Review: Candyman turns singular slasher into a timeless avatar for Black trauma

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Ars Technica 05 September, 2021 - 02:54pm 5 views

Where is the new Candyman streaming?

Candyman is streaming for free on Tubi. Polygon14 best movies new to Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max & Hulu: September 2021

Candyman Wrings Terror Out of the Horror of Gentrification

Jacobin magazine 05 September, 2021 - 10:11pm

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The Cabrini-Green Homes, a complex of public-housing units on Chicago’s Near North Side, has often played an outsized role in America’s fear of public housing and all it represents. To some in the mainstream commentariat, it’s the failure of well-intentioned but badly executed liberal attempts to provide the poor with affordable places to live; to others, it’s the savagery of a black underclass they associate with unchecked crime, drugs, and gang activity.

By the late 1980s, Cabrini-Green was already synonymous in many Americans’ minds with the “urban jungle.” Into this milieu stepped the British filmmaker Bernard Rose, who was working on an adaptation of horror author Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden,” in which a graduate student researching the folkways of a British council estate stumbles upon a series of murders bearing the hallmarks of an urban legend. Rose decided, based on having read of the murder of Ruthie Mae McCoy and the botched police handling of it, to move the story from Liverpool to Chicago — and to the Cabrini-Green Homes, where a number of its most notorious scenes were filmed.

The movie had a distinctly British tone; although chilling and well-crafted, it scanned like the work of someone to whom Cabrini-Green was something exotic, even alien. But it also proved to be quite popular, generating several sequels. Now, in the midst of something of a golden age of black horror films, comes a new Candyman, directed by Nia DaCosta, who wrote the script along with Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld, Peele’s partner in Monkeypaw Productions. The new Candyman is a direct sequel to the first, set thirty years later in a Chicago where the Cabrini-Green Homes no longer exist, but the shadow they cast remains across the entirety of the city.

Far more successful at painting a picture of contemporary Chicago than Rose’s film, the new Candyman is one of the most accurate portrayals of the city in any horror movie. All that remains of Cabrini-Green is a handful of two-story row houses, most of them closed off and scheduled for destruction, a fate only forestalled by the untimely arrival of COVID-19. But DaCosta (a New Yorker who’s done her research) still manages to convey the menace of the place while communicating effectively what its disappearance has done to the community that once called it home — and the wave of gentrification that followed, as more affluent white residents rushed in to buy up the expensive condominiums that developers built after being handed what was once public property.

Candyman’s politics are scattered. Its primary mission, of course, is to deliver scares and thrills, not to lecture us on the history of public housing in the United States. But it handles certain political questions adeptly and others clumsily.

The issue of gentrification gets a lot of lip service; an early scene, where the main characters (an intense, fluid Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as urban artist Anthony McCoy, and the outstanding Teyonah Parris as his partner, art dealer Brianna Cartwright, doing a creditable job with a more thankless role) discuss their own feelings about living in a pricey high-rise that was once a public-housing block where McCoy grew up, sets the stage a bit awkwardly. But it pays off later when McCoy scolds a white art critic (Rebecca Spence) for blaming artists like himself for gentrification rather than the governments that abandon the urban poor and the developers who take advantage of their misery to turn a profit.

The word “capitalism” is never uttered, of course, and the movie isn’t much interested in exploring the tensions of the black bourgeois and working class. This is especially curious given that it’s by an African American director, while the original Candyman, by a white Englishman, took some pains to portray the residents of Cabrini-Green as victims of circumstances beyond their control on multiple levels rather than taking the common shortcuts of painting them as gangbangers, drug addicts, and other hardcases. Still, this is a movie from the pen of Jordan Peele, not Boots Riley, so moderating one’s political expectations before seeing it is a good idea.

The politics that occupy most of the movie’s focus are racial. All the films in the Candyman series (and the various incarnations of the title character, a murderous phantasm who appears whenever his name is said five times in a mirror — itself a variation on the pre-urban legend of “Bloody” Mary Whales) are like a tour through the horrors inflicted on black Americans: the original incarnation of the Candyman was the son of an antebellum slave punished by death for engaging in an affair with a white woman, and the modern version was an innocent man murdered by the police for a crime he didn’t commit. McCoy himself was raised poor and is navigating the class and racial struggles of having attained success in the largely white world of fine art.

The police, too, are an omnipresent threat rather than a means of salvation to most of the characters; the ones who kill Sherman Fields, who would become the Candyman in the 1970s, are referred to as “the swarm,” a dark reversal of the halo of bees that surrounds his head when he comes back to menace the projects. In the era of Black Lives Matter, they aren’t portrayed as a force for hope or salvation or even resolution. The film’s climax refuses to let them off the hook, but it’s still a stumbling and obvious portrayal of police racism when there’s so much real-life material to condemn them.

