Five articles praising Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut, by the way | Chaz’s Journal


“Passing” review: black skin, white masks“: A rave review from veteran film critic Manohla Dargis at The New York Times.

“Larsen’s feelings about Irene are rooted in her narrative choices and her icy reserve, in the arcade of her tone and in meandering sentences that seem fairly benign until the final revealing clause. Hall’s approach is warmer and less intellectually distant. On screen, you love Irene right away, in part because there’s a human being (Tessa Thompson, no less) whose presence and personality instantly draws you to the character. But in moments big and small – in timid and sharply delivered lines, in hesitant and abrupt movements – Hall and Thompson play with and subvert your sympathies, pushing you away far enough that you can actually see, and invest yourself apart. equal, Clare too. . Thompson and Negga are both great. Although Irene is the protagonist and the story is organized around her, the complexities of the character emerge largely in her relationship with Clare. The two are reflected, but they are in a gallery of mirrors where each window presents a different image: Black, white, attentive wife, independent woman. Over and over again, you watch these two characters look at each other discreetly or openly – Irene’s eyes are darting and wise, Clare’s scrutinizing and intense – creating a web of gazes. And, as the story progresses and Irene continues to talk about her old friend’s attractiveness (“aren’t you adorable”), her gaze becomes persistent, troubled, and erotic. Hall incorporates an extraordinary amount into his version of this oversimplified and deceptively straightforward story of two women whose lives intersect in ways they either don’t or can’t fully grasp.


Film of the week of October 29, 2021: “Passing”“: The Alliance of Women Film Journalists have chosen the film as their movie of the week and have compiled comments made by various members on the film, including those of Pam Grady cited below.

“Actress Rebecca Hall is making a haunting debut in writing and directing with her adaptation of the 1929 novel by Harlem Renaissance writer Nella Larson. Childhood friends Irene (Tessa Thompson) and Clare (Ruth Negga) are excited to renew their relationship as adults – at least, at first. Biracial women who may pass for white both address this ability within a racist society. But Irene, married to African-American doctor Brian (Andre Holland) and mother of two sons, is a proud black woman who only happens on occasion, while Clare lives in disguise, having married John (Alexander Skarsgård), a racist. vicious, for the creature comforts it can provide. Reuniting with Irene doesn’t just rekindle an important friendship, it brings Clare back to her old neighborhood, rekindling old jealousies (and perhaps desires) with Irene and risking John to uncover her secret. Brilliantly shot by cinematographer Edward Grau in bright black and white, the film recreates both a bygone era and the racism that still rages in society, underscored by the dazzling performances of Thompson and Negga.


How to get funding for an independent film led by Black in Hollywood“: According to Vultureby Joseph Bien-Kahn.

In an increasingly heavy industry, every non-franchise film is a miracle. But that’s doubly the case when it comes to an independent film starring black actors. ‘Passing’ is just the latest film produced by Significative Productions to tackle such challenges. Founded in 2009 by Nina Yang Bongiovi and actor Forest Whitaker, the company has become a pipeline for some of the industry’s hottest independent productions, including Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station”, and “Sorry to Bother You” by Boots Riley, “Dope” by Rick Famuyiwa, “and“ Songs My Brother Taught Me ”by Chloe Zhao. In another Hollywood, the producers who discovered and championed Coogler, Riley and Zhao would have endless cachet. , a decade later, every independent film they’ve backed has been a chore to do. “The needle hasn’t moved much,” Bongiovi says. “It’s an ongoing struggle.”

Amanda J. Marsh