FILM: They Die by Dawn
To accompany his debut album, They Die By Dawn & Other Short Stories, scheduled for release on June 4, Jeymes Samuel, or The Bullitts, which he goes by when he’s doing music, has directed a short film complete with swinging saloon doors and jangling spurs. Samuel’s short Western introduces audiences to some of America’s lesser-known historic figures. Until now, the genre has mainly been told through a white lens, but They Die By Dawn centers on a whole new set of outlaws, like Nat Love (Michael K. Williams), Ben Hodges (Isaiah Washington), and the unflappable Stagecoach Mary (Erykah Badu).
The dialogue is funny and the situations are familiar. A smack-talking round of cards, an old-fashioned shave in a sleepy barbershop and scheming prisoners awaiting their judgment day (or jailbreak) in the town jail all lead up to a shootout over the bounties of four wanted men. With so many trigger happy gunslingers around, there has to be some means of calming the nerves, and whenever someone wants a drink in the movie, it’s always Bulleit Bourbon.
There is an overload of characters and side-plots packed in, making it difficult to keep up. The film, which premiered at SXSW this year, is the prelude to Samuel’s feature film The Notorious Nine, which will hopefully have the breadth to flesh out the plots and develop characters, like Edmonia Lewis (Rosario Dawson), who wasn’t quite as delightfully brassy as Stagecoach Mary, but predictably has some revenging to do.
More info on the film They Die By Dawn can be found here: http://www.theydiebydawn.com/