In a time where situationships are the status quo and dating app swipe culture threatens the believability of “something real”– Love Jones inspires even the most hopeless of romantics. A 90’s seed-to-flower story of the romance between two motivated young artists — a writer (Larenz Tate) and a photographer (Nia Long) — the film portrays the timeless (read: triggering) tribulations of twentysomethings love.
This exciting independent film with a brave ending and incredible soundtrack (Lauryn Hill, Duke Ellington, Cassandra Wilson) debuted at Sundance in 1997, and was picked up by a major company, but didn’t make waves in the box office. The test of time has only made this love story stronger, though, and remains a keystone of the era’s indie romantic dramas. (dir.Theodore Witcher, U.S., 1997, 108 m.)
“There are several reasons why this film works better than the common, garden-variety love story. To begin with, the setting and texture are much different than that of most mainstream romances. The culture, in which post-college African Americans mingle while pursuing careers and relationships, represents a significant change from what we’re used to….And Love Jones’s dialogue is rarely trite. When the characters open their mouths, it usually is because they have something intelligent to say, not because they’re trying to fill up dead air with meaningless words” – ReelReviews
Special thanks to Upstate Color for their promotion and support of this event. This collaboration aims to bring one of the many forms of Black love– a narrative that goes largely uncelebrated, underfunded, and unrecognized in mainstream media despite its infinite multiplicity–– to center stage this Valentine’s Day.
Upstate Color (UPCO) is a BIPOC community cultivating a sense of belonging by engaging and connecting with each other and our Upstate New York surroundings. You can learn more about UPCO here.