Archive for the ‘Black Interest’ Category

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DAMN YOU SHAKESPEARE…AND TYLER PERRY

April 25, 2010

Hey Cinephiles!  Been away from the blogging scene for  a minute but never for a second out of the movie loop.  As a quick update, yes, I furrowed my eyebrows many times at Avatar‘s thinly veiled racism and  found Sandra Bullock’s Oscar win in The Blind Side a calculated attempt by Hollywood to secretly promote the “Great White Agenda”.  An agenda that would be glaringly apparent should  Avatar have won for Best Film.  Poor Sandra.  A good performance, but me thinks your Southern accent and tight-fitting clothes ain’t gonna cut it.  The Hurt Locker, however was fascinating, intense, and totally deserved the win.  Today’s topic?  Dating and Romance.  Because hey, it’s where I am in life right now and affects how I people-watch  just like Tina Fey and Steve Carrell in Date Night.

Two years ago I attended a 4-day cinema therapy workshop retreat in Big Sur, CA  at the Esalen Institute.  Esalen is famous for it’s hot springs, fertile land and is a haven for those who can afford the rejuvenation and  holistic approach to wellness in all forms.  While discussing our favorite films, one of mine being West Side Story, the instructor informed rather than asked me if I was a “tragic romantic”.  Odd, I felt that I always connected with West Side Story since the first time I saw the original Romeo and Juliet at 13 years old.  I had not considered that preferred films could speak volumes about one’s predilections in life but was astonished  nonetheless considering the recent loss of my husband.  And today as I navigate the dating seas with the sharp and quirky mind of the analyst who can see clearly through the BS I am astonished by the trivial- but even more so at how I sometimes allow myself to make concessions for the men who promote it.  Dating, for most people I assume is like holding auditions- will you get a call back?  And if you do get a call back, then what?  Especially if I’m clear on what I want but you may or may not be able to reciprocate.  Blind faith I suppose.  And lots and lots of prayer.  Lots and lots.

Will he or won’t he?  Do or do not?  The push and pull of the drama, which is at the core of the classic romantic tragedy, is what has kept past relationships exciting.  At this point in my life I find myself wondering if that’s what’s best for me.  An even scarier thought is that the push-pull dynamic is something that ties me to the past, thus begging the question  if dating for me at this point is a wise choice if I continue to attract the jokers.  Don’t all the relationships experts say that you have to work on yourself before you can even entertain the thought of being in a healthy relationship?  Isn’t that a part of “The Secret”?  Clearly I’ve been going through the hoopla of it all and at this point I have to put my thoughts about it all into prose.  Quite frankly, sometimes I get angry about having to go through the stupidity of weeding out the jokers, especially since I was once a woman who was happy in love with a sweet man who occasionally had his sour moments.  I started as a poet I’m gon’ continue being one.  So as a way of purging the inner monologue  here goes a little something from off the top of the dome.  I think I’ll call it “Mastery”

Both attracted and repelled by your slickness

Of course your ego calls it charm

You know, that thing that precludes your shame

You think it’s charm

How you got away with it for so long is something for the Guinness files

And while you continue to master the art of beguilement

Your soul thirsts for a sustenance

One that you may not find in your predicament

Far too intelligent and composed to wish you ill

Though your spite can be contagious if I’m not careful

A battle for God to master

Emotions I  must master

And your slickness persists because you too, are attracted and repelled by my poise

You know the games wont be tolerated (without a fight at least)

“Doh”!

