Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Big Tease: Recapping the Lit 'Black Panther' Trailer

Black Panther film poster.
Black Panther's newly released mini trailer is only less than two minutes long, but it's the most incredible, nail-biting one minute and fifty-two seconds existing right now. Led by solid master scribe Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station and Creed), performance top houses such as Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, and Forest Whitaker just to name a few, and gorgeous costume design by Oscar and Emmy nominated Ruth E. Carter (Malcolm X, Amistad, and Roots), Black Panther promises to deliver and honor our greatest hero dreams through the art of film.

Chadwick Boseman is the perfect choice for as the King of Wakanda, T'Challa.
Firstly, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are the two white men who created Black Panther and the fictional Africanized world of Wakanda. In this modern day and age, it's right to hand the film reins over to Coogler, a phenomenal award-winning African American filmmaker, wonderfully adept at humanizing blackness, giving his black anti-stereotype characters full breadth: vulnerability, flaws, and integrity. Most importantly, Africa and the black experience is still a sensitive issue. When often filtered through white lenses, films starring people of color are told with blatant or hinted exoticism, white imperialism, and misogynoir. The black villain is also a huge fear to tackle among non-black filmmakers due to history. Coogler is definitely capable of rendering a villain that is not a mustache twirling tagline.

Although not filmed on any African continent, filming locations include Argentina, parts of South Korea, and Atlanta, Georgia.

Raised fists, the likely stance film goers will have come February 16, 2018.
Forest Whitaker is Zuri, T'Challa's spiritual advisor. Coogler states, "Forest’s character, more than anything, is a major tie-back to T’Challa’s father. Zuri is someone he looks to for guidance."
Secondly, Black Panther's casting is out of this world. With a few Oscars winners and nominees in the mix, this film is not only a black superhero film, it's a black superhero that will include top notch acting. Boseman resumes his role (leading instead of supporting) as the fiery crime fighter nodding to African roots, Jordan and Nyong'o play layered villains (against their usual goodie-two-shoes roles), and Bassett and Whitaker mentor their characters.

Arrested Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) comes forward with W'Kabi (Get Out's Daniel Kaluuya) at right.
Thirdly, it makes one a bit teary eyed to see a cast featuring so many brown and ebony skinned bodies and in a big budget Marvel film no less! Like Moonlight, Black Panther shows the array of African diaspora, the varied skin hues, the specific features, the individualized hairstyles. The black women, with their short crops and regal clothing, are sensual, sleek, powerful goddesses confident in their own chemical makeup. The black men have dignity, honor, and sexual appeal. That kind of validation, of ownership told through Coogler's vision is downright laudable.

Villainous Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) stepped out, a fierce stunner in a fetchingly designed dress and awesome twist out 'fro.
Warriors led by Ayo (Florence Kasumba) who is fighting Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o).
In closing, the excitement and anticipation for the film is gaining momentum. The trailer showcases awesome cinematography, excellent lighting and camera direction, and amazing costumes.
Black Panther, we're ready and rooting for you.

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