Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, announces the release of director/producer Lanie Zipoy’s (“17 Things I Wish I Could Tell You Since You Died” and “Kid Sister”) gripping and impactful feature film directorial debut “The Subject.”
New York native Chisa Hutchinson’s (upcoming: Showtime’s “Three Women” and Hulu’s “Tell Me Lies”) incisive layered screenplay was written in 2010 and finds its way in the world at a time when the themes it unpacks – Black Lives Matter, interrogation of white saviorhood and white supremacy, and the ethics/responsibilities of artists – are pivotally central to conversations and protests around the United States.
“The Subject” has been available theatrically in a number of markets beginning with Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Cleveland, Traverse City and Detroit, among many more, and across TVOD/Digital platforms throughout North America since October 22.
The film stars Jason Biggs (“Orange is the New Black” and “American Pie”), Aunjanue Ellis (“If Beale Street Could Talk,” and Emmy nominee for “Lovecraft Country”), Anabelle Acosta (“Quantico” and “Ballers”), Carra Patterson (“Straight Outta Compton,” and Disney Plus’ “Turner & Hooch”), Nile Bullock (“Ray Donovan” and “Bull”), and Caleb Eberhardt (“Judas and the Black Messiah” and “The Post”).
Synopsis: Phil Waterhouse (Biggs) is a successful documentary filmmaker with a thriving career, brilliant girlfriend, and a lovely suburban home. His last film–“The Price of Brotherhood”–was a rousing critical and commercial success. During its making, though, baby-faced Harlem teenager Malcolm was murdered. Now, journalists, who once lauded him, hound Phil about his role in Malcolm’s death, and he is haunted by fears he could have prevented it.
While working on his latest project, someone films his every move. With the tables turned, Phil is unnerved being the subject of someone else’s movie. As his world collapses around him, he preps for a showdown with the person who threatens all that he holds dear.
The incisive layered screenplay was written in 2010 and finds its way in the world at a time when the themes it unpacks – Black Lives Matter, interrogation of white saviorhood and white supremacy, and the ethics/responsibilities of artists – are pivotally central to conversations and protests around the United States. “The Subject” adds to the above themes and will encourage thoughtful debate around these issues at a time when thoughtful debate is most needed. “The Subject” is arresting, conflicted and unapologetically real.
Phil is basically the main player throughout as he goes about videotaping each of the men or young boys that he has chosen for his project. He has picked Black men existing in urban circumstances, whether they are negative or positive characterizations. However, at some point, he wonders just why his movements are being videotaped, as well.
He soon finds out and is also faced with reality in the form of Malcolm’s mother. She has been holding it in for more than two years. What results is an explosive confrontation where Phil is pushed into a corner and made to bare all about what really happened the day that Marcus died.
The performance by Malcolm’s mom Leslie (Ellis) is raw, unnerving and one of her best, in my opinion, and she has been in dozens of films. The vitriol that both Phil and Leslie (Ellis) throw at each other will have audience members on the edge of their seats. The subject of “The Subject” will make you angry, but it does depict real life situations.
Take a look at the trailer: https://vimeo.com/580841516/a8a6755ace.
Check your local listings for theatre showtimes.