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The alternate reality tale, based on Riley’s own working experiences, follows a telemarketer who finds the key to success, which leads him to a disturbing universe. Sorry to Bother You stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Danny Glover, Steven Yeun and Armie Hammer. The film was also nominated for best screenplay.
Riley recognized the “new, diverse voices” happening in film right now in his speech, especially the people on the streets participating in movements that allow for this diversity.
“There are real movements happening out there on the streets, direct action, where people are trying to change the way the world is and, rightly so, film is responding,” he said.
Because of this diverse landscape, Riley noted that for the first time, filmmakers don’t feel like they have to “edit out” normal parts of life, like class struggles, from their movies. Speaking about his own film and his own experience, Riley explained how this is a movie about a workplace that deals with class struggle and mentions that many movies of the kind don’t.
“This is a film that takes place in an office place and it’s the first one that I know that has class struggle in it even though class struggle is happening every day when you’re on your jobs and you’re seeing that happen. For some reason, we thought we had to edit that out of our stories,” Riley said.
Riley then switched things up to call out the United States and the CIA, who he theorized is organizing a coup in Venezuela right now. “I also want to say that the CIA is trying to have a coup in Venezuela. We should all be putting our voices out to stop the U.S. from having regime change for oil in Venezuela.”
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