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February 25, 2008


Mes Deux Cents


This is really interesting in a few different ways. First; I have read about the Black Israelites and find their self-sufficiency very interesting. I am very interested in intentional communities, minus the religion part.

Second; I agree that a more communal approach would be good for Black Hollywood. Unfortunately everyone seems to want to only use the White Hollywood model.

It would be great if a few of the more successful actors got together and built a studio for use by Black filmmakers in general.

I have been hoping that Black filmmakers would use the internet to build a community as well but as far as I know that has yet to happen.

This is a very, very interesting post. Thanks for writing it.

(P.S., I've heard that Tyler Perry is actually the devil.) Lmao


@ Mes Deux

First: I wanted to thank you for bearing with me. That post was a little long-winded. So, thank you for reading it. :)

And thank you for sharing your viewpoint. I think they are quite interesting in what they have achieved.

We need to look to and develop other models, perhaps.

As for Tyler Perry, girl, you know your wrong. LMAO. :):)

the obenson report

Collective power... movement power... that's what we're missing... the "it takes a village to raise a child" mentality (in this case, the child being "black cinema")... all ideas that I've preached ad nauseam on my podcast. And as you've heard/read me state previously, the real "problem" transcends cinema. We live in a capitalist society... profit, materialism, status, and individualism prevail... black people are very much a part of this society, so it should be no surprise that their general aspirations mirror the majority. What you're talking about requires a complete paradigm shift... essentially humans (not just blacks) would have to start thinking differently about values. DuBois introduced us to the talented tenth (an ideology he later abandoned)... essentially, developing what he called the best of the black race, so that they could lead the rest. Even though he abandoned the idea, I think it could be reshaped and refocused for the 21st century, although I'm not sure exactly how... I do think that it presents some possibilities, as I've already shown with the "capable tenth" black film fund... a collective, communal effort involving that small percentage of us who are determined enough to, borrowing your words, "focus on a common goal which, upon execution, benefits many"... essentially assuming control of the financing, production and distribution of our images, combating Hollywood's lackluster efforts.

But maybe it can't be so simplified. I believe that for black cinema to improve, so much else will have to evolve before it, from the inside out.

The "problem" certainly isn't that we lack the talent as artists. We (or at least most of us) just want to share in the proverbial American dream, and that means conformity and compromise... f**k a revolution! It's likely not going to put money in any bank accounts.

There's no profit to be made from revolution, so it's hard out there for revolutionaries... and they are the ones we really should seek out and support!

Alright, I'm done!

Oh, and welcome back, by the way :o) Where've you been?


@ Obenson

Yes. Yes.

Your comment is better than my post. Thank you for this. Yes; I agree. The idea of your comment is basically what I wanted to say in my article. You said it far better than I; and quite eloquently.

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Sista needed a couple days off from blog-related activities; a timeout. LOL.

johnny wishbone

awesome post... i am speechless.. believe it or not.. lol.. and that comment was not better than your post.. lol

Concerned Black Filmmaker

"I believe that for black cinema to improve, so much else will have to evolve before it, from the inside out." -- The Obenson Report

I agree. This starts with telling great stories on screen that will captivate the world. You can't have success with just the black dollar. You can get to Tyler Perry's level but how many film artists want to tell his stories? Besides, his level of success also had limitations. No. One would have to find another way. So, in the end of the day, it starts with great stories helmed by great directors, not wannabes. This is starting from the inside out.

For the last five years, the best black films with a black cast were made by white filmmakers. They're muscling into our market and proving to do a better job.

The main problem with the black community involved with film is that everybody refuse to accept each other's input and work together. Most of the black cinema community thinks they know great movies after watching several dozen recent films. They know nothing about what it takes to motivate the moviegoing audience to see their film. Yet, they feel they know it all. This is from my experience working in black Hollywood since 98. I was ushered in with major stars just at an intern level.

It's just a reflection of our communities outside of Hollywood, where the cameras aren't rolling and regular people are out everyday, some taking risks while others allow their egos to suppress each other.

Also, we know nothing about friendly competition, like the relationships between Spielberg, Lucas, Scorcese and Coppola. They revolutionized filmmaking through their unity and desire to make great movies, but doing anything they can to help each other make great films. Black filmmakers refuse to team up in that way.

It runs deep with us.


@ Johnny

Thank you, Johnny {*** blushing ***} for those very kind words.

@ Concerned

Dammit. I love this blog. I get so much value from you guys.

Thank you for your most insightful comment.

And I agree. It's the F word. We are fragmented as a community.


@ Concerned

BTW - I trust things are going well with your present effort? And -- I have the Pianist -- and have had it for about two weeks. Ima try to watch it this weekend. I just saw Repulsion. Interesting. :)


This is off topic, but I also saw "Repulsion" and for the life of me could not figure out why it received so many accolades...

I think it may be the "St. Jolie syndrome" of a very pretty face makes for very good actress.


@ IW

Yeah; I agree. It was little more than Catherine Deneuve walkin' around lookin' crazy. LOL.

Concerned Black Filmmaker

I never saw "Repulsion." Was it good? I'm a Polanski fan so...


@ Concerned Black Filmmaker

I know you are. :) That's why I figured you might have seen it. It was "interesting." It kinda built, built but crescendo was kind of anticlimactic for me. There were some things done well. I liked the mood. But it was slow, I thought. It wasn't disastrous or bad, I didn't think. But it was no Rosemary's Baby. LOL.

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