Yves Mathieu East, William Chris Sumpter, Laura Sampson Hemingway, Steve Silver
J. Arcane, Paul Erskine
J. Arcane (Screenplay/Story), Paul Erskine (Story)
WATCH ON PRIME VIDEO
You'll likely know within the opening moments of NYC Dreams if this is a film for you. I rather pity the person who chooses to not immerse themselves in the world created within NYC Dreams, a unique yet inspired cinematic vision starring noted Black Lives Matter activist and LGBTQ influencer Yves Mathieu East as Theo, a gifted but struggling dancer in New York City who uses his daydreams to escape and find love.
NYC Dreams is a beautiful film to behold with a mesmerizing performance by East that is filled with vibrancy, emotional resonance, and a physicality that makes this story come remarkably to life. The film is a tapestry of characters, minimalized dialogue, dance, imagery, and so much more. In some ways, it reminded me of Fame not so much because of the story but because of the way the artistry comes to life within the fabric of the film. It's clear that co-directors J. Arcane and Paul Erskine are working together to tell a story that deserves to be told as Theo literally dances his way through New York CIty and his betrayals by lovers, embrace by strangers, and coping with the memories of an abusive childhood. The film is also gifted with the presence of William Chris Sumpter.
While there is narrative cohesion within NYC Dreams, it's a fluid cohesion that responds to the needs of the story and these characters rather than following anything resembling a traditional structure. Beautifully photographed and with immersive music, NYC Dreams hooked me very early on and never let me go.
NYC Dreams is currently available via streaming channels including Prime Video. For those who embrace the more experimental side of cinema, NYC Dreams is an inspired and engaging cinematic experience.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic