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Corey Bowles Interview & Black Cop Updates Featured

Underground News Tuesday, 05 June 2018 13:31

AU: Are there any other influential people in your life?

CB: Spike Lee’s early works are just awesome. Bob Fosse, who appeared in Chicago, Damn Yankees and Sweet Chariot, is a real trendsetter. He pushed for a lot of things. Richard Pryor’s style of comedy and the things he talked about was hardcore. I love them all. Nina Simone is another person who is very important to me. She’s a singer, songwriter, and social activist of the early Civil Rights Movement.

AU: How has Netflix changed the show?

CB: It gave us a whole new audience. It’s a lot looser than when we were on network television. They had a certain set of rules and a template we had to follow. Netflix gives you a lot more leeway. And there’s no cliffhanger anymore. We’ll tape the show in March and then we will finish a show in the summer [to deliver a complete season to them.] We’ve finished the editing round Christmas. You can’t fix mistakes. That’s different. There was a big learning curve because of how Netflix wants their product delivered prior to release.

AU: How do you think the show is defined part of the Canadiana landscape.

CB: It’s a hard one to answer because we aren’t outside of the show. I can’t really say what Canadiana is; I think a large part is that it revolves around people we were around and places we are all from. I’m from a trailer park, the same we shoot the new seasons in actually. That seems real because it is. Jono is from small-town P.E.I. The parks are all kind of similar. We exaggerate off course, but we always have people tell its which character is like someone they know. It’s flattering when we hear that it’s part of Canadian but if anything, Canadiana (especially East coast) defined our show. That is what makes our show a bit special.

AU: How would you say the East Coast differs from the West.

CB: We have some our own slang that’s a little bit different than the accents. But it’s funny, there are some elements of the West Coast that is quite like the East Coast. I would say especially Victoria is kind of like a weird brother or weird sibling of Halifax. I thought we were laid back, but I find everyone’s pretty easy going and pretty cool out there in the West; there’s a stronger urb culture out there that’s for sure. A stronger weed culture [laughs].

I find being out in British Columbia is one of the most relatable places I’ve ever been in. When I see certain aspects of logging or forestry taking place, especially on water, I’m reminded of those little fishing towns I see in Nova Scotia. The air is nice there and the air is nice here. The people are cool there and the people are cool here.

AU: What’s in the future for Trailer Park Boys?

CB: We’re not really going have big things happen. It was really hard for us when we lost John Dunsworth this past year, this past fall. It’s different when people leave the show. It really didn’t feel right for us to continue a show as it is without John there. We have some things planned, though. The producers have talked to me about some of the specials and things like that. We may make another movie, but we’ll see.

AU: When did you decide to become a director?

CB: I’ve been working on that side of things in theater and as a choreographer since about ‘96. It was a natural progression for me. I can add in whatever I know about any other piece of work I’ve done.

AU: When compared to your other careers, how did that balance out?

CB: I started to not want to dance so much. There are times where I just wanna watch. Also, I thought I was done with acting. I only resumed when I went back to the show and then, suddenly, I was appearing in a bunch of other programs. At the same time, I directed short films — hitting the odd commercial or a music video.

AU: And from the short, Black Cop developed into being a feature, correct?

CB: Short films are like good songs whereas a feature is like a big epic. With a short film, you can push the limits and explore a lot of stuff that you don’t normally get to do. It’s pretty fringe too. I find telling a cohesive challenging story in ten minutes Is hard. It’s dope when you get it done.

Originally Black Cop was going to be a feature. And then once when I made the short, I realized how I wanted to make the feature. There are things that show up in the short almost that’s the same as the feature.

AU: How would you describe this unnamed protagonist (played by Ronnie Rowe Jr.) in this piece?

CB: He’s the anti-hero, a character of vengeance, an angel of vengeance — all be it a little misguided. misdirected maybe.

AU: What was the reception like when it premiered at TIFF 2017?

CB: Amazing. We sold out every screening at Toronto. Each was different. Like the first night, it was electric and really tense. The second night, there was a lot of laughter in the most uncomfortable places. And the third night, it was quiet. A lot of conversations took place in our Q&As.

A lot of people are looking at my film in their own world perspective. They were asking what good comes out of him doing that? They miss the point of what I’m presenting. I’m putting the shoe on the other foot. When we screened at Chicago, reactions were crazy. When we screened it in Kansas, a red state, a lot of Republican types came up to me and said, “I didn’t look at it [the ideas presented in the film] that way.”

I’ve had officers come in with the idea that it was going to be a complete rail against them, or be ready to scrutinize it. Instead, it turned out a lot of times they’ve said: “I get what you’re saying, I get it.” Some have told me that they felt like they’ve watched a part of what they go through.

Yeah but it’s certainly not an anti-police thing because the character is a police officer and that’s what he’s that’s he’s sworn to do and wants to do. But this film is being critical of that role and that job, and the grey area around it when it comes to a marginalized community. It’s challenging; it should be. At the end of not all, it’s a movie that explores a unique and complicated experience. I don’t really understand, I can’t – but I can explore, and that is what this movie does.

I mean that’s all you can really do. I think it’s a big order to change life for the better. I want to make work that is an experience that you can take something away. And I think that’s the role of making art. Just giving an experience and having a conversation is all I can do.

AU: It’s not like the early days of cinema where we have Charlie Chaplin injecting social commentary in everything he makes.

CB: Yeah, that’s it. That’s the whole thing about the early art and music… even the stuff with social media. Sure, it’s an escape. I’m influenced by how they tackle issues with humor. There’s a huge, important place for that type of social commentary in theatre, before in dance, before it brought into the chambers — that was the language of the poor.

AU: In closing, is there anything you like to say to our readers?

CB: Keep it real. Keep it right. We are in good times right now. Even though they’re scary and weird, we are in times where things are out in the open [for us to hear about]. And it’s happening in our generation. Voices are important, and voices got to be heard. Yes, it can be scary. Take a stand, of course

To keep up with Ed's pop universe musings, please follow him at either @edohotep on Twitter or otakunoculture.com

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 10:23
Written by  Ed Sum
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