Rapper turned filmmaker comes to Weill Hall

On Feb. 4, Writer and Director Boots Riley, will be coming to Weill Hall for a showing of the film and will be answering questions from the audience beginning at 7 p.m.

Hitting the box office in July of last year, the satirical film “Sorry to Bother You” is now heading to Sonoma State for a screening and question and answer with the director. 

Starting his career as the leader of the rap group Coup, Riley took to a new medium as he began to write the script for his satirical comedy.

Despite already having fame and notability, getting Hollywood to take him seriously as a writer and a director was not as simple as it may seem.

“Trying to get somebody to read your script and you’re a musician?” Riley said to the New York Times. “That’s the last person whose script you’re gonna read!”

While being turned down time and time again, Riley refused to give up, and eventually gaining the support of Patton Oswalt, Terry Crews, Tessa Thompson and more.

Taking place in an alternate reality of Oakland, the protagonist, Cassius Green, discovers that he must change who he is and use a fake “white person” voice to get ahead in the materialistic world. Being a black man, he uses this to his advantage at a personal cost. As his own career moves further and further ahead, he uncovers the dark secrets of the working world and realizes the mistakes he has made. The film explores the concept of a telemarketing job while taking a turn into a fantastical satire.

The film scored a 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an 80 percent on Metacritic. Although the critics seemed to have liked the movie, students had more mixed reviews. 

Sonoma State junior, Allyana Abonador, said that she thought the movie was “fine, but the movie could have gone further is discussing social racism as a whole. I can see how people think the movie was good, but I think it could have discussed societal problems more in depth”. 

Despite the film’s high ratings and critical success, it did not receive an Oscar nomination last week, to the surprise of many fans.

Junior, Brooke Motl, thought that the movie should have been nominated for an Oscar Award because of the “diverse cast and interesting plot line”. 

Riley was addressed by fans on why the film was not nominated for an Oscar and what he thought of the supposed snub. 

Taking to Twitter, Riley explains that “the largest factor as to why we didn’t get nominated is that we didn’t actually run a campaign that aimed to get a nomination for Screenplay or Song. We didn’t buy For Your Consideration ads in the trade magazines and we didn’t service the whole academy with screeners…”

Although the movie was not nominated, many Twitter users are still saying it was the one of most “politically woke” movie of the year. 

The movie attempts to combat  social racism and tries to show the many ins and outs of the working world. The viewer gets a first hand look at corruption and what it does to a company and how greed can affect one’s life. 

Questions about the film and the process that went into it, can be answered by Boots Riley at the “Sorry To Bother You” screening and talk back Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. in Weill Hall.