While Peele and Rosenfeld’s script isn’t bad, the movie works best when it quietly lets its horrors speak for themselves. The most damning indictment of the police is a small, subtle moment when McCoy, hearing a passing police siren, instinctively flattens himself against a wall.

Visually, Candyman is extremely well made. The opening and end credits, as well as some in-story flashbacks, are done with simple but effective paper cutout animation by Chicago’s own Manual Cinema, and DaCosta (abetted by cinematographer John Guleserian) uses an unsettling device where well-known Chicago skyscrapers are filmed from below and the images flipped, giving the entire city a frightening equilibrium. The effects are generally excellent as well, relying on some CGI but using traditional makeup and visuals to convey McCoy’s downward descent, illustrated through an infected bee sting that spreads across his entire body, making his body reflect the chaos and turmoil of his mind and spirit.

All in all, though, Candyman is a horror film, and its success has to be judged against whether or not it horrifies us effectively, which it does until its muddled conclusion. Some of the most effective horror is about the unexpected — of seeing something we don’t expect to see somewhere we don’t expect to see it — and the gimmick of the Candyman appearing in the most private and predictable of all places, a mirror, drives this home powerfully with half-glimpsed movements and shadowy forms, eschewing predictable jump cuts.

One scene, the violent aftermath of McCoy’s visit to the art critic’s Marina Towers apartment, is evidence of the movie’s skill at portraying the unnerving and menacing quality of liminal spaces; everything from a modern-design hallway to the passage to a laundry room at Cabrini-Green is saturated with dread.

But another element of horror is disruption. It is the explosion into our reality of what we want far outside of it. Here the metaphor stumbles, because in the original film, set among the residents of a housing project already suffering from neglect and deprivation, the victims had our sympathy. In the new Candyman, these people have become invisible: the buildings still remain, but the residents have been shunted far away, out of our sight, and replaced by a largely white middle class. One reason Cabrini-Green was especially feared by the white population was that it was on the North Side of Chicago, where they lived, not far away on the South Side, among other blacks. It put the realities of public housing, and the racism that suffused their reaction to it, so close that it could not be ignored.

In the latter days of the actual Cabrini-Green Homes, when most of the residents had been essentially deported to other places and other projects, there was little hope for the few that remained. One said, in the New York Times, that “there are people hiding everywhere, in the hallways, around the corners.” Those people are gone now. All that remains are the wealthy white residents who took over the sites of their former homes after greedy developers snapped them up, and a few poor and working-class blacks lucky enough to have the resources to join them. The new Candyman is meant to be a threat to them, not to the black residents who had already suffered so much. But it is no victory for those residents, either. They’re all gone, and even their misery and fear belongs to someone else now.

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How the Art of ‘Candyman’ Helped Paint the Film’s Big Picture

BuzzFeed Celeb 04 September, 2021 - 03:00pm

By Jazz Tangcay

Production designer Cara Brower had several themes to keep in mind when building the art-centric world of Nia DaCosta’s “Candyman.”

In the film, now playing in theaters, Yahya Abdul Mateen II plays artist Anthony McCoy, while his girlfriend Brianna Cartwright, played by “WandaVision” actor Teyonah Parris, is a gallery director steeped in Chicago’s art scene. Not only did Brower set out to find local Black artists in Chicago, she also wanted the sets to reflect the story of gentrification while still planting seeds of the original 1992 horror film.

Brower talked about her research, location scouting in Chicago’s Cabrini Green and delivering DaCosta’s vision.

We knew the film had to be in Chicago, and I wanted to find as much as possible in Cabrini. We also wanted to be truthful to the actual place. Nia felt the same way about gaining that authenticity.

I read about the area and the history of the area before I got to Chicago, it helped inform a lot of ideas about how that area developed.

When I was looking for Anthony and Brianna’s loft, I’d read in this book that a lot of people who had lived in the towers had worked in factories that were around that area. So there were lots of warehouses that had been converted into luxury lofts – and since we’re telling the story of gentrification, we looked for those places.

We ended up finding a place that had apartments for sale, and Anthony’s art studio looked out onto Cabrini, and you felt the connection. I think It helped the actors get into the headspace. They could walk around and see the yoga studios, coffee shops, and then walk a couple of blocks over to the remnants of where the towers were. That helped bring that tension.

