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'White Girl' Evokes NYC Nostalgia While Tackling Privilege And Power Dynamics

"My goal isn’t to shock, it’s to be real and authentic. Which can sometimes be shocking.”

White Girl, written and directed by Elizabeth Wood, is an epic portrayal of New York City's hazy summer scene. The film follows Leah (Morgan Saylor), an over-the-top college freshman who moves to Brooklyn with her best friend. After eyes lock, a curious interest sparks between Leah and Puerto Rican dope purveyor Blue (Brian ‘Sene’ Marc), resulting in a tragic romance. After Blue gets caught up in the drug enterprise and thrown in jail, Leah goes to extreme ends to get him back. Starring Hamilton's Anthony Ramos and Sex and the City's Chris Noth, White Girl tackles white privilege and points at current racial politics.

Through 88 minutes of raunchy sex, various drugs and obscene profanity, you get a filthy feel of what the darker side of 5th Avenue looks like. One thing that immediately grabs your attention is the merger of Latino drug dealers and Anglo women new to Brooklyn. It's a cross between what New York City was and its new gentrified identity that we're seeing today. Whether the film is a real portrayal of New York City streets or an overly-dramatized one is up for debate, but the raw conversation that this film creates is its true purpose. White Girl invites its audience to a conversation on the topics of gentrification, socio-economic issues, the party scene and rape culture, leaving some with a sense of discomfort in their reality.

“I want people to think about the film," Wood told Indie Wire. "I know there are plenty of times I walk out of a movie theater and am just thinking about what I want to eat, so if the film is on their mind, it was a triumph.”

Leah's frizzy platinum blonde hair and charismatic, yet loony smile gives for a captivating performance. Described by Saylor as "ready to party," "open" and "adventurous," her character is very complicated in nature as she is still exploring herself while we, the onlookers, simultaneously try to figure her out. New to the streets of the Big Apple, Leah gets a sobering reality check when she realizes she's a young, white woman in an environment inhabited by generations of people of color, also riddled with machismo. When she's left with the dangerous task of selling Blue's large amount of cocaine, she makes full use of the leverage behind her body and the color of her skin. "She's dealing with the implications of being white, of being female and also cocaine," Wood said to The Wrap. "This is a girl exploring the world in its own, realizing her whiteness, realizing the power structure of what it means to use sex, to use being a woman, to use race."

Set wise, it's New York City down to the core, with bodegas and fire escapes galore, and an orchestra of police sirens and train screeches. You get a sense of familiarity when watching the film, which is already being compared to Larry Clark's controversial 1995 film, Kids.

Clark has reportedly been a strong influence on Wood during the film's creation. Kids brought to light the unsettling truth of New York City's youth and their taboo approach to drugs and sex during the rise of AIDS. Not only did the film make the hairs on your back stand up, but it discussed a controversial topic when no one else did. White Girl is said to be a millennial version of Kids, however, approaching different conversations.

In 2013, Elizabeth Wood earned an MFA in Screenwriting at Columbia University, before penning the screenplay based loosely on her own experiences as an eccentric white girl. “I’ve got intense sensibilities,” Wood described in an interview with Variety. “I just like to feel things. My goal isn’t to shock, it’s to be real and authentic. Which can sometimes be shocking.”

Absorbing that intensity in her writing, she completed the screenplay for White Girl and began production in 2015, despite budgeting problems. When her financier dropped out last minute, Wood relied on budget cuts and private investors to bring her project to fruition. Soon thereafter, her widely talked-about film made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival with a nomination for the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. It also won first place at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Later, the film's streaming rights were picked up by Netflix.

White Girl will be released in select theaters on Sept. 2. For information on early, private screenings, visit here.

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Love To See It: DaniLeigh Choreographed DaBaby's Extraordinary "BOP" Video

Nearly reaching 10 million views in a matter of days, DaBaby's "BOP" music video teaser has A-1 editing, hilarious characters (recorder guy) and perfect choreography. As it turns out, we have DaniLeigh to thank for the rapper's smooth dance moves.

