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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Movies for Black People v. Movies with Black People

I was walking my son out of the movie theatre.  We had just seen Planes or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.  I cannot remember which.  As we neared the doors, I noticed an advert that made one eyebrow go up, and my mind wonder what Hollywood was thinking when they green lit this forthcoming production: I'm in Love with a Church Girl.

I guess what bothered me the most was how painfully saccharine the whole affair looked on the ad, with its glossy looking cast, standing on what looked like a time share for a Rap video production company.  What underlay that was the fact that clearly Hollywood still believes that the only movies with black people worth making are ones that look as though Tyler Perry had a hand in them, or involve gang banging.

A drug dealer falls in love with a nice Christian girl.  Oh the dilemmas that must follow!

Reading the review of the movie, I am led to believe that it is based on the life of the screenplay writer, who did the whole "street life" thing. But how many of these films about street life have to come out before we ask for something more?  Are we so culturally entrenched that, if it isn't a screwball comedy with Chris Tucker or Ice Cube, or a melodrama possibly starring Medea, we don't want to see it.  

I understand that Butler movie was pretty good.  Great even, if one is to believe those around him.  I just wish that there could be more like it.  Not cookie cut either.  Just in that spirit.  Capture an experience without reverting to what the marketing metric says will or won't sell.  If everyone listened to their marketing metric, we might never have gotten To Kill a Mockingbird or Cast Away.  But listening to marketing got us four bad Star Wars films, The Godfather 3, and too many Jason and Freddy movies to bother naming.  

That's all from Elliott at the Kitchen Table