Interview: Boots Riley – Sorry to Bother You
Writer/Director Boots Riley is no stranger to pushing boundaries. A longtime political activist-rapper, he has already made his bones in music, founding the renowned Bay Area group The Coup and collaborating with a long list of greats including E-40, Talib Kweli, Audioslave, Rage against the Machine, and The Roots. And now, as a first-time filmmaker, he’s well onto his second career.
His gonzo satire Sorry To Bother You is a wildly inventive critique of modern society with strong performances and technical flourishes. Although the film is uneven, it’s a one-of-a-kind work of art and one of the boldest conversation-starters of Sundance ’18. Safe to say Riley’s voice won’t be quelled anytime soon … and that his sights are set on challenging film industry moeurs. I got to chat with Riley on the red carpet for words of wisdom: on leaping from music to film, devising this particular project, and using art to make a difference.