The singer-songwriter teamed up with choreographer Coach Cherry to share her eclectic dance style with the buzzing rapper. "BOP" dropped Friday (Nov. 15) as "BOP on Broadway" with a bevy of dancers taking part in the one-shot style video. Directed by Reel Goats, the teaser feels like the full music video for the single thanks to the three different dance flows including a surprising set by the iconic Jabbawockeez.

DaniLeigh's influence can be felt throughout the video thanks to her signature moves. With her own video reaching 100 million views on YouTube, the singer continued her winning streak with the remix for "Easy" featuring Chris Brown.

The video earned her a Soul Train Music Award nomination for "Best Dance Video" and inspiration for lovers of dance challenges. The Dominican-American might look familiar to many thanks to her contribution to the infamous #InMyFeelings challenge where she managed to hop and bop out of moving car. Ironically, the "Lil Bebe" singer started her career as a backup dancer for the likes of Nelly Furtado and Pharrell. She also choreographed and wrote the treatment for Prince's visuals for "Breakfast Can Wait."

"He wanted it really big in the dance industry so from there, I held auditions and did this video on my own," an 18-year-old Dani told VIBE in 2013. "It's crazy and hard to believe but it was great."

Dani recently released "Cravin" featuring G-Eazy and dropped her debut project The Plan late last year.

Check out the visuals to "BOP" below.

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Netflix Drops Preview Of 'Selena: The Series'

In a video that has amassed over 62,000 views since its Nov. 12 debut, Netflix posted a sneak peek into its upcoming Selena: The Series—Part 1. Within the 60-second clip, viewers witness actress Christian Serratos as the Tejano legend, preparing for a performance in one of Selena’s most iconic outfits.

Serratos has starred in hit series like The Walking Dead, Twilight, American Horror Story: Murder House, and more. In a statement published by Deadline, the show's production company Campanario Entertainment and its president/co-founder Jaime Dávila, praised Serratos for stepping into the "Dreaming Of You" singer's shoes.

“Selena is an inspirational figure who’s transcended generations. At Campanario, we’ve always known it was crucial for this series to find actors with the right mix of talent, charisma, and passion to honor Selena’s legacy and the story of her family,” said Davila. “Our casting director Carla Hool and her team have found an amazing cast to depict the Quintanilla family, and we’re sure fans everywhere will be captivated yet again by Selena’s incredible life.” On March 31, 1995, Selena was murdered, sparking a wave of tributes and films, such as 1997's movie starring Jennifer Lopez as the iconic vocalist.

The program, which chronicles Selena's life and career, is slated to premiere in 2020 with six hourlong episodes. Watch the preview above.

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Nicky Jam Drops 'Behind Nicky Jam's Intimo' Documentary Trailer

Apple Music released the trailer for a documentary on reggaeton superstar Nicky Jam. The visual precedes the release of his most personal album to date, Intimo. Judging by the trailer, Behind Nicky Jam’s Intimo gives viewers an inside look at the 38-year-old’s battle with drugs and almost losing his whole career.

In the past, Jam has been open about his struggles. “Music is my therapist, and this album was therapy for me,” he told Apple Music. According to a press release, the singer discusses making his first album at just 13, drugs, and his 25-year career.

Jam also worked on a drama series for Netflix titled El Ganador, where he shared some of those dark moments in his life.

"El Ganador is the story of my life," he tells VIBE. "How I battled drug and alcohol addiction, my mom and dad had the same problems [and] how we all got out of it. We're trying to tell the youth and the world what route to take. Right now, there are a lot of kids that need to get out of that street/thug mentality and make it right. I am living proof that if you do right, right will come to you."

Behind Nicky Jam’s Intimo will debut on Friday (Oct. 25), a week before Intimo drops. Jam will also appear in Bad Boys III starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, which hits theaters January 2020.

Watch the trailer for Behind Nicky Jam’s Intimo above.

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