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Summertime’ Dazzles With Spoken Word Poetry Musical

Director of ‘Blindspotting’ scores another indie winner

A magical moment from

Credit: Good Deed Entertainment

Above: A magical moment from "Summertime."

San Diego native Kelly Marie Tran is a producer on the new film "Summertime." She hosts a quartet of local screenings this weekend.

In Carlos López Estrada’s first film 'Blindspotting," he collaborated with a pair of writer-stars, Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs, to let us see Oakland through new eyes.

Listen to this story by Beth Accomando

Reported by Beth Accomando

Now he has developed a new film "Summertime" in collaboration with youth poets who all serve as co-writers and stars. The result is spectacular. This time he sets his film in Los Angeles before the pandemic on a single summer's day and night. But it is a somewhat magical day as characters cross paths and more happens in a day than seems possible.

The film gives us 27 fresh voices each offering us an intimate, passionate, compelling story. Some characters appear once for a momentary rant on a bus or for a single encounter to propel the story forward. Others weave in and out of the film to develop in more detail. Calling it a "spoken word poetry musical," as the press materials describe it, only hints at the originality of the film’s design and the engaging energy that draws us in.

As he did with the writers in "Blindspotting," López Estrada works well with this larger group of actor/creators to give us a very personal view of L.A. and to make sure each voice sounds unique. The film captures the hope, heartbreak, and oddly seductive vibe of Los Angeles. It allows these young poets a moment in the spotlight to get something off their chests whether it's the high cost for a plate of unwanted food at a pretentious restaurant or appreciating the view of L.A. at night.

"Summertime" reminds us that words can dazzle and hold us rapt with even more power than state of the art special effects.

Kelly Marie Tran will be part of post film discussions this weekend:

Friday, July 16 at 7:00pm at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas.Hillcrest

Saturday, July 17 at 4:20pm at Hillcrest (I will be moderating this discussion) and 7:30pm at Angelika Film Center Carmel Mountain.

Sunday, July 18 at 12:45pm at Angelika.

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Photo of Beth Accomando

Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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