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Leave It on the Floor (2011)

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Directer:Sheldon Larry   Producer:Gabriel Blanco, Glenn Gaylord, Sheldon Larry

Screenwriter-lyricist: Glenn Gaylord Story by: Sheldon Larry, Glenn Gaylord

Music:Kimberly Burse   Choreographer: Frank Gatson Jr. Cinematography:Tom Camarda   Editor:Charles Bornstein  Running time:105 min   Country:USA  Language:English Genre:Comedy, Drama, Musical  Subtitle: Deutsch

Starring:Ephraim Sykes ... Bradley Darnell Lyle, Andre Myers ... Carter,
Phillip Evelyn ... Princess Eminence, Barbie-Q ... Queef Latina, Cameron Koa ... Duke Eminence,
James Alsop ... Eppie Durall, Metra Dee ... Deondra Lyle, Demarkes Dogan ... Caldwell Jones,
Hailie Weaver ... Ball Cashier / Hailie Allure

 

   

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Los Angeles Film Festival - Leave it on the Floor - After Party

 

2011 LA Film Fest: Leave It on the Floor After Party

 


 


Set in the ballroom world originally memorialized by the documentary Paris Is Burning, Leave It on the Floor is an original musical set in the scene in Los Angeles 2011.

 

Storyline
Our African-American hero , Brad is bullied by his dysfunctional mom; he flees his home and by chance tumbles down the rabbit-hole into the LA ball scene where he finds a ragtag new famiiy. With music by Beyonce music director, Kim Burse, screenplay and lyrics by Glenn Gaylord choreography by Beyonce dance master, Frank Gatson Jr. and eye-popping visuals and direction by Sheldon Larry, the film is an ode to the wild funky and heart-aching life of this amazing underground.


The low-budget African-American musical by director Sheldon Larry illustrates the possibilities.

review by hollywoodreporter


Hollywood has lost interest in big-budget movie musicals after the disastrous performance of Nine and a few other misfires. A radically different approach just might save the genre. The no-frills, no-star, no-budget African-American musical, Leave It On the Floor, which had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival over the weekend, demonstrates the possibilities. It actually takes some chances. Most recent movie musicals that succeeded, including Chicago and Dreamgirls, incorporated most of their songs as production numbers performed on stage, so they didn’t challenge audiences’ preference for realism. But in Floor, the characters burst into song on the subway or in convenience stores, and the performers are so dynamic that we buy into an ancient musical convention that has fallen out of fashion. The film doesn’t have huge box office potential, but it could develop cult status and find a niche audience.


The script by Glenn Gaylord is an uneven, sometimes threadbare affair, but it does take off from a core of truth: the homophobia within the African-American community. At the start of the film, Brad (Ephraim Sykes) is kicked out by his mother when she discovers that he’s gay. He ends up being adopted by a group of drag queens who compete in monthly balls held at downtown L.A. dance clubs. A similar milieu inspired the documentary Paris Is Burning a couple of decades ago, and director Sheldon Larry has been tantalized by the idea of making a fiction film on the subject ever since seeing that earlier film.
It’s too bad that Larry and Gaylord hew to formulaic storytelling, but the script has never been the most important element in a musical. The key is song and dance, and here Floor delivers. The songs by Kimberly Burse (music director for Beyonce and other performers) run the gamut from rap to ballads, and a few of them — including a sly homage to Justin Timberlake called “Justin’s Gonna Call” — are genuinely rousing. The choreography by Frank Gatson Jr. is equally ebullient. Characterizations are thin, but the gifted actors help to put the roles across. Sykes has a thrilling voice and an unmistakable charisma. Miss Barbie-Q, playing the den mother of the ragtag group, also sings excitingly and emerges as a force of nature. Andre Myers and Phillip Evelyn as the rivals for Brad’s affections both strike sparks with the hero.


Some of the plotting is primitive. A sudden car crash seems convenient rather than convincing, but the funeral scene that follows — a musical duel between the dead boy’s family members and his adopted drag community — is one of the strongest in the film because it finds the humanity in both contingents.
Larry’s direction is sometimes clumsy but always energetic, and the production team makes good use of the gritty locations. The filmmakers’ enthusiasm for the musical genre proves to be contagious. This movie may not win awards, but it’s a good-hearted joyride.



 

 





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