On July 17, our latest Film Comment Free Talk brought together Boots Riley, director of the mind-altering new film Sorry to Bother You, and special guest Questlove at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. “All art is political,” said Riley, who detailed the genesis of the movie’s surreal Marxist story of a African-American telemarketer, and traded stories with Questlove about the nitty-gritty of the creative process. The talk was moderated by filmmaker and Film Comment contributor Farihah Zaman. For more on Sorry to Bother You, don’t miss Ina Diane Archer’s essay in the July/August issue and our podcast discussion from July 4. Our next Film Comment Free Talk takes place on August 6 with Crystal Moselle, the director of Skate Kitchen (and The Wolfpack).
Filmmaker and hip hop artist Boots Riley wants his audiences to be radically engaged. He grew up with parents who were organizers and he believes political radicalism prompts cultural change. Boots and Marc talk about social movements, power structures, and how he wanted to take on all of it with his years-in-the-making movie, Sorry To Bother You. Also, Bobcat Goldthwait returns to the garage to talk about grief, getting older, and his new series Misfits and Monsters. This episode is sponsored by the Outside the Box podcast, Rocket League, Casper, and Stamps.com.
Riley's new film 'Sorry To Bother You' is a social and political satire inspired by his time as a telemarketer. It stars Lakeith Stanfield, the co-star of 'Get Out' and the television series 'Atlanta.' Riley is the son of grassroots activists. He's also the frontman for the hip-hop band 'The Coup,' a self-described "revolutionary music collective." And Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album of previously lost John Coltrane recordings.