Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

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Skin Deep

August 23, 2011

Skin (2008) is the true life story of Sandra Laing, a black girl who was born to white Afrikaner parents in Apartheid era South Africa.  The film tells the story of Sandra’s struggle with identity largely during her adolescent and young adult years.  Raised with her older brother (whose skin is white) Sandra believes that she is white but is subject to the cruel punishment and belittlement of her school peers and teachers who see her as a kaffir.  Sandra’s confusion and her parents’ tireless attempts to prove that she is indeed white lands their unique case at the highest levels of the South African courts.  After testimony from genetics experts and observations of her ethnic features by “doctors” Sandra is legally classified as white and bounces off into the sunset with her blonde haired, blue eyed doll that she values so much.

Of course life is not happily ever after for the family as Sandra’s skin continues to divide her community.  Sandra is an oddity in her dating years.  A novelty for the Afrikaner whites and intriguing to the Swaziland natives Sandra must decide what side of the love fence feels most genuine to her peaking sexual identity.  Sandra’s decision also divides her family wherein her father, a staunch supporter of the Apartheid government, disowns her when Sandra becomes pregnant by a black man. Sandra’s mother, also a supporter of the government (albeit torn by the love for her daughter) too distances herself.  It is when Sandra rears her children that she legally reclassifies herself as black for fear of losing them.

This film is an ironic take on the story of the tragic mulatto.  Sandra is not of mixed race blood but as far as everyone else is concerned it is perception that matters.  There are some hard to watch scenes in the film where she uses bleaches and creams to lighten her features because of her confusion.  Sandra hates her black skin and yet she is not black.  But she is black.  But she isn’t black.  Get the picture?  This film will appeal to brown people who have ever developed a mental condition about being  “light-skinned” or white people who’ve developed a mental condition about their “olive” features.  Skin is not just skin here.  3 Siggies.

 

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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.