Daniel Lanois & the NIGHT CATCHES US red carpet

NIGHT CATCHES US director Tanya Hamilton; photo credit: Adam Schartoff (c) 2010

I wrote a piece about a new dramatic film called “Night Catches Us” for Britt Bensen’s VOD website ondemandweekly.com. I wrote a luke warm review and I was supposed to attend a press day. The press day turned into my going to the offices of Magnolia Pictures and interviewing the film’s director, Tanya Hamilton. Kerry Washington –whom I recently interviewed via phone for her other recent film “For Colored Girls”— was now unavailable for press day as was her co-star Anthony Mackie. The film is about a guy who was cast out of the Black Panthers (back story) for supposedly turning in one of his own. The movie begins where he returns home to Philadelphia and falls back in touch with the wife of the other Panther. She has a daughter, who sort of like Gem in To Kill a Mockingbird is on the cusp of growing up. It’s a nice movie but misses any level of greatness by not leaving its safe zone. There is one character who ends up shooting a cop which, in turn, sets off a man hunt but there’s little tension in general. I almost got the feeling that the story, written by Ms. Hamilton, was tagged on to some recent historical period in our country as a short cut to the drama.  Everyone is fine but no one is great.

Daniel Lanois & I at B&N; photo credit: Sam Frank (c) 2010

Anyway, I interviewed Ms. Hamilton and she was very nice. Later in the day I came back in to Manhattan to go to the red carpet.  I was meeting friends in Chelsea for a few drinks, so I didn’t mind stopping by the Loews 19th Street Cinema on Broadway, just north of Union Square for a bit. And there I would get a chance to grab a few moments with Kerry, Anthony and some of the other talent involved in “Night Catches Us”. Some photos and audio were taken. I had some time to kill since I got there early. I sauntered over to Barnes & Noble and saw a sign at the bottom of the escalator that my all-time favorite musician/producer, Daniel Lanois, was going to be upstairs doing a broadcast of Katherine Lanpher’s show Upstairs at the Square which she records at B&N. But when I got to the top floor, there he was quietly signing copies of a new memoir. I approached him and he could not have been nicer. He posed for a photo with me and signed a copy of the book. It was an amazing moment for a guy who sings his song The Maker at almost every Songsmithing show we do in Park Slope.

Then off to the red carpet which audio I will upload as soon as I figure out how to do that.  Here are the photos from that event: