Archive of films Idlewild / Idlewild

2006, 121 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2007

Grammy award-winning music tandem OutKast (André Benjamin and Antwan A. Patton) teamed up with director Barber on a previous occasion to work on clips for their album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003). In the film Idlewild they both get the chance to sing and show off their acting skills. The story is set in the prohibition-era American South: a music club manager has to deal with gangsters who are “protecting” the club, while his partner, co-owner of the club and pianist, has to choose between the love of his life and his obligations towards his father. Other big music names also make an appearance in the film, such as Patti LaBelle and Macy Gray.


The town of Idlewild in Georgia state. The story is set in the sleepy American South during the time of universal prohibition. Huddled in amongst other buildings is a music club run by host and manager Rooster. Rooster is compelled – if through clenched teeth – to play along with the smuggling mafia who, apart from providing the club with banned alcohol, also offers essential “protection”, while his business partner and pianist Percival has to choose between his love affair with the attractive Angel and his obligations towards his father. The two leads in the film are members of the star-studded and critically acclaimed musical tandem OutKast (André Benjamin alias André 3000 and Antwan A. Patton also known as Big Boi). The sound track incorporates an alluring blend of thirties jazz, blues, swing, rhythm and blues and modern rap. This story of infidelity, violence and life-size dreams is enhanced with appealing choreographed dance numbers and minor but convincing cameos from various music celebs headed by Macy Gray and Patti LeBelle.

About the director

Bryan Barber (b. 1970) established himself as a screenwriter and director of successful music clips; over the last seven years his prominent “clients” have included Missy Elliott, Kelly Clarkson, Ludacris, the girl band Destiny’s Child  and Christina Aguilera. At the age of 23 he began working with the music duo OutKast and, for his video clip for the song The Whole World, he was nominated in the category Best Hip-Hop Video (MTV Video Music Awards). In 2003 he demonstrated his distinctive vision in clips from the multi-platinum album by mini-band OutKast Speakerboxxx / The Love Below, and the following year brought him trophies for the clip for the hit single Hey, Ya! (Video of the Year, Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Special Effects and Best Direction, all from the satellite TV music channel MTV). The film Idlewild is Barber’s feature film debut.


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About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Bryan Barber
Screenplay: Bryan Barber
Dir. of Photography: Pascal Rabaud
Music: John Debney
Editor: Anne Goursaud
Producer: Charles Roven, Robert Guralnick
Production: HBO New York
Cast: André Benjamin, Antwan A. Patton, Paula Patton
Contact: HBO Europe, HBO New York


Vladimíra Věprovská



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