And the more I acquiesce

The more pitiful we both become

And like my mama used to say

I will not be made pathetic

The Mastery is on me

The truth of it all for me lies somewhere in the last scene of Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, Too. Spoiler alert.  So the husband of Janet Jackson’s character, Patricia dies (tragically). Fast forward one year later.   Patricia, a psychologist (of course) and educator (did I mention I work in an elementary school?)  finishes  teaching a lecture on healing and is stopped in the parking lot by one of her colleagues.  Apparently a potential funder has desperately been trying to get in contact with Patricia to no avail.  Who is this funder who wants her attention?  Fine-ass eye candy Dwayne Johnson of course!  They exchange flirtatious smiles and it is hinted that Patricia is ready to date again.  Fade to black.   Prime set up for another Why Did I Get Married sequel.  My reaction?   Dating after widowhood is only the beginning of a roller coaster journey.  Of course your rational mind knows that your partner is long gone but it’s so easy to attract the ones that hint at the past.  It’s a part of “the process”.  And the mastery of it all is a daily affair.  My advice?  When you see through the BS, run for the hills.  Now only if I can take my own advice…

That’s all.  Till next time, movie lovers.

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‘Precious’ Wins at Toronto International Film Festival

September 22, 2009

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Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Adding already to it’s big wins at Sundance and Cannes, Precious took home the “Cadillac People’s Choice Award” at the Toronto International Film Festival, making it a shoe in for a best picture nomination at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.  Award buzz aside we here at TMS are more excited about the raw portrayal of the intersections of poverty and abuse that plague far too many children, particularly those in Black and Brown communities. Trust me…I’ve spent my fair share of time in foster, group homes, and residential treatment facilities to tell you how these issues impact the psychosocial development and more importantly, shape the global outlook of a child.  To use the term “troubled” is an understatement.

Lee Daniels and Gabourey Sidibe at Sundance

Lee Daniels and Gabourey Sidibe at Sundance

TMS appreciates films that are personal to the artist and in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, ‘Precious’ director, Lee Daniels explains the passion behind the project:

“When I reflect on it, on why I did this movie, it has a lot to do with my youth, what I witnessed, and that girl who came to my door at 3 o’clock on a summer afternoon when I was 11,” he says. “But it also has to do with the food I was eating, the pork, the chitlins, the cockroaches on the walls, the mice we’d throw bread at, it’s a combination of all that was.”

The girl was a 7-year-old neighbor named Angie and the moment was a seminal one for the director. Daniels remembers opening the door of their West Philly apartment to find this already morbidly overweight child, naked, crying, trying to cover herself with her hands, bloody welts raised on her back and arms by an electrical cord. The memory was profound, the words, “Mommy beat me,” haunted him, that and the fear he saw in his own mother’s eyes. “I remember my mother on her knees in the corner praying, and me thinking, ‘Where’s God?’ “

When, years later, he read “Push,” those images, long suppressed, rose up. “The book evoked the same feelings — I could smell every scent, I could see the texture of the walls, I was shaking. Shaking. It was like family, I knew it intimately, but I didn’t know whether I wanted the story told.”


Can’t wait to see this one.  I’ve already got at least 3 Siggy’s waiting to crown it with.  ‘Precious hits theaters in November.  Peep the official trailer below.



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To Weave or not to Weave

September 1, 2009

Summer is ending and there are tons of great movies slotted to premiere this Fall.  I usually get excited around this time of year but so far the only films I’m geeked to see are the Oprah/Tyler Perry produced, Precious; The Lovely Bones, and Chris Rock’s Good Hair. Those of you who know me are aware that I am a master of hair disguise and I sooooo can’t wait to organize and facilitate a discussion with women of color about the “good hair” debate.

In related news, this weekend I attended the wedding of my oldest childhood friend and like a true Black woman I gave entirely too much thought about what coif to rock.  In the end I decided to weave it up- my first in 10 years. That same weekend I attended a high school reunion and to say that my new locks gave me an extra boost of confidence would be an understatement.  I worked the floor, flirting, dancing, and mingling with all the hot guys who wouldn’t give me the time of day all those years ago when I was a chunky monkey with chubby cheeks and short, stringy tresses.  Perhaps the weight loss added to my increased self-esteem but I couldn’t help but feel the entire night that in the end, men- especially Black men are in search of  those unbeweavable Beyonce types.

Remember when weaves used to be taboo in the Black community?  For the record I NEVER have a problem getting play when I wear my hair natural but in truth, we live in the age of the mixed-race video vixen with hair longer than her IQ.  Ok that was harsh but you know what I mean.  I don’t even watch BET much these days but it seems that every time I see a new video, Weavie Wonder is front and center doing her little dance.  And one need not only look to Black music to understand what I’m talking about.  The Britney’s and Lindsey’s love “extensions” too.

I just wanna know are weaves more attractive to Black men?  Do Black women wear them to compensate for other insecurities?  Does hair even matter?  Of course I can’t make sweeping generalities for an entire race but whatever the answer is, Seabiscuit and I will be in the front row of our local theatre watching Chris Rock do his thing.  The film opens in select cities on October 9th and nationwide on October 23rd.  See you at the movies!

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Why I Dig Cinematherapy

March 5, 2009

Leave it to the Wayans brothers to explain my passion for analyzing movie messages.  Hillarious!!!  Caution.  The language is explicit.

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2009 Golden Globe Noms Lack Diversity

December 13, 2008
Token?

Token?

Nominations for the 66th Annual Golden Globes were announced yesterday and surprisingly (or not) performance nods by African Americans were underrepresented.  What?  No love for Meet Dave

With the exception of Blair Underwood’s nomination  as Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for his role in HBO’s In Treatment and Beyonce’s contribution to Best Original Song in Cadillac Records there is not a Black face to be found on the nomination list.  And, like Santa, I checked it twice. 

Latino actors  America Ferrera, Javier Bardem, and Penelope Cruz were nominated respectively for their roles in Ugly Betty and Vicky Christina Barcelona and Indian music director, A.R. Rahman was nominated for Best Original Score for Slumdog Millionaire.  Great.  That brings the Brown Face count up to five.  FIVE!!!

But seriously, WTF?  I expected Hancock and Traitor  to be overlooked by the Hollywood Foreign Press but not The Secret Life of Bees.  No best screenplay?  I know it’s not a category but no best ensemble cast?  Nothing? 

I’m not saying that the powers that be should nominate Brown folks just for the sake of doing so but really, this is getting to be a bit ridiculous.  Tom Cruise as Best Supporting Actor in Tropic Thunder? And scene.

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What Obama’s Election Really Means…

November 5, 2008

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If you’re looking for speculation on who should be cast in the roles of Hollywood’s inevitable Obama biopic you will be sorely disappointed. Let’s get sociopolitical for a moment.  This is the portrait of America’s new history books.  Not only is this moment extraordinary because Barack Obama-a Black man- has been elected to the highest position in the country, this portrait in itself is historic because the first woman and first children look like me 20 years ago and 20 years from now respectively.  I am speechless.  While this is a time for all Americans to celebrate democracy in action no one can deny the symbolism of yesterday’s election. Lest we get beside ourselves with euphoria and emotion about finally becoming “one people” we must never forget that the election of Barack Obama was a culmination of events that African  Americans suffered and died for.  Non-Blacks will never experience the sweetness of this moment in the same vein as Blacks.

The election of Barack Obama as president means that now is the time for Black people in particular to eliminate the word “can’t” from our vocabulary.  There are simply no more excuses to throw pity parties about what we wish we could do and complain about how we can’t get a break because of skin color and/or economic hardships.  Personal responsibility for ones successes and growth has always been a factor in the history of Black America.  We are owed nothing by anyone.  Barack Obama did not become the 44th president because of his skin color.  He did it because he sacrificed a mediocre life to pursue higher education, had a vision, and dedicated himself to bringing it to fruition.

More importantly, this election is a call for Black men to reclaim their greatness.  If you grew up in a family like mine you probably heard that we are the original Kings and Queens.  Now is the time to act like it.  Black man, if you did not have a role model in your father or any other Black man in your community, with Obama in office you now have something to aspire to.  There is no reason for you to kill each other just for bragging rights.  There is no reason for you to sire children and not actively participate in setting the foundations for them to lead productive lives.  There is no reason to not take pride in who you are.  There are no more excuses.  Enough already!