speaking to display the indifference towards from the male characters point of view because she's female.

Lemon is the few of it's kind that actually dares to show the absence of blackness and black people in mumblecore films and what happens when they become part of the films focus. Exposing its white plight and without blatancy making for an awkwardly interesting film, that gets under your skin the more you think about it.  

- Maurice Jones

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