Black and White


Time Out says

Autumn in Central Park: two girls and a guy are making the beast with three backs. They split: uptown, white teen Charlie (Phillips) takes her seat for supper (quail) and a spat with her patrician family; downtown, black teen Rich (Wu-Tang Clan's Power) comes up against the prejudice of a recording studio manager (Toback) who equates Rich's HipHop ambitions with the prospect of gang warfare landing on his lobby. In Rich's wake trail a host of friends, false friends, hangers-on and schemers, seeking sex, glamour and perhaps some sort of liberation, while stirring up betrayal and a murder. It looks like a mess - if one stuffed with incident, issues and intrigue. Hugely improvised, the film bounces between a host of characters, settings, and means and modes of expression; it couches its questions of cross-cultural sharing and borrowing in dialogue, rapped lyrics on the soundtrack, even on a classroom blackboard, as well as in its own magpie compositional style. The tone is intriguing: where does observation (or ogling) end and suggestion or satire begin? Should a film about the vagaries of identity and ethics be so loose itself? At least the cast get a chance to flex themselves: Stiller and Pantoliano especially are great value, and Downey is just uproarious.

By: NB


Release details

99 mins

Cast and crew

James Toback
James Toback
Robert Downey Jr
Stacy Edwards
Gaby Hoffmann
Jared Leto
Joe Pantoliano
Bijou Phillips
Claudia Schiffer
William Lee Scott
Brooke Shields
Ben Stiller
James Toback
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