September 30, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

“Superfly” – A Great Escape

Behind the Screen, by Kathryn Whitney Boole| “Superfly” is a striking movie and compelling story in which the world depicted at the beginning will change before the end. The tale follows a young man drawn into the realm of drug deals, who just wants to get out – to do “one last score so big, we will never have to look over our shoulder again.”

The story of Superfly is based on the 1972 legendary film “Super Fly”, which was shot in Harlem and the East Village in New York. The current film’s director, Director X, decided that the story translated easily into today’s culture. The 1972 star was Ron O’Neal, a serious actor with Shakespearean training who had won awards for his work on stage, yet was finding success difficult to reach in the film business. An excerpt from a bio of O’Neal describes his performance in the film: “Shot on a starvation budget, ‘Super Fly’ became a surprise box office hit. The gifted actor’s remarkable performance brought a great measure of class and depth to the role, which, if done by a lesser actor could have easily become cartoonish.” “Super Fly” initiated the “Blaxploitation” genre of film, which was never taken as seriously by its contemporary audience as it should have been. O’Neal found it hard from then on to be considered for important film roles because his identity as a performer was so strongly linked to his Super Fly role of “Youngblood Priest.”

The current “Youngblood Priest” is a 21-year-old actor with a similarly impressive theatrical background. Trevor Jackson is a singer, actor, songwriter and dancer who has been acting since he was a child. At the age of eight, he won the role of “Young Simba” in the national tour of The Lion King. Since then he has appeared in television shows, including “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish” in which he plays series regular “Zoey’s” boyfriend. Jackson auditioned twice for “Priest” and was turned down as being too young and “not a big enough name,” so he was shocked when Director X finally offered him the role.

Jackson’s performance, along with those of the other cast members, gives power to this film. Jackson has the soul of someone twice his age and his musical theatre background gives him a pronounced magnetism. Most of the actors in the current “Superfly” do not have extensive experience on film. However their strong portrayals make this movie work, and Director X’s background helming lush music videos infuses the visuals with richness.

Maybe you’ve never been a drug dealer, you have no ties with the cartel and your friends aren’t gangsters. That life does exist, and it’s worth understanding it. One of the greatest values of film is to remove you from your comfort zone and introduce you to environments that are out of your sphere. “Superfly” is a roller coaster experience – it also has the value of taking you into someone else’s world – or perhaps of depicting a world that is closer to you than you like to think.

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people.  She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica

in FILM
Related Posts

To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar 25th Anniversary

September 12, 2020

September 12, 2020

The cult classic “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar” hugely popular in the LGBTQ+ community celebrates its 25th...

OUTFEST Announces “Taiwan Program”

September 6, 2020

September 6, 2020

The 2020 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan (R.O.C) and Taiwan Academy...

Long Beach QFilm Festival

August 30, 2020

August 30, 2020

The 2020 Long Beach QFilm Festival, is a celebration of the rich diversity and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,...

Award-Winning Gay Producer Ash Christian Dead at 35

August 23, 2020

August 23, 2020

Lauded producer, actor, director, and writer Ash Christian died in his sleep while vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Thursday...

31st GLAAD “Virtual” Awards

July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

GLAAD the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that it will host...

Los Angeles Premiere of Latinx LGBTQ Film at Outfest Fusion

February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020

“Acuitzeramo” screening March 9 By Staff Writer Outfest Fusion presents the Los Angeles premiere of Cabaldana Alchemy’s short film “Acuitzeramo”...

USC One Archives to Host Screening of Film on Black Trans Woman to Honor Black History Month

February 1, 2020

February 1, 2020

Meet Mary Jones, a black transgender woman born in New York in 1803. Described as a “man-monster” in the press. ...

HRC to Honor Dan Levy, Janelle Monáe at Award Ceremony in DTLA

January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020

Award Season is upon us, and the LGBTQ+ Community is not immune. HRC announced today that actor Dan Levy will...

LGBTQ+ Ally Taylor Swift to Receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award

January 7, 2020

January 7, 2020

GLAAD announced Tuesday, Jan. 7 that Taylor Swift with receive the Vanguard Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards. ...

5 Holiday Movies and TV Episodes Featuring Happy Queer Plot Lines

December 22, 2019

December 22, 2019

Christmas is just around the corner and yet, you’re still searching for more holiday cheer? Flip on Lifetime or Hallmark...

Hallmark Apologizes, Reinstates Commercials Featuring Same-Sex Couple

December 16, 2019

December 16, 2019

Hallmark Channel faced a wave of social backlash after its parent company – Crown Media Family Networks – quietly removed...

‘Tis the “Season of Love” in Queer Holiday Rom-Com

November 30, 2019

November 30, 2019

Every holiday season traditional and streaming networks create a ton of holiday romantic comedies but they consistently fail to create...

Documentary Honors Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ Vets for Veterans Day

November 11, 2019

November 11, 2019

In honor of Veterans Day, some LGBT Senior Veterans at the Los Angeles LGBT Center shared their stories and experiences...

GAY LA: Judy Never Really Left Los Angeles

November 2, 2019

November 2, 2019

How the queer Icon has shaped L.A. There’s no doubt about it: 2019 is the year of Judy Garland. In...

More Than Just Another Gay Character

October 17, 2019

October 17, 2019

In Hollywood, LGBTQ+ characters that are more than just — well, LGBTQ+ — can be hard to come by. Most...