When Run The Jewels sent me this track, I knew we had the opportunity to create a film that means something. I felt a sense of responsibility to do just that. We had to exploit the lyrics and aggression and emotion of the track, and translate that into a film that would ignite a valuable and productive conversation about racially motivated violence in this country. It’s provocative, and we all knew this, so we were tasked with making something that expressed the intensity of senseless violence without eclipsing our humanity. For me, it was important to write a story that didn’t paint a simplistic portrait of the characters of the Cop and Kid. They’re not stereotypes. They’re people – complex, real people and, as such, the power had to shift between them at certain points throughout the story. The film begins and it feels like they have been fighting for days, they’re exhausted, not a single punch is thrown, their violence is communicated through clumsy, raw emotion. They’ve already fought their ways past their judgements and learned hatred toward one another. Our goal was to highlight the futility of the violence, not celebrate it.
I am really proud of where we ended up, and I am very thankful that our actors Shea Whigham and Keith Stanfield committed to these characters 100%. They breathed complex life into two people who are usually portrayed in simplistic ways – as archetypes. I can tell you it was an emotional shoot day. It is tough to re-create moments that are so fresh and prevalent in our world today. It affected all of us in deep ways. But I believe that it is important that the way we feel when we see these events in real life has an effect on us. That we resonate with what we know to be right and we don’t numb ourselves out so those feelings can simply be swept away, we must confront them and take some action, however small, or we’ll be stuck in the same cycle of violence and hate.
From Killer Mike:
This video represents the futile and exhausting existence of a purgatory-like law enforcement system. There is no neat solution at the end because there is no neat solution in the real world. However, there is an opportunity to dialogue and change the way communities are policed in this country. Salutes to AG Rojas for his unique take on the subject matter and to Shea and Keith for giving us their all and bringing it to life.
This is a vision of a seemingly never-ending struggle whose participants are pitted against each other by forces originating outside of themselves.
Everyone knows that the NFL has a problem with domestic violence (as in, the players are violent and then they get caught). Ray Rice, Ray McDonald, Jonathan Dwyer, Quincy Enunwa, Junior Galette, and Josh McNary have all been arrested for domestic violence in the past year (for a complete list of NFL arrests dating back to 2000, see here). The league came under fire for their lenient punishments for these crimes over the past several months, and is in desperate need of some good PR. Apparently it’s here. The NFL donated airtime during the Super Bowl to a group called No More (which may or may not be associated with the NFL, I can’t really tell) and they’re airing a commercial promoting domestic violence awareness.
The spot is inspired by a Reddit post from last year written by a 911 dispatcher. Redditer /u/Crux1836 tells a story about a woman who called 911 pretending to order a pizza. He thought it was a prank until he realized that she was in danger and her attacker was in the room with her. This commercial has this phone conversation as a voiceover while showing scenes of a house that looks like its been through a fight. NFL commissioner Roger Gooddell promised to impose stricter guidelines regarding domestic violence among players, so maybe this is the step in the right direction. This is the first time an ad about domestic violence will be aired during the Super Bowl.
Thaaaaaaaaaaaaat’s right. Officially confirmed Ghostbusters remake starring an all-female cast, directed by Paul Feig. Negotiations are on-going, but half the world is really excited and the other half is full of whiny babies. Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Melissa McCarthy? Dreamiest dream team. Jumpsuits never looked so good.
Now let’s turn to Twitter, also known as the cesspool of human ignorance, to see the reactions. Let’s start with the good!
And now for those tweets that make you lose faith in humanity:
You get the idea. In b4 the NOT ALL MEN WAHHHHHHHHH.