Dawn Washington, NBC5 Street Team, Video
What is a Fassytail?
FASSYTAIL: Noun; a colloquialism for “fast tail” which is slang to describe sexual dispositions, mannerisms, and behavior among young girls and teens.
Written, directed, and cast by local talent on Chicago’s south side, Fassytails is about the cute and annoyingly naive preteen, Lisa (Toya Turner), who for various reasons learns hard lessons surrounding her physical development and sexual activity. This story of growing pains was shown to a nearly packed theater at The Gene Siskel Center as a part of August’s Black Harvest Film Festival http://www.artic.edu/webspaces/siskelfilmcenter/.
Contrary to what Ms. Thelma, Lisa’s “motherly” maid/guardian, believes, it’s not Lisa’s “fassytail” girlfriends who pressure her into premature sexual activity but the well-mannered, well-bred, Stevie (Andre Truss) who also wins over Lisa’s evasive mom (Marlo Stroud).
Apart from this film’s horrible video, audio and soundtrack, script continuity, set design, select actors, painful, overly dramatic, and confusing plot elements, unnecessary melodrama and a host of other technical and visual elements, Fassytails is a reasonably responsible shot at tackling the mishandled and illusive “sex talk.”
The topic of sex amongst girls and boys seems to have carelessly been left into the powerful and highly influential hands of viperous media moguls and advertisers who have single-handedly pressed the mute button on parents everywhere. Parents are either silenced by adult-themed movies, videos, web material, and music or they quietly retreat into their corners of denial and avoidance, much like Lisa’s mother in this film. Fassytails tries to show young girls and their parents the consequences of their actions (or lack thereof) and their decisions.
Encouraging about this flawed film are a few wisely-cast and promising actors, particularly Cassie Walls who plays one of Lisa’s fassytail friends. Walls sells her character in a convincing performance that doesn’t seem contrived or scripted.
Roxxy Coley, the film’s executive producer, writer, and director delivers a hilarious performance as “Ms. Thelma” until an overdone script eclipses her acting talent.
I also found it encouraging to see young girls and their mothers at the film’s showing. Most likely Fassytails will serve as a catalyst, prompting mothers, guardians, and parents to have a much-needed discussion with their growing girls about their bodies, feelings, pressures, and other life aspects they are bound to face.
However, I wouldn’t recommend parents to sit their child in front of this movie and expect it to do all the work–Fassytails is more a lesson for parents than for kids. Filmmakers missed their mark to caution young girls by making the plot way too complicated, melodramatic, and at times grotesque. But as a compliment to a caring and straightforward mom & daughter talk, Fassytails has potential to be a success, at least among the families it encounters.
To find out more about Fassytails, it’s cast and crew, log onto http://www.gracefilms4.com/.
The Black Harvest Film International Festival of Film, Video, and TV is “a lineup of talent on both sides of the camera…and an annual celebration of the black experience on film and video.” The festival is ongoing until August 30th.
Read Full Post »