We wanted to fill the film with as many Black artists as possible. We came across so many incredible artists including Cameron Spratley and Sherwin Ovid. We got to showcase their work by decorating all the main characters’ apartments with that art and the artwork we found along the way.

We worked with this incredible art curator named Hamza Walker to help us put together the show. I don’t come from the art world, but Hamza is deeply respected. He was able to bring in incredible artists that we would never have been able to get involved. We went through the story we wanted to tell with the art and sculptures that we wanted characters to hide behind. Nia wanted an interactive video piece, so we were working to not only put a theme and a story together but also the architecture of the scene.

Anthony’s piece needed to be underwhelming and that’s how we can get into the bathroom mirror piece with the artwork behind it. We wanted it to be a stumble for him in terms of his art.

We wanted to take the seeds that were specific to the original, but we wanted a different look. We didn’t want to go down that road of the derelict graffiti from the first film too much, but we thought it would be great to have those little seeds of it. We wanted something beautiful in the gallery that was graffiti-related. Hamzah brought in a local Chicago artist named Tubbs. So, that’s his work – the black and white graffiti in the gallery.

In the church, with the big mouth, it’s such an iconic shot in the original, so we did our version of it. [Cameron did the final act mural].

When Anthony was poking around the row houses, we did a little spin on Clive Barker’s original drawing for the Candyman monster in there too.

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Every Returning Character From Candyman 1

Screen Rant 03 September, 2021 - 09:44am

The reboot keeps some of those elements, but the newest Candyman villain origin story is definitely retconned. In this version, his original identity was Sherman Fields (Michael Hargrove)--a black man who was unlawfully and brutally killed by the police in the 1970s after being wrongfully accused of putting razor blades in kids' candy. It's easy to see how Nia DaCosta's modern iteration of the eerie tale is fitting for the current era. Modern societal commentary abounds; Cabrini-Green is even depicted as a recently gentrified neighborhood.

With DaCosta as a co-writer and director, and Jordan Peele as another writer and one of the film's producers, things were bound to be shaken up and infused with new kinds of creativity to specifically hit on 21st century-topical issues. But not everything changed between the original and remake of Candyman. In fact, the characters and storylines are still quite similar. Of course, the franchise's namesake antagonist makes a return--but so do other main players.

What to See, Watch, and Stream Over the Long Weekend

Vulture 03 September, 2021 - 08:00am

We’ll start with the obvious: Marvel has a brand-new theatrical-release-only movie, so we suppose nature is healing. Simu Liu stars as the eponymous MCU hero as he’s drawn back into his father’s (played by the incredible Tony Leung) world of the Ten Rings organization.

Nia DaCosta is making headlines as her Candyman remake hits No. 1 at the box office. The film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Teyonah Parris as Anthony and Brianna, an artist and an agent, who move into a new apartment only to learn about the area’s terrifying past. You can only watch DaCosta’s Candyman in theaters for now, but with the original 1992 Candyman available to stream, you can do a DIY double feature.

There was a long time where this movie felt like it was only a trailer. But after getting swept up in a number of COVID-related delays, Free Guy finally hit theaters last month, and it’s been doing fairly well. And in true Ryan Reynolds fashion, he tweeted that a sequel has already being green-lit. So, if Reynolds’s humor and the video-game setting appeals to you, then have at it.

If you didn’t have the time to catch David Lowery’s beguiling retelling of the fabled Arthurian tale, have no fear. A24’s slow burn of a film is available to rent and watch at home, but watch closely because this dizzying story really demands your attention.

Sometimes a little brain rot is fine. Press play and clean your house, organize your room, or lie down in your bed and let it roll. And what better way to turn off your brain than by watching Camila Cabello girlbossing her way into selling a dress or with Billy Porter as a fairy godmother called “Fab G” saying, “Yass, future queen, yass.” It’s definitely not the greatest pick on the list, but, hey, we’re giving you options here! (This one is coming out in theaters as well, but why not just watch at home.)

James Gunn’s not-really-a-sequel sequel to the infamous first Suicide Squad teeters the line between wildly too much and wildly just right, which to be honest feels quite appropriate for a movie that has a person who shoots deadly polka dots, another one who can control rats, and a talking shark. The Suicide Squad really swings for the fences and has an all-star cast to boot, making it one of the most entertaining comic-book movies in a while. If you’ve been waiting for a good time to watch it, this weekend is the best time, as it leaves HBO Max on September 5.

A perfect family-night pick, CODA tells the story of a teenage CODA — child of Deaf adults — named Ruby (Emilia Jones), who struggles between staying with her family or leaving to study music at the Berklee College of Music. Anchored by some great Rossi family performances from the likes of Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur, CODA is the kind of tender coming-of-age film that’s bound to make someone in your movie-night group cry.

