Film

Cinemafrique: Saul Williams & Anisia Uzeyman's 'Dreamstates,' Accra's Rex Theatre, 'Finding Fela' Trailer + More

The latest in Okayafrica's Cinemafrique features African film and TV news on Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman, 'Finding Fela' and more.


Saul Williams & Anisia Uzeyman Explore Afropunk Cinema with New Indie Film 

Actor, musician and poet Saul Williams, who currently stars on Broadway in the Tupac-inspired musical Holler If You Hear Me, teams up with his Rwandan filmmaker wife (and Tey co-star) Anisia Uzeyman to present an innovative new digital film project titled Dreamstates. The film, which was shot entirely on two iPhones, was written and directed by Uzeyman. Check out the full synopsis below.

"Equal parts love story, road movie, and Americana, it tells the haunting tale of two wayward souls (Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman) discovering their love for one another in their dreams and reality while touring the United States with some of the most pivotal figures of the Afro-Punk movement.

Filmed within the enclosed spaces, crowds, and the vast and varying landscapes of 32 contemporary American states using two iPhones…the film paints a portrait of modern-day America that is simultaneously sultry, sensual, and quixotic – all from the unique perspective of an outsider whose burgeoning love for another human soul is intertwined with a burgeoning love for the soul of a country."

>>>Find out more on Dreamstates in a special Pass The Popcorn exclusive on Okayplayer

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Art

Listen to Saul Williams' New Album 'Encrypted & Vulnerable'

The score for his directorial musical debut, Neptune Frost, which is based on Williams' tale about hackers living in a Burundian village made up of recycled computer parts.

Saul Williams is back with his new album, Encrypted & Vulnerable.

The 13-track album, which is part of his MartyrLoserKing project, is described by Williams as his first "spoken word" album. It was entirely self-produced, mixed by by Gonjasufi and features the likes of Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio), My Brightest Diamond, Christian Scott (Atoms For Peace) and more.

Encrypted & Vulnerable is also the score for Saul Wililams' directorial musical debut, Neptune Frost, which is based on Williams' tale about hackers living in a Burundian village made up of recycled computer parts.

"Encrypted & Vulnerable is simultaneously a personal and intimately optimistic takedown on struggle, defiance, awareness, aloneness, and a takedown of heteronormative capitalistic patriarchal authoritarian politics in topics ranging from love, technology, religion, war, to migration," Williams mentions.

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Batuk’s Latest Single 'Move' is a Perfect Party Jam

Watch the video for 'Move' by Batuk.

South African electronic music duo Batuk just released their single off of their upcoming EP Move!.

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Courtesy of Universal Music Group.

In Conversation with Daniel Kaluuya and Melina Matsoukas: 'This isn't a Black Bonnie and Clyde film—our stories are singular, they're ours.'

'Queen and Slim' lands in South Africa.

Melina Matsoukas and Daniel Kaluuya are everything their surroundings at the opulent Saxon Hotel are not—down-to-earth and even comedic at times. Despite the harsh lights and cameras constantly in their faces, they joke around and make the space inviting. They're also eager to know and pronounce the names of everyone they meet correctly. "It's Rufaro with an 'R'? Is that how you say it?" Kaluuya asks me as he shakes my hand.

Matsoukas, a two-time Grammy award winning director and Kaluuya, an A-list actor who's starred in massive titles including Black Panther and Get Out, have every reason to be boastful about their achievements and yet instead, they're relatable.

The duo is in South Africa to promote their recent film Queen Slim which is hitting theaters today and follows the eventful lives of a Black couple on the run after killing a police officer. It's a film steeped in complexity and layered themes to do with racism, police brutality and of course Black love.

We caught up with both of them to talk about just what it took from each of them to bring the powerful story to the big screen.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Installation view of Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara © The Metropolitan Museum of Art 2020, photography by Anna-Marie Kellen.

The Met's New Exhibition Celebrates the Rich Artistic History of the Sahel Region

'Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara' is an enxtensive look into the artistic past of the West African region.

West Africa's Sahel region has a long and rich history of artistic expression. In fact, pieces from the area, which spans present-day Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, date all the way back to the first millennium. Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara, a new exhibition showing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, dives into this history to share an expansive introduction to those who might be unfamiliar with the Sahel's artistic traditions.

"The Western Sahel has always been a part of the history of African art that has been especially rich, and one of the things that I wanted to do with this exhibition, that hasn't done before, is show one of the works of visual art...and present them within the framework of the great states that historians have written about that developed in this region," curator Alisa LaGamma tells Okayafrica. She worked with an extensive team of researchers and curators from across the globe, including Yaëlle Biro, to bring the collection of over 200 pieces to one of New York City's most prestigious art institutions.

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