Critical Condition: Random Acts of Flyness

Random Acts of Flyness | SoHo, 9.30 Friday

➢➢ “Under creator Terence Nance’s watchful and discerning eye, Random Acts of Flyness stitches everything from found footage, to satirical skits, to interviews reenacted through stop motion animation together with beautiful cinematography to create a sort of televisual collage. Together, they all reveal incisive truths about what it means to be black in America — or actually, ‘reveal’ isn’t quite the right word, and neither is ‘show.’ Instead Acts of Flyness wants to make its (white) audience feel what it means to be black in America.” — Variety.

➢➢ “HBO’s six-part stream-of-consciousness variety series is a frenetic fever dream. Part documentary, part performance art, part ethnography, part political rallying cry, part poem/comedy/musical/animation, Nance’s work is a spasmodic vision of American culture’s shifting tectonic plates.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢➢ “It’s a work in the vein of sketch comedy that transforms the format into a stream of cinematic consciousness, centred on the question of a black American person’s self-conception when blackness itself is effectively criminalised. It’s also a crucial demonstration that the progressive political cinema is also inseparable from progressive aesthetic imagination.” — The New Yorker.

➢➢ “Probably the neatest category for the six-episode series is Afro-surrealism, a school of art and literature that represents black experience as a kind of waking half-hallucination. We’ve seen this, most recently, in the likes of Atlanta, Get Out and Sorry to Bother You … Random Acts of Flyness isn’t simply out to provoke or shock. Rather, it’s trying to disrupt and redisrupt your perceptions so that, finally, you can see.” — New York Times.

➢➢ “The best way I can describe Random Acts of Flyness is that it has an Adult Swim posture with HBO gloss. It’s boldly weird … The series feels half-formed, too emotionally thin and intellectually blunt to reach the potential it demonstrates. To do so, Nance and his collaborators will have to figure out more to say and, most important, how they want their audience to feel about it.” — New York.

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