USA, 2007, 75 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Black / African American, Coming Out, Drama, Gay, Youth
Program: U.S. Features
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Kirk Shannon-Butts

Keith is a reserved, straitlaced transplant to New York City from Los Angeles; Nathan is a street-smart, potsmoking Brooklynite who lives on the edge — or so he’d like Keith to believe. At first glance, nothing about these two young African American college students suggests romantic compatibility. But a casual courtship gradually develops amidst minor bickering and disagreements — those familiar interstices inside which nascent love restlessly takes shape.
After a chance meeting in a Harlem coffee shop — in which Keith dismisses hip hop as mere pop music while Nathan defends it as the reflection of a society — the two embark on a first date to the countryside on Nathan’s motorcycle. Pot is inhaled, skinny-dipping ensues and love continues to grow despite more fights and setbacks. But Blueprint is more concerned with the quiet, contemplative moments of this blossoming romance than with stealth sex and simmering anger. There is messiness in Keith and Nathan’s union, but it is more defined by their quiet admiration for one another than their quarreling. In his feature debut, Kirk Shannon-Butts serves up an achingly observant slow burn that, as its title suggests, serves as a plan of action that can be used as a guide to the future. Equal parts urban valentine — its scenes of Harlem street life are both ravishing and real — and pastoral romance, redolent of Kelly Reichert’s transcendant indie delight Old Joy, Blueprint is a winsome tribute to self-discovery and young love. — ANDY BAILEY


Black Coalition On AIDS and San Francisco Black Film Festival



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