Sunday, January 09, 2005

Black Directors Missing the Boat?

Wassup, Y'all!

After checking out the movie Hotel Rwanda (go see it y'all!) I've noticed a disquieting trend that is still making me go Hmmmmmm. To wit - why does it seem like all the important black movies are being brought to the screen by white directors?...

You'll note in my September 8th column that I gave a well deserved nod to Hotel Rwanda director Terry George. As I left the theater I began thinking about other similar movies that effected me the way Hotel Rwanda did - Glory (Ed Zwick), Amistad (Steven Spielberg), Mississippi Burning (Alan Parker) (a movie made all the more relevant due to the recent indictment of reputed Klansman Edgar Ray Killen for the murder of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner back in 1964), Ray (Taylor Hackford), Ali (Michael Mann) and I'm asking myself "Self - What's up with the black directors? How come they aren't bringing similar movies to the screen?"

Sure we had Denzel drop in an Antwoine Fisher and Spike Lee drop in a Malcom X and John Singleton drop in a Rosewood back in the day - shoot we even had David C. Johnson drop the classic Drop Squad (come back, brother) back in '94, but by and large these days we tend to get more movies like Spike's She Hate Me (did anybody see that Spike Lee Joint?) and Keenan Ivory Wayans White Chicks. I think it's safe to say that neither of those joints will be hearing from the Academy this year. Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe black directors can't get the same studio backing to get these type of films made. Then I'm like "Naw, that can't be it with all the financial capital available in the black entertainment community. Shoot - old girl Oprah's got her own production company and studio!" Don't get me wrong, y'all. I'm certainly appreciative that these films got made regardless of the director's race, but I'm beginning to get a little embarassed that we can't seem to bring our own stories to the screen unless we're skinnin' and grinnin'. Could be that old Tyrone is overreacting but I'm not feeling it, y'all.

A quick Get Well Soon goes out to Taye Digg's 'Wicked' wife Idina Menzel who took a fall down a trap door during her second to last performance as the bad witch in the Broadway show 'Wicked'. Seems our boy Taye staged his own daring midnight raid across the border when he landed Ms. Menzel.

Idina & Taye

No hatin', y'all, but I find it interesting that on his UPN show Kevin Hill (check my December 1st column for my thoughts on KH), TD hasn't yet crossed the border (although he seemed to have kicked it with the blonde shorty Kate Levering who plays fellow lawyer Veronica Carter on the show). Seems as if the networks (even South Side UPN) are still nervous to show live border crossings. It's 2005, y'all! What's the deal? Sadly, TD & Idina have received one of those whack racist letters similar to the ones outlined in my December 11th column. Shame, Shame. That ain't Player Hatin', y'all. That's just straight hatin' and we can all do without that whack a** jibber jabber. Go on with your bad self, Taye. Hey, let a brother know when you, Tiger and Seal plan on throwing one of those Pajama Jammy-Jams. I'm there cousin!



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