Penitentiary

"You don't, don't ya? You know I'm afraid. I'm afraid of the streets. When I first went to jail TV was just begun to be talked about. The Jet Age wasn't even thought about. Now it just scares me to think about being out there to being a nobody. What can I do? Who wants me? Who even would pay attention to an old, out-a-date fool like me? In here I am somebody. I got my own TV, my own stereo, my own home. And more than that, I mean something in here. I got respect."

The way that Jamaa Fanaka is able to manage traversing the spectrum between swaggering pulp and intimate drama is a goddamn joy. When people tell me they love "independent film," they should turn off that disingenuous middlebrow nonsense (shots fired!) and tune into this. Each character and performance is so measured, lived-in, and honest. Seldom Seen Jackson alone is worth a thousand Paul Danos.

I'm not usually for pushing binaries as a way of affirming/disaffirming taste. I'm flabbergasted that this and Emma Mae*, to my knowledge, part of the broader canon. Everyone buying a film degree should see this.

*Coming this Friday & Sunday to AFS, Austinites!!!