“Better Mus’ Come” NYC Premiere at Lincoln Center Featuring Mr Vegas

February 17, 2012

Words by Eddie STATS
Photos by Kevin Ornelas

Better Mus Come NY premiere at Lincoln Center

Yesterday evening, inside New York’s renowned Lincoln Center, LargeUp was proud to be the media sponsor of the East Coast premiere of Storm Saulter’s award-winning film Better Mus’ Come. Having played at Los Angeles’ Pan-African Film Festival just days before, it was only the second stateside screening of the feature, one of the toughest films out of Jamaica since The Harder They Come.

In addition to bringing Mr. Vegas through for a repriseย of his brilliant acoustic set at Miss Lily’s Variety, LargeUp editor and dancehall intellectual Sherman Escoffery joined Saulter and female lead Nicole “Sky” Grey, as well as Carl Williams, who plays a duplicitous politician in the film’s early scenes, onstage for a wide-ranging conversation after the film. The talk was moderated by Moikgantsi Kgama of Imagenation Cinema Foundation , the event organizer responsible for putting the whole thing together alongside the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Veteran actor Roger Guenveur Smith (Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing)–who plays the part of a Michael Manley-like Prime Minister–took a quick break from giving his infant son a bath toย join the discussion via Skype.

The Walter Reade Theater was filled to capacity and then some and latecomers were forced to sit in the aisles and stairwells or simply lean against a convenient wall for the standing-room only screening. But the roadblock seating arrangements, combined with Vegas’ star presence and a rousing introduction from radio legend Dahved Levy. all contributed to a palpable sense of being at an event–a happening–as opposed to just seeing a film. One of the highlights of the evening came when lead actor Sheldon Shepherd (Ricky)–joined by a visibly-blazed costar Everaldo Cleary (Shortman)–also skyped in from Jamaica and wowed the audience with a spontaneous performance of the dub poem that served as his audition for the film.

Of the film itself, we can’t say much without spoiling for our readers the pleasure of seeing it themselves–except that the experience of seeing it on a big screen clearly exceeded the already high expectations of the audience. Whatever accolades the future holds for this film and it’s director the alarm was definitely rung last night–the NY film world will be checking for Saulter, Caribbean cinema and Better Mus’ Come.

Mr Vegas at Lincoln Center

Storm Saulter, Mr Vegas at Lincoln Center

Better Mus Come NY premiere at Lincoln Center