The streets are their canvas and all Sofia and Malcolm want to do is make sure it stays that way. They will do what it takes to show the rival gang of graffiti artists that they can’t be messed with and that the streets are theirs to paint. Review of Gimme the Loot after the jump.
Sofia (Tashiana Washington) and Malcolm (Ty Hickson) pride themselves on their ability to get their tag and street art in interesting places. A rival graffiti gang is moving in on their turf and the pair are struggling to gain any momentum. What could they do to send their rivals a clear message to back off? Tagging the giant apple that comes up at the stadium when the New York Mets hit a home run might do it. With that crazy idea in their head they set about trying to scavenge together both the materials needed and items to sell to get the cash required to bribe a friend to let them into the stadium.
From the get go it is quite obvious that Sofia and Malcolm are going to be fighting an uphill battle. They operate in a world where being cheated and worked over is just part of the status quo, and every man is out for themselves. Much like Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and even the recent Frances Ha, Gimme the Loot is an incredibly New York film. The pair spend most of the film roaming the streets, visiting various haunts and undertaking fruitless missions in pursuit of their dream. We explore various parts of the city, from the basketball courts, to the decidedly dodgy pawn shops and the secure apartments of those much better off. We meet a variety of characters from the drug-taking rich white girls to the punk kids trying to punch above their weight. The city is a tapestry of all walks of life, and Gimme the Loot weaves together effortlessly.
Tashiana Washington and Ty Hickson are outstanding. Audacious and witty, they fill the screen with a fantastic presence and cocky attitude that feels as if it has been cultivated after years of getting up to mischief on the streets. Their chemistry seems incredibly natural and the pair bounce insults and compliments alike off each other like a baller bounces a ball. The rapid fire dialogue is peppered with street slang and surprisingly insightful commentary. They hide nothing and revel in each other’s weaknesses and strengths. There is much to admire about the razor-sharp screenplay, that is just as fresh as it is funny. I laughed so much as the obstacles kept being thrown in their way; and yet like the film, I was unwilling to give up on the dream, regardless of how ridiculous it seemed. If Gimme the Loot is any indication, writer-director Adam Leon is certainly someone to keep an eye on.
By Sam McCosh
Gimme the Loot is screening as part of the Possible Worlds Film Festival. Screens Saturday 11 August. For more information visit: http://www.possibleworlds.net.au/gimme-the-loot/
Director: Adam Leon
Writer(s): Adam Leon
Starring: Tashiana Washington, Ty Hickson, Zoë Lescaze
Runtime: 79 minutes