Directed & Written by Korrie.p
Co-Directed by Jesse Crankson
‘RAGE’ delves into the prevalent disconnect between Black men and their emotions, and seeks to highlight that masculinity often suppresses the Black man’s ability to express them. With emphasis on the complexities of the self, the project aims to engage Black men in a conversation about their mental health and how vulnerability doesn’t equate to weakness, whilst also providing them with the right tools and language to articulate themselves. “RAGE is a letter of self reflection. A thorough and introspective examination of the intricacies of the human condition, as experienced through the eyes of a Black man”, says Powell. What does vulnerability mean in relation to masculinity? Are they mutually exclusive? “RAGE doesn’t simply describe pure anger, it’s a culmination of emotions, it is pain and frustration; and an inability to communicate”.
To create a cohesive and fully immersive project, Powell wanted to delve into the issue through a multitude of lenses. The 6-minute short film pulls you into the mind of the protagonist, takes you on the journey that he goes through, and provokes you into questioning the relationship between masculinity and vulnerability. The photographic series expands on the project’s themes by taking the surreal elements of the film and grounding them in reality, Powell asks, how do we view rage in Black inner-city environments?
KEY FRAME I
When I think about this frame in particular it’s probably one of my favourites and most important to the film. What you see here is our protagonist in crippled in a state of defeat both mentally and physically, we see a lone tear roll down his cheek as he lays down unable to move due to the pain he has brought upon himself in trying to defeat his own negative reflection we saw earlier.
The detail in this frame sticks out to me the most and I have to thank Fashion designer Anil Dega as we wanted to use the costume to help elevate the surreal emotions of the protagonist in that moment. We used a soluble material that had stitching within it that when water was poured over it it dissolved away leaving fragments of the material and the loose freds across his body, visually echoing the emotions of the protagonist.
KEY FRAME II
The frame that we see here represents the transition from inner denial towards frustration. This was an important shot as it is essentially merging too powerful stages of the film together, in order to get this right I discussed with my DOP Ray Miller Davis about allowing the protagonist to dictate the movements of the camera.
Tyrone Isaac Stuart who plays the unnamed protagonist is a performer who I think is at his best when he is allowed to explore his own thoughts and ideas within the direction he’s given. We see this by how he leads and expresses his body movements from the start of the shot as he clearly illustrates power and strength but then easily shifts that body movement towards movement that reflects someone who is losing himself and slowly becoming frustrated while fighting.
KEY FRAME III
In this frame, we are essentially seeing the slow demise of our protagonist. Accompanied by a montage of shots we painfully watch as the protagonist beginning to turn the rage that he was projecting outward now onto himself. When crafting this scene I used the quote “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” As a metaphorical guide in my direction, we see this by the protagonist's arms become weapons beating himself repeatedly, we see his body ache and cry in pain.
I remember telling Jesse Crankson who Co-directed and edited the film that this scene is not about showing a man just scream and aimlessly throw his limbs, it’s about honestly capturing the frustrations and pent up anger that Black men experience in a way that feels nuanced and layered and not one dimensional.