A rare opportunity to catch Prince’s directorial debut on the big screen, and in 35mm, where its luminous black and white photography (by Fassbinder/Scorsese collaborator Michael Ballhaus) belongs. This came out at the apex of Prince’s career, on the back of Purple Rain, and at the time he released his perfect single, Kiss. Fair to say it wasn’t what the market was looking for: a romantic comedy harking back to 1930s screwball comedies, with the pop star playing a con-man living off his charm and rich women on the Mediterranean riviera along with his cousin Tricky (Jerome Benton). His latest mark (Kristin Scott Thomas, in her debut) has a $50 million trust fund and daddy issues. But wouldn’t you know it, Prince falls in love with her for real.
Screenwriter Becky Johnston is still working. Her other credits include Seven Years in Tibet and House of Gucci.
Songs come from the album Parade: Girls & Boys; Mountains; New Position; Sometimes It Snows in April; Kiss; and more…
One of the strangest and craziest movies of its time… an off-beat gem [and] an unabashed vanity project that both revels in and transcends its solipsistic underpinnings in ways that are alternately perplexing and endearing, an endeavor further bolstered by a stunning visual style and a central performance that, for better or worse, you cannot take your eyes off of for a second, not that you ever have a chance to do so. [You] come out of it amused, dazzled, and with an immediate desire to purchase the soundtrack.
Peter Sobczynski, rogerebert.com
This film’s like getting a glimpse at Prince’s brain, scattered but at least to a breathtaking degree. His interests seem to be in his poised allure, his love of old fashion, and his unflappable hard-on for true love. As far as debuts go, not many directors would dare to let it all out like this.
Blake Goble, Consequence
The initially much-maligned movie is ripe for critical reappraisal. Moon hybridizes the fragmented and refracted aesthetics of Old Hollywood to a contemporary African-American sensibility. It’s an old plot, sure, but the race and class mutations it undergoes here are dizzying.
Glenn Kenny, Decider
Prince, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jerome Benton, Steven Berkoff
In English and French with English subtitles
Robert Cavallo, Steven Fargnoli, Joseph Ruffalo
Éva Gárdos, Rebecca Ross
Prince and The Revolution
Catch More Black History Month Programming
Also in Icons
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
This boisterous comedy about a breakaway barnstorming Black baseball team in the 1930s should be better known. It's an entertaining gloss on one enterprising ball player's resourceful response to segregated leagues, with Star Wars' Billy Dee Williams.
The most important movie Marvel has made to date, this Black blockbuster is a triumph for Creed director Ryan Coogler and star Chadwick Boseman. After the death of his father, T'Challa returns to the African nation of Wakanda to take his place as king.
Dear Jackie (Free Screening)
Henri Pardo's film is a cinematic letter to Jackie Robinson, the first African American player in Major League Baseball and a civil rights activist who broke the colour barrier when he joined the minor-league Montreal Royals in 1946. For a short time, the impossible seemed possible in a segregated North America.
James Baldwin Abroad: Istanbul - Paris - London
These three short docs, from 1968 - 1973, offer sharp, piercing glimpses of Baldwin in private and public, sometimes in repose and relaxed but more often holding forth, embroiled in the thorny discourse of racial politics, identity and self expression.
"This Time It's Personal" Films by Camille Billops & James Hatch (Programme 1)
Trailblazing artist and polymath Camille Billops and her partner James Hatch were courageous independent filmmakers who chronicled the ups and downs of their personal lives and family histories, and found in them the temperature of their times.
"This Time It's Personal" Films by Camille Billops & James Hatch (Programme 2)
The second programme in our short selection of independent films by Camille Bishops and James Hatch includes what is probably their masterpiece, Finding Christa, a deeply personal film about Camille's relationship with the daughter she gave up for adoption as a child.
Our Dance of Revolution
Award-winning documentary on the history of Black queer activism in Toronto, on communities that have faced every adversity from invisibility to police brutality.
Brown's moving film zeroes in on the descendants of the 110 slaves brought in on the last known slave ship to transport kidnapped Africans to America as human cargo, an illegal shipment undertaken as a bet by a local landowner, Timothy Meaher.
Alice Diop’s superb film, based on a notorious case of infanticide from a few years ago, subtly, almost surreptitiously evokes complex ideas and emotions around motherhood, gender, and marginalized communities.
Living in LA in 1968, French novelist Romain Gary adopts a stray Alsation, but to his horror discovers it has been trained to attack Blacks. His wife, the actress Jean Seberg argues it must be put down, but Gary insists it can be retrained...