Arts

How Atlantans Reacted To ‘Black Panther’ At Its Premiere

Victoria Paulino and Aishah Gomes were among the moviegoers who attended the "Black Panther" premiere Thursday night at Atlantic Station. The movie was filmed partially in Atlanta and generated more than $80 million for Georgia’s economy, according to deadline.com.
Victoria Paulino and Aishah Gomes were among the moviegoers who attended the "Black Panther" premiere Thursday night at Atlantic Station. The movie was filmed partially in Atlanta and generated more than $80 million for Georgia’s economy, according to deadline.com.
Credit Kaitlyn Lewis / WABE
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Expectations were high for Marvel’s “Black Panther,” which premiered Thursday night.

In Atlanta, some cosplayers appeared at Atlantic Station’s Regal theater for the movie’s opening night, thrilled to see a black superhero and a majority-black cast on the big screen.

Many lined up Thursday night for the premiere of "Black Panther" at the Atlantic Station Regal theater. (Kaitlyn Lewis/WABE)
Many lined up Thursday night for the premiere of “Black Panther” at the Atlantic Station Regal theater. (Kaitlyn Lewis/WABE)

“Having so many people of African descent in the same movie — normally you don’t get that,” said cosplayer Aishah Gomes, who was also an extra in the film. “You don’t get that, especially on this level, and especially not a Marvel movie.”

Gomes said she was filmed in a waterfall scene dressed in African garb. She hoped she made the final cut.

The two-hour and 15-minute movie was filmed partially in Atlanta and generated more than $80 million for Georgia’s economy, according to deadline.com. Other Marvel films have done well in the past, but major hype for “Black Panther” centered around its ethnic representation.

A Georgia State student, Nakibiya Victoria, said she came to the theater Thursday night to support black art.

“It’s a big deal (having) Ryan Coogler directing this film and all that (and) having an all-black cast,” said Uzochi Enworom, also a GSU student. “And so I just wanted to come out and support.”

“As I child growing up, I’ve just always been told that I was ugly,” Victoria Paulino said. “Just to be able to look at a movie and see somebody that looks like me and to know that they’re being glorified and looked at as beautiful, it lifts your spirit.”

Paulino is a big Marvel fan.

“It’s about time to just see us — see me — when I’m looking at a movie,” she said.

Does It Live Up To The Hype?

At Thursday’s premiere, Mo Vermenton, dressed as Black Panther, stands with his wife Danielle Johnson. They are part of a group called Atlanta Cosplayers and attend charity events in costume. (Kaitlyn Lewis/WABE)
At Thursday’s premiere, Mo Vermenton, dressed as Black Panther, stands with his wife Danielle Johnson. He is part of a group called Cosplay Volunteers of Atlanta and attends charity events in costume.

It’s difficult to find a negative review of “Black Panther” online, and many are saying the movie does not disappoint.

 

Joseph Wheeler, an Atlanta artist and filmmaker, had no criticisms after he saw “Black Panther” at a Feb. 7 screening at the Fox Theatre.

He liked the acting, the special effects, the action and, most of all, the costume design.

“I cannot highlight enough the work of Miss (Ruth) Carter,” Wheeler said.

Carter was the film’s wardrobe specialist. Wheeler said her work captured the diverse variety of cultures that exist in the continent of Africa.

“So many movies have been dealing with countries in Africa directly, and they don’t get it right,” he said.

‘A Paradigm Shift’

Wheeler said “Black Panther” is a paradigm shift in many genres.

“I mean the genres from science fiction, fantasy, action or thriller. You name it,” he said. “It definitely helped with the important issue of the diaspora and the connection that the people outside the continent have with the continent and, in some cases, feelings of neglect and reconnecting that relationship.”

“My overall opinion is it is amazing, and it is a paradigm shift in the genre,” he said

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