Greater Filmadelphia: THE SUSPECT (#PFF22)

Monday, October 21, 2013


Most of the films I screen during the 22nd Annual Philadelphia Film Festival will be included in one round-up post at the end of the festival, however, The Suspect, having been made in Philadelphia by first time director Stuart Connelly, deserves its own post, for that reason, and because of the subject matter of race.

We've been examining race history, racial bias and racial profiling a lot in films lately - Django Unchained, Fruitvale Station, The Butler, 12 Years A Slave, rightly so in the face of what's happening in politics - so much of the opposition President Obama faces is not because he's a Democrat, it's not because of his policies, it's because it's coming from the mouth of a man of Color, not even an actual black man, yet it's still an issue for those in Washington.

The Suspect is clever on many levels, but mostly because the context becomes the subtext as the movie progresses.  In other words, you think it's a movie about a black man (Mekhi Phifer) being held for suspicion of a crime in a small, rural, all white town, being interrogated by racist cops. The film begins in that dingy cell and we're all held there for a good bit, until one line of questioning from the cop takes the prisoner to a flashback; little by little the flashbacks pull together a scenario that turns the plot into a psychological heist thriller, having almost nothing to do with race, except for the fact that the psychology only works because of racial stereotyping.

I really enjoyed meeting the writer/director Stuart Connelly and his wife Mary Jo Barthmaier who is also the producer of the film at the opening night party. (pictured below)  

Joan Bressler GPFO, Mary Jo Barthmaier Modoc Spring Production Stuart Connelly

They wouldn't strike you as a couple looking to make a film starring two black characters and having said film premiere at Miami's American Black Film Festival, but just goes to once again demonstrate the old adage, don't judge a book by its cover. And more importantly, to once again remind us, racism is not a black thing or a minority thing, it's a human thing, so any human can add to the discussion and ideally add to the hope.

Connelly was present for a Q&A after the film, one of the things he touch on that I didn't really pick up on while watching the movie, is the fact that he delibertly left the time period kinda vague, there's no cellphone usage, or laptops, but it's not a noticeable absence. The recording equipment for the interrogation looks a bit antiquated, but you wouldn't expect a small town such as this to have anything state-of-the-art. Connelly a writer first and foremost, said he intentionally wanted to tell a story that could be happening now or perhaps 25-30 years ago.

I tried to videotape the Q & A for Tinsel & Tine's Youtube channel, but the lighting was just too bad. I may try to extract the audio at a later point, but for now the burning question of why Connelly felt compelled to write The Suspect can be found in this interview posted to 34th Street:

34th Street: What made you want to make this movie?

SC: I wrote a book with Dr. Martin Luther King’s closest advisor and speechwriter, Clarence B. Jones. I worked on the book for about a year with him, and we got pretty close. He said to me, “Stuart, you should carry on Dr. King’s legacy when I’m gone. In the time we have spent together, you have gotten to understand who this man was, not only what he stood for, but what made him tick. I want to make sure that after I’m gone the world still knows.” I’m a relatively young white guy, and this struck me. I’m not a historian and don’t tend to write non-fiction, but the book, "Behind the Dream", was a success. I wanted to bring attention to Dr. King’s legacy by writing a fictional film script that teaches you and makes you think... READ MORE Katherine Harman 34th

The Suspect (click for tickets) Screens again during #PFF22 9:45pm Saturday, October 26, 2013 Prince Music Theater.

Philly Film, Food & Events Blog

Philly Events Calendar

ADD YOUR EVENT for FREE! - which includes SOCIAL MEDIA BLASTS!  Click AGENDA VIEW to see complete list of happenings.

Featured Post


Tinsel & Tine Winners for Preview Screening Contest Guest on The LAMB Podcast Lambcast #470: CAPTAIN MARVEL w/ Rich Kirkh...

