I Asked, and Here Comes the Axe

Ask and me shall receive.

Or should it be: Axe and me shall receive?

Ask and me shall receive the Axe?

Still workshopping that lede.


Remember (aaaaaall the waaaaaay baaaaaaack in late July) when I bemoaned the lack of a 21st century Dekalog, and challenged another director to helm EVERY “short film episode” in a narratively-discontinuous anthology?

Well, Steve McQueen answered my bat-call (yes, that’s how I’m phrasing it, even though the project was conceived years before my post; why let facts get in the way of truth?). Like Krzysztof Kieslowski, McQueen will direct and co-write every “episode” of Small Axe (now do you understand my unfunny joke-lede, or is it a lede-joke?), which will chronicle, through different stories, a West Indian community in London between 1969 and 1982. Though there are only five entries instead of Dekalog’s 10, Small Axe ups the runtime of each to feature-length fare, three of which will premiere stateside at this year’s New York Film Festival.

(Is it a coincidence that one of them — Red, White, and Blue — shares a title with Kieslowski’s famed trilogy? Probably.)

If this is the fall Lincoln Center FINALLY accredits my press credentials (a boy can dream), I’ll report back next month. Otherwise, we’ll all have to wait for the miniseries to hit Amazon Prime (our British brethren will probably beat us Americans to the punch, courtesy of the BBC on their home front).

In another year, I’d implore a studio to release all five theatrically. But in the age of Covid, home viewing will have to suffice…until Film @ Lincoln Center programs the whole shebang to celebrate their doors reopening!!!

Yet again, this boy can dream.

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