It’s incredibly weird to think that concerts are starting up again. The germs! The closeness! It just doesn’t feel the same when you have to constantly think about masks or the space between you and others, which is why it’s nice to have Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever concert film. You can see her perform her new album, from start to finish, without the worry of COVID and can watch from the comfort of your own couch. No standing room here.

To sum up Leos Carax’s latest film: WTF. It’s incredibly more rock opera than musical as Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard mumble and sing-speak their way through this film about two lovers and their talented child. Annette is bold and brash and may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but, oh boy, is it something to behold.

Nikole Beckwith’s soft, intimate film, released only earlier this year, is already on Hulu waiting to be discovered. Together Together stars Patti Harrison and Ed Helms as two loners who come together as Harrison’s character Anna becomes a gestational surrogate for Matt (Helms). It’s a beautiful film that’s perfect for those wanting a nice little emotional release. Plus, it’s a lean 90 minutes, so brava.

If you’ve burned through The White Lotus and wondered, What else has Mike White done that I can consume immediately?, then may we reintroduce you to Ned Schneebly in School of Rock, newly available to stream on Netflix. White wrote the movie but also stars in School of Rock as Jack Black’s friend, whose identity Black steals to teach a class of prep-school kids how to rock. Sure, it’s a different vibe than The White Lotus, but it does teach us how to stick it to the man.

Nothing says “let the fall season begin” more than the Great Hall scenes in Harry Potter. The décor alone has HomeGoods moms everywhere shaking. Some muggles may have dreamed of casting spells or riding a broomstick, but the real ones have always dreamed of eating an unlimited amount of chicken drumsticks like Ron Weasley. And thankfully, you have an entire long weekend to relive the cozy comfort of the Harry Potter films now that they’re all once again on HBO Max.

Who knew that Martin Short, Steve Martin, and Selena Gomez would make for such an enjoyable trio? It’s an odd combo for sure, but the vibe of Only Murders in the Building is enticingly fun, following the three as they try to start a podcast and attempt to unravel the mystery behind a strange death in their apartment building. But if true crime isn’t your vibe, then may we suggest Only Murders solely for the fall fashion? With the sweaters, coats, plaid pants, and scarfs, this show really has us running to our closets.

You know, school would’ve been much more enjoyable if Sandra Oh was a professor. Instead, you can just imagine that by watching The Chair. Along with Oh, the series also stars Jay Duplass and Holland Taylor. It’s truly a dream for English majors everywhere.

Why not start your Halloween prep a little early? Sure, Netflix has the Twilight vampires, but how about you expand your taste with a little What We Do in the Shadows. Based on the Taika Waititi–Jemaine Clement mockumentary film of the same name, this FX on Hulu series follows the antics of a group of vampire roommates. And must we remind you that it stars Matt Berry? Whether you’ve been keeping up or are watching for the first time, season three drops just in time for the weekend, so enjoy.

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Bitcoin (BTC) news & cryptocurrency news today, price & analysis

Gizmodo 10 June, 2020 - 05:20am

Crypto hacks and scams are nothing new in the crypto space, but every time they happen, they still come as a shock to investors. Most especially the victims of these...

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) finally shortlisted 15 companies that will assist in developing retail CBDC. These firms will participate in the Global CBDC challenge and help build the...

Geth, the most renowned software client of Ethereum, has provided a hotfix to the threatening security challenges in its code. The news was posted on Tuesday at 07:08 UTC to...

Slovenia, though small, is one of the fastest-growing nations in Europe, especially in the business and economic contexts. After its successful economic succession from Yugoslavia, it was the first to...

Crypto experts have said that Australia’s finance industry is set to be dominated by cryptocurrency by 2029. Finder’s annual cryptocurrency report shows that crypto is set to replace the traditional...

Be the first to know latest important news & events directly to your inbox.

Flirt invest is a platform developed by Brandon West to attract investments in cryptocurrency from anyone who wants to invest...

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, eFIN is back stronger than ever with new services and products that add...

NewsBTC is a cryptocurrency news service that covers bitcoin news today, technical analysis & forecasts for bitcoin price and other altcoins. Here at NewsBTC, we are dedicated to enlightening everyone about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

We cover BTC news related to bitcoin exchanges, bitcoin mining and price forecasts for various cryptocurrencies.

© 2021 NewsBTC. All Rights Reserved.

© 2021 NewsBTC. All Rights Reserved.

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