Food n Film: BURNT

Food n Film: BURNT
Bradley Cooper has more than charisma, he has an over abundance of Chi, which radiates out from him; so for me, this role as temperamental and damaged chef Adam Jones, who also inspires great love and admiration from those around him, works on the level of characterization. In fact, I think he's among a very short list of actors who would be able to pull off being so self-involved and yet likable. Doesn't hurt that he really speaks French too! READ POST

Food n Film: CHEF

Food n Film: CHEF
Much of the movie centers around the father/son relationship, and how much they learn from each other. But the real star of the film is all the food preparation, every other scene made me groan with want of everything up on that screen! Particularly the perfectly roasted and rubbed brisket, the crispy fat of the pork belly, sizzling bacon and the much ballyhooed Chocolate Lava Cake. READ POST


The key to deciphering both the city it beautifully depicts and the man who eats it best - City of Gold

By Tinsel & Tine Contributor Denine Gorniak (The Bicycle-Chef)

What Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times food critic/writer, has done for food writing journalism and for the restaurants that he loves, the movie, City of Gold has done for Jonathan Gold and Los Angeles and its surrounding environs – it has planted taco covered kisses on them... READ POST

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT
If you’re a foodie movie lover who saw Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred Foot Journey (see T&T post), this summer you may be wondering what delicious visual journey might be awaiting you in the theater next. Well, how about a look back at his film Chocolat (2000), which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. Hallström’s has a special talent for turning cooking into a dramatic movie journey...READ MORE


...young Hassan, a soulful-eyed boy with lush, thick eye lashes, places his face into the sea urchin basket, and breathes in the exotic briny scent. He sticks his fingers into the aquatic ooze, takes it to his mouth and is transfixed by the taste. The vendor, oblivious to the thrusting arms of frenzied women, notices the boy and realizes he is the only one worthy of this oceanic prize; he is the one who can “truly taste.” ... READ MORE

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA
Personally, I like the unevenness of it, because I fell in love with the post World War II, Parisian sights, sounds, food and romance between Julia and Paul. I always felt a bit jarred back into reality when the scenes returned to Julie's meltdowns and cramped kitchen.READ POST

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE
Six months into my 38th year of this life, I had my first panic attack. I didn't know that's what it was until months later. Symptom after symptom starting piling up on me until there were days I could no longer move my arms or neck. The doctors told me I was suffering from an auto-immune condition that they felt was most likely Lupus. And so began my much deeper journey and exploration into the world of spirit, alternative medicine, yoga, meditation and Eat, Pray, Love. READ POST


With a film like this, food plays a main character in the story and I was lucky enough to get an interview with the film's Food Stylist, Janine Kalesis.READ POST

Food n Film: WAITRESS

Food n Film: WAITRESS
In this 2007 film, Keri Russell stars as Jenna - a desolate diner waitress seeking solace in the art of pie-making. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she’s eager to escape her husband and her small-town hell and sets about to make a run for it by entering an out of town pie baking contest. READ POST


Those of us in attendance were not only given the opportunity to see Babette's Feast, the Oscar winning, Danish film, considered one of the all-time great "food films"; we also got to taste Babette's menu! READ POST


I participated in WalkMS Philly on 4/30/16
Thank you to the readers who donated to the cause - It's not too late to support! Click badge below

15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"

Tinsel & Tine on

Tinsel & Tine on
Really love this platform, you feature your stuff and other people's stuff you follow, and it all configures like the front page of a newspaper. Click to see what I mean

Visit Our YouTube Channel

Visit Our YouTube Channel
View Q & A's with visiting Filmmakers to Philly

Philly Food and Film

Videographer Oliver Gallini 5 min short featuring organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, who got his start at The Four Seasons Philadelphia.


Cross Content Blogs


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tinsel & Tine was nominated for a VBA



group of 10,000 women bloggers dedicated to supporting one another by leaving comments

Women Online

The Blogstress Network

The Blogstress Network
Female Bloggers Unite

Contributor from 2010 - 2012

About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

Camera Tips


  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP