Interview
Photo by Jon Pack, courtesy of NEON.

In Conversation: The Makers of ‘LUCE’ Use the Film To Turn America’s Ideas of Race & Identity on Its Head

We speak with playwright JC Lee and director Julius Onah on how this psychological thriller is unlike any other as it addresses social issues in an uncommon way.

LUCE is not your typical psychological thriller. There's no predictable storyline, no sweaty close-ups of despair, no screams that echo. The eeriness that sticks with you in this film comes from the realism of how the mind games are presented.

Set in a well-to-do suburb in Northern Virginia, the film follows Luce (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), an all-star high school athlete and lauded debater whose white parents (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth) adopted him as a child from war-torn Eritrea. Raising him to succeed, his community ultimately considers him to be the poster child of the American Dream. His teacher, Ms. Wilson, (Octavia Spencer) then makes a shocking discovery in his locker, where Luce's reputation gets called into question and where the mind games begin. By the end, it's left up to the viewer to determine whether he's truly at fault or if his teacher is preying on dangerous stereotypes.

LUCE was initially a stage play written by JC Lee and made its debut at the Lincoln Center back in 2013, when he was fresh out of graduate school. Taking on the challenge from his professor to write a "grown-up play," a departure from his quirky, sci-fi works, he revisited a scene he wrote while working in public schools in San Francisco.

"I had met a lot of very well-meaning white parents whose politics and what they actually did in their behavior were sometimes not always the same thing," Lee explains. "And I found that the distance between those two things were very interesting."

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Film
Still from 'Little Monsters' trailer

Lupita Nyong'o Is a Zombie-Slaying Teacher In the Trailer for Comedy Horror Film, 'Little Monsters'

A hilarious zombie-horror rom-com, starring Lupita Nyong'o? Count us in.

Following its premiere at Sundance in January, the official trailer for Little Monster's, a light-hearted zombie apocalypse film and romantic comedy starring Lupita Nyong'o is finally here.

The film sees Nyong'o playing a teacher who is forced to protect her Kindergarten students from a zombie attack that occurs while they're on a field trip, while also being caught in a love triangle. The film also stars Alexander England and Josh Gad.

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News Brief

Watch the Official Trailer for 'Luce'—the New Psychological Thriller Directed by Julius Onah

The chilling film opens in theaters this August.

After receiving positive responses at both Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival, we'll be seeing the latest from Nigerian-American director Julius Onah very soon.

Luce is the chilling psychological thriller that takes a multi-layered look at identity in today's America. It follows Luce—an all-star high school athlete, accomplished debater and deemed poster boy for the new American Dream, as he was adopted from his native Eritrea by a white couple a decade earlier.

However, Ms. Wilson, Luce's teacher, makes a shocking discovery in his locker, where his reputation is then called into question. The intensity increases as the film deciphers who is truly at fault.

Watch the trailer below.

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News Brief
Photo still courtesy of Netflix.

'Been So Long' Starring Michaela Coel & Arinzé Kene Is Coming to Netflix Very Soon

Finally!

Netflix's black film vertical Strong Black Lead took to Twitter to announce the release date for Been So Long—a feature-length musical starring the illustrious Michaela Coel and artist to watch Arinzé Kene.

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