White Lies, Black Sheep

James Spooner's first narrative feature offers a similarly rough-hewn character study of a young African-American New Yorker dissatisfied with his role in the indie-rock club scene.

With:
With: Ayinde Howell, Jeremy Bobb, Tali de Mar, Elizabeth Garber Paul, Shaneka k. Wright.

Having examined black involvement in a primarily white music idiom via docu “Afro-Punk,” James Spooner’s first narrative feature offers a similarly rough-hewn character study of a young African-American New Yorker dissatisfied with his role in the indie-rock club scene. Trouble is, “White Lies, Black Sheep’s” sketchy script provides little insight into its protag’s ethnocentric self-awakening. Credible in its peripherals but undernourished as drama, the pic will fare best with black and music-oriented fests, then niche DVD sales.

When scholastic aptitude got him accelerated out of ghetto schools, Ajamu (Ayinde Howell) embraced being different from his background by diving into punk/alt-rock sounds and fashions. Now he’s a party promoter who leaflets for band gigs and other events. Despite his father’s complaints that he looks like a sissy and has lost touch with his racial identity, “A.J.” doesn’t mind–or even much think about — being a rare person-of-color in his chosen scene. Until, that is, he’s dumped by yet another short-attention-spanned white chick, and starts reading Malcolm X. This abrupt turning point is too faintly defined in a pic better at capturing nightlife than developing plot, character or thesping nuance.

— Dennis Harvey

White Lies, Black Sheep

Production: A SpoonMor production. Produced by Matthew Morgan, James Spooner, Sam Harmon. Executive producers, Morgan, Spooner. Directed, written, edited by James Spooner.

Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Bradford Young; music, Ryan Grimes, Brandon Funkhouser. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Vanguard), Sept. 8, 2007. Running time: 78 MIN.

With: With: Ayinde Howell, Jeremy Bobb, Tali de Mar, Elizabeth Garber Paul, Shaneka k. Wright.

More Film

  • Locarno: FiGa Films Acquires ‘Temporada,’ Drops

    Locarno: FiGa Films Acquires ‘Temporada,’ Drops Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Having examined black involvement in a primarily white music idiom via docu “Afro-Punk,” James Spooner’s first narrative feature offers a similarly rough-hewn character study of a young African-American New Yorker dissatisfied with his role in the indie-rock club scene. Trouble is, “White Lies, Black Sheep’s” sketchy script provides little insight into its protag’s ethnocentric self-awakening. […]

  • Brazil Launches New Audiovisual Production Hub

    Brazil Launches New Audiovisual Production Hub in Niteroi

    Having examined black involvement in a primarily white music idiom via docu “Afro-Punk,” James Spooner’s first narrative feature offers a similarly rough-hewn character study of a young African-American New Yorker dissatisfied with his role in the indie-rock club scene. Trouble is, “White Lies, Black Sheep’s” sketchy script provides little insight into its protag’s ethnocentric self-awakening. […]

  • Indian Fantasy 'Tumbbad' to Kick Off

    Indian Fantasy 'Tumbbad' to Kick Off Venice Critics' Week

    Having examined black involvement in a primarily white music idiom via docu “Afro-Punk,” James Spooner’s first narrative feature offers a similarly rough-hewn character study of a young African-American New Yorker dissatisfied with his role in the indie-rock club scene. Trouble is, “White Lies, Black Sheep’s” sketchy script provides little insight into its protag’s ethnocentric self-awakening. […]

  • 'A Star Is Born' to World

    'A Star Is Born' to World Premiere at Venice Film Festival

    Having examined black involvement in a primarily white music idiom via docu “Afro-Punk,” James Spooner’s first narrative feature offers a similarly rough-hewn character study of a young African-American New Yorker dissatisfied with his role in the indie-rock club scene. Trouble is, “White Lies, Black Sheep’s” sketchy script provides little insight into its protag’s ethnocentric self-awakening. […]

  • SUPER CYCLE. When Helen aka Elastigirl

    Korea Box Office: ‘Incredibles 2’ Beats ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’

    Having examined black involvement in a primarily white music idiom via docu “Afro-Punk,” James Spooner’s first narrative feature offers a similarly rough-hewn character study of a young African-American New Yorker dissatisfied with his role in the indie-rock club scene. Trouble is, “White Lies, Black Sheep’s” sketchy script provides little insight into its protag’s ethnocentric self-awakening. […]

  • Bobby Robson Film Goes International With

    Bobby Robson Documentary Goes International With Dogwoof (EXCLUSIVE)

    Having examined black involvement in a primarily white music idiom via docu “Afro-Punk,” James Spooner’s first narrative feature offers a similarly rough-hewn character study of a young African-American New Yorker dissatisfied with his role in the indie-rock club scene. Trouble is, “White Lies, Black Sheep’s” sketchy script provides little insight into its protag’s ethnocentric self-awakening. […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    ‘Skyscraper’ Tops China Box Office With $48 Million Opening

    Having examined black involvement in a primarily white music idiom via docu “Afro-Punk,” James Spooner’s first narrative feature offers a similarly rough-hewn character study of a young African-American New Yorker dissatisfied with his role in the indie-rock club scene. Trouble is, “White Lies, Black Sheep’s” sketchy script provides little insight into its protag’s ethnocentric self-awakening. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content