MOVIES SIMILAR TO THE COOL WORLD
When Duke (Hampton Clanton), a 15-year-old member of the gang Royal Pythons, decides he needs a gun to survive on the streets of Harlem, he visits a local thug named Priest (Carl Lee). Utilizing first-time actors and true-life ghettos for scenery, Shirley Clarke’s devastating semi-documentary dramatizes the life of young gang bangers in 1960s Harlem and transcends its narrative to deliver a vivid picture of inner city life. Based on the novel by Warren Miller.
1. BLESS THEIR LITTLE HEARTS
Unemployed, depressed and running out of options for supporting his wife and three children, Charlie Banks (Nate Hardman) is just barely eking out a living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts in the early 1980s. His wife, Andais (Kaycee Moore), accuses him of irresponsibility, and even of cheating on her, an allegation that isn’t true until Charlie decides it may as well be. Charlie’s friends try their best to help him get by, but their well-intentioned plans don’t always pan out.
2. THE EDUCATION OF SONNY CARSON
Caught up in gang life, a gifted young man (Rony Clanton) goes to jail and finally pulls himself out of it.
3. NOTHING BUT A MAN
African-American rail worker Duff Anderson (Ivan Dixon) has left his 4-year old son with a nanny, and now drifts through life with little ambition. Duff’s outlook on life changes when he meets schoolteacher Josie Dawson (Abbey Lincoln), a gentle preacher’s daughter. Although Josie’s father (Stanley Greene) disapproves of Duff’s lifestyle, the two eventually marry. Duff and Josie struggle to hold on to their marriage as Duff must face up to the oppressive racism of 1960s America.
4. RESTLESS CITY
Young Djibril (Sy Alassane) emigrated from West Africa to the United States with a hope of making it as a musician, but after residing in Harlem for four years, he’s stuck hawking CDs to pedestrians. In an effort to raise enough money to make an album, Djibril decides to work with Bekay (Anthony Okungbowa), a loan shark and pimp. But Djibril’s quest for financial success is interrupted when he meets and falls in love with Trini (Sky Nicole Grey), a prostitute working for Bekay.
5. PORTRAIT OF JASON
A black male prostitute and aspiring entertainer recounts his life story for filmmaker Shirley Clarke.