In Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X,” the scene of Denzel aka Malcolm walking to his death is set to Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” It is an exceptionally powerful moment despite the somber implications of the scene — and revisiting the film this year, I can’t help but connect it and Malcolm X with 2020 — as it is an epic milestone in the fight for racial justice.
A change has long been coming. A change is definitely going to come. I see part of that change as the dissolution of structures that no longer serve the collective good, to be replaced by those which are more equitable. Victories have and will be gained in this time of great change — but one must remember that they are also temporary gains. The only constant is change, even though it comes in waves.
This piece was filmed COVID-safe with an extremely barebones crew and separate shooting locations for both performers, Shaina Shepherd and Duff McKagan. It is the blend of live performance footage with my many years of experience as a video artist and VJ for live bands and electronic artists. Most of it is constructed in post-production — and the resulting piece has one foot in this world’s historical memory and one in the timeless eternity of nature. Together, we find that everything flows in cycles. Yes, a change is gonna come. But after that change, some rest… before the change begins again.
Created for Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare – SMASH — smashseattle.org — and produced by All is Well Studios — alliswellstudios.com
Vivian Hua 華婷婷
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Vivian Hua 華婷婷
“Vestal” is from Swahili’s 2015 full-length, AMOVREUX, released in 2015 on Translinguistic Other. – swahilinoise.com
Video art and editing by Vivian Hua
Supplementary footage by XUA
Solo Soundtrack = silent disco for movies. In Northwest Film Forum’s inaugural edition of Solo Soundtrack, REDEFINE Magazine founder/NWFF designer Vivian Hua will curate a soundtrack for Down with Love, the candy-colored kitschy 2003 riff on 1960s “no-sex sex comedies” – matching the swagger of blinged-out hip-hop with the ridiculous back-and-forth flirtations from Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor.
The Stranger has chosen it as a top-pick for Valentine’s Day… (or Anti-Valentine’s Day), saying: “Bring your over-the-ear headphones and plug in to a custom soundtrack curated by Seattle’s finest musicians, DJs and music writers – or by your fine self! Like most editions of our popular Puget Soundtrack series, the sound of the film will be turned off completely, allowing for an immersive sonic environment that totally transforms your experience of the film. Highly visual films are paired with playlists and album suggestions to create the perfect setting for relaxation, ideation, or meditation. With unlimited soundtrack possibilities, let your mood guide your approach to the show: toke up, plug in, zone out, brainstorm, problem solve, grab a headphone splitter and share an experience with a pal or partner – whatever blows your hair back!”