As I’ve said before on this site, I love films (and
especially black films) that go in unexpected directions. And as I have also said, there are 40 million black people in the USA, which means there are 40 million different stories. So as a filmmaker, why
do the same old, same old?
Here comes filmmaker Zach Wechter with his short film “Straight
Down Low,” which definitely puts a different spin on things. Don’t let the title
fool you, as It’s not some routine gangsta hood picture, nor is it another one of
those “nice black woman who marries a good man only to find out that he’s on
the down low and now she’s HIV positive,” kinds of films (How many of those have
been made in the last few years?).
Instead Wechter’s film, which was clearly inspired by
Rian Johnson’s 2005 high school-set film
noir thriller “Brick,” with Joseph Gordon Levitt, is more of an homage to those
film noir detective mysteries, with a contemporary twist which deals with issues
such as race, class and yes, as you can guess, even sexuality.
It a highly stylized, beautifully photographed film, in a
rain soaked Los Angeles, and Wechter obviously knows his film noir for hitting
the right tone, and getting the dialogue and cadences pretty much on target.
Starring Shamar Sanders and Daniele Watts, it’s definitely
worth watching (like now):