Our host, Stefanie Alleyne, sits down to discuss the consuming film, “Rampart,” with today’s panelist, Robyn Ferrari, a theatrical actress; Olivia Narcisse, project manager for a commercial furniture design company; and Ashley Benzwie, a multidisciplinary artist; at the upscale retro restaurant, The Highliner Diner in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.
It’s 1999 Los Angeles and Rodney King’s request for us all to just get along has come and gone, as have the riots that followed. Most residents are eager to move on from these embarrassing events in the City of Angels, while a precious few can not. Meet Dave Brown…Vietnam Vet and a battle scarred cop who has more fondness for his moniker, “Date Rape Dave,” than he does for his badge. A vigilante in the express lane on the Highway to Hell, Dave Brown hates all people equally yet is a master in the art of seduction that no woman can rebuff. Confident and eloquent, he has the word or action for every scenario…good, bad and all in between.
Loosely based on true events, “Rampart” is co-written by James Ellroy (who also wrote “L.A. Confidential”) and Oren Moverman, who is also the Director of this film. “Rampart,” is a character study set in the Wild, Wild West of present day. Woody Harrelson gives a irresistible performance as Dave Brown. You wanna hate him but damn yourself for extending compassion to a rogue…and a rogue cop at that! The cast is rich with surprise performances including Broadway legend and operatic diva, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, of Sex and the City fame, and even rapper-turn- actor, Ice Cube, pops up for some fab face time. Expect to also encounter Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright and Ann Heche, some caricatures and some not. Brie Larson commands the screen in her every scene as Helen, Dave’s teenage daughter coming to terms with the character (or lack of) of her dad. Deliberately slow paced but intense with ambiguity, “Rampart” is a hypnotic ride on cruise control in low gear. But, don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt; it’s still going to be a very, bumpy ride.
More About our Fabulous Panel
Ashley Benzwie is a multidisciplinary artist. She studied studio art at New York University concentrating in Sculpture and Installation. Ashley spent a few years in Berlin, Germany establishing two artist collectives. There she became drawn to film making, mesmerized by the element of possibility the medium offers. Currently she divides her time between Berlin and New York collaborating with various artists to transform spaces, and create interactive experiences. Additionally she works as a Director of Photography and an Editor. Ashley chooses not to define herself as any one thing. She is a firm believer in taking on many roles, embracing the unknown, and adapting to it.
See her work at ashleybenzwie.com
Olivia Narcisse is a Brooklyn, New York native. Olivia studied Dance in New York University. Her love for set design lead her to pursue a career in Interior Design. She is currently a Project Manager for a commercial furniture design company in New York City and teaches dance part-time at various venues throughout New York City. A serial hobbyist, she is currently studying furniture design and woodworking and enjoys playing capoeira.
Robyn Ferrari is in love with the art of performance! Bringing characters to life and telling stories through words, music and movement fascinates her every day. Robyn began her training in the arts as a dancer and has gone on to earn her Bachelors of Music from New York University in Classical Vocal Performance. She currently studies acting with Anthony Abeson, and voice with Tom Burke in NYC while working in all three of her disciplines. She has worked in theatre, concert, voice over, and film, and feels at home singing everything from Mozart to Musical Theatre to Madonna! Robyn looks forward to performance opportunities that allow her to continue to grow both artistically and professionally.
Discover more about The Highliner Diner.
Find out more about today’s film, Rampart.