Subversives: Sorry to Bother You
Set in an alternate-reality contemporary Oakland, Boots Riley’s 2018 film Sorry to Bother You blends absurdist satire and leftist labor politics to skewer white corporatism. Down-and-out telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) ascends the company ladder after finding a secret weapon to success, and befriends the maniacal CEO Steve Lift (Armie Hammer). His opulent lifestyle eventually clashes with the unionized labor struggle fought by Detroit (Tessa Thompson), Squeeze (Steven Yeun), and others, and a more sinister corporate conspiracy emerges. Much like the hip-hop music created by The Coup, rapper Boots Riley’s directorial debut represents a funky, surreal, and politically charged funhouse mirror to American capitalism.
Writer, director, and musician Boots Riley will join moderator Miguel Penabella (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) for a discussion of Sorry to Bother You and his musical career.
This virtual event will take place on Zoom. The event is free but prior registration is required.