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Best African-American themed movie EVER?

 
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silkysoul
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Joined: 18 Aug 2004
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Location: Illinois, USA

PostPosted: 08.18.2004 1:15 am    Post subject: Best African-American themed movie EVER? Reply with quote

Please take the time to check out my Black Movie Poll at http://www.silkysoul.com/soulmovies



Pick your favorites and then post your results in this forum! Cool



Thanks!
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 08.18.2004 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted for Eve's Bayou, Imitation of Life, and three Spike Lee movies: Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and Clockers. I suppose my heavy emphasis on Lee comments on the marginalized and narrow state of most black-themed cinema at least as much as it reveals my admiration for Lee as an artist.



Interesting list, but no Oscar Micheaux? Plus, it's rather dispiriting to see the volume of titles that center around crime, reefer, and clownish stereotypes. I'm reminded of another Lee film, Bamboozled, which chastised black America for tolerating modern-day minstrel shows, which exist in the form of gangsta rap and urban sitcoms. That, in turn, reminds me of the recent controversy regarding an L.A. theater's plans to screen The Birth of a Nation, which were shelved after heavy NAACP protests. As Renee Graham of the Boston Globe wisely observed, "How do we rectify the stereotypical buffoonery of Soul Plane or the modern-day minstrel act of the Fox TV show 'Method and Red'? (And why aren't people protesting those current images, instead of a near 90-year-old film few have seen?)"



Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 08.18.2004 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric, I am repulsed to see that the masterful Johnson Family Vacation did not garner nomination from you!
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 08.18.2004 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
Eric, I am repulsed to see that the masterful Johnson Family Vacation did not garner nomination from you!


I haven't seen it yet. Perhaps I voted prematurely?



Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 08.18.2004 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen it either, but can't you tell from the trailers that it will be one of the most amazing cinematic events in your life?
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Monkeypox
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PostPosted: 08.18.2004 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I could've, I would've voted for Friday 5 times.



.... and it's all about reefer and crime.
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silkysoul
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PostPosted: 08.18.2004 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
I voted for Eve's Bayou, Imitation of Life, and three Spike Lee movies: Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and Clockers.




Thanks! Smile



beltmann wrote:
Interesting list, but no Oscar Micheaux? Plus, it's rather dispiriting to see the volume of titles that center around crime, reefer, and clownish stereotypes.




African-Americans as a whole gravitate toward comedies to escape the real world, which is sometimes harsh whatever your economic status! When I compiled the list, the "volumes of titles" were the most dominant.



beltmann wrote:
I'm reminded of another Lee film, Bamboozled, which chastised black America for tolerating modern-day minstrel shows, which exist in the form of gangsta rap and urban sitcoms. That, in turn, reminds me of the recent controversy regarding an L.A. theater's plans to screen The Birth of a Nation, which were shelved after heavy NAACP protests. As Renee Graham of the Boston Globe wisely observed, "How do we rectify the stereotypical buffoonery of Soul Plane or the modern-day minstrel act of the Fox TV show 'Method and Red'? (And why aren't people protesting those current images, instead of a near 90-year-old film few have seen?)"




A question for you: how do we enjoy comedies, which are meant to be exaggerations of reality, that depict Black culture without being too sensitive? I mean, no one marched when "Dumb & Dumber" or "Clerks" or "Office Space" made bank at the box office. Neutral



I'm all for movies like "Beloved", "Soul Food" and "Waiting To Exhale", but I can't be more stressed when I leave the show than when I arrived. :(



As far as the gangsta lifestyle, I hope you don't watch "The Sopranos" or own "The Godfather". I've seen reports of protests by Italian-Americans against the stereotypes these shows perpetuate in American society. Not to say the gangsta/thug movies are masterpieces, but some of the stories ought to be told.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 08.18.2004 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

silkysoul wrote:
Not to say the gangsta/thug movies are masterpieces, but some of the stories ought to be told.


No disagreement there--I think Menace II Society, Boyz N the Hood, New Jersey Drive, Baby Boy, and Fresh are strong, important stories, and I think Clockers is one of the best pictures of the Nineties. (Oh, and The Godfather, too, is a story that ought to be told. I haven't seen "The Sopranos.") What I'm disappointed in is that Americans seem to associate "black" film with a very narrow range of material, and that that material too often tends to perpetuate negative stereotypes. I realize it may sound "sensitive" to bristle at exaggerated comedies like Next Friday. Yet it isn't individual pictures that are troubling, but their wider social context: what's discouraging is the sheer, disproportionate volume of these exaggerations--as if "black culture" consists strictly of crime, booty, reefer, and bling-bling.



I understand why some people want to protest The Birth of a Nation, which symbolizes how the media has persistently offered the institutionalized stereotyping of blacks. But in the era of gangsta rap and urban sitcoms, blacks may have become willing collaborators in the perpetuation of those stereotypes, and must bear some responsibility for them--I think the Boston Globe's Renee Graham, who is a female African-American, is spot-on when she says modern-day minstrel shows deserve far more ire than a largely forgotten silent picture.



Eric
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silkysoul
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PostPosted: 08.19.2004 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
What I'm disappointed in is that Americans seem to associate "black" film with a very narrow range of material, and that that material too often tends to perpetuate negative stereotypes. I realize it may sound "sensitive" to bristle at exaggerated comedies like Next Friday. Yet it isn't individual pictures that are troubling, but their wider social context: what's discouraging is the sheer, disproportionate volume of these exaggerations--as if "black culture" consists strictly of crime, booty, reefer, and bling-bling.




Yes, you're right: the volume is disappointing. However, Americans don't necessarily associate "black" film with a narrow range of material. What we do is look to be "entertained". Rolling Eyes Unfortunately, the greatest power any citizen has in the U.S.A. is disposable income. If we pay to see a different version of the same ghetto story (and we do Embarassed ), then they'll keep making crappy movies. You saw "Soul Plane" never took off the runway. Maybe there's hope that another "Color Purple" or "Soul Food" masterpiece will be produced in the near future...and be successful! Very Happy
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