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Before ‘Big Words,’ Gbenga Akinnagbe & Neil Drumming Teamed Up for ‘The Romantic’ (Short Shouts!)

Before 'Big Words,' Gbenga Akinnagbe & Neil Drumming Teamed Up for 'The Romantic' (Short Shouts!)

I love it when I stumble upon “ghosts of filmmakers’ pasts” (so to speak); it’s often fun to watch what they’ve done in the past, even if only to see how far they’ve come. We all start somewhere right?

Here’s a short film from no later than 2010, directed by Neil Drumming (you’ll recall his feature film debut, “Big Words” was released by AFFRM last year), titled “The Romantic,” which, by the way, stars one of his “Big Words” leads, none other than Mr Gbenga Akinnagbe, who’s gone on to even bigger and better things (although, at the time the short was made, he’d already made a name for himself as Chris Partlow on “The Wire,” a year or two earlier. You can currently see him as a regular on “24: Live Another Day.”

“The Romantic” is a 2-character piece, co-starring, alongside Akinnagbe, Sofia Regan. 

Synopsis? Just watch it, and as you do, ask yourself whether it’s about a brotha just trying to get some play, or if it’s a play on gentrification… or maybe both.

It’s a lo-budget affair, and very simply-made, but there’s a charm to it that I appreciate. And it still works 4+ years later:

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It's very surreal. I'm not sure the reason to green screen in this circumstance. At first I thought some type of pixel smoothing effect was going on, judging by the still. This reminds me of the movie Basquiat when Jeffrey Wright was running game on the waitress. And the ultimate "I got gentrification game" Medicine for Melancholy.

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