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Monday, August 20, 2007

Let Me Know...What Are Your Favorite Black Films?


O.K. Listen up. I am going to be taking a sabbatical in North Carolina (whassup Blogxilla and Bohemian Hippie Chick!) to write and chill. I have to get things together here in S.F., so posting may be spotty or not at all over the next couple of days.

In the meantime, I would really, really, like to have a readers poll of the Top 10 Best Black Films. I got the idea from Mrs. Grapevine, who commented that there was a college poll of the 10 best films of all time, and none of them were black (she nominates Sparkle and Lady Sings The Blues). I kinda forgave these kids cause they are probably young and dumb. This is the list, from ten to one:

Garden State
Gladiator
The Departed
Office Space
Fight Club
The Boondock Saints
Old School
Anchorman (?!)
The Notebook
Wedding Crashers

See what I mean? I mean, I might be able to get with The Departed, and I know Office Space is a college classic, but The Boondock Saints and and Old School? Pure college cult tomfoolery. There must be at least one black film that's better than those, even "Car Wash".

Anyhoo, Just Judith cosigned. This is a list that she did early on in her blogging career of the Top
25 Black Films. She proposed an interesting question....what makes a black film "black" is it a black director, a black cast? That is a good question, as most people would automatically say a black cast. But "Hustle and Flow" is considered a black film, and was directed by a non black.
Here is JJ's list:

Boomerang
Jerry Maguire
Colley High
Glory
Coming to America
Love & Basketball
Boyz 'N The Hood
The Color Purple
Do The Right Thing
House Party (original only)
Let's Do It Again/Uptown Saturday Night (that's 2 films Judith, recount! :-) )
What's Love Got To Do With It
Sparkle (on the list thanks to the soundtrack)
Claudine
Malcolm X
Ray
Devil In A Blue Dress (agreed with the Cheadle comment JJ)
Eve's Bayou (one of my faves)
Hoop Dreams
Def By Temptation
Fresh (another one of my faves)
Jackie Brown
Soul Food
Love Jones

One reason I want a list that reflects our community is that stankonia AFI top 100 films of all times. Pure BS. I posted what I thought about their unapologetic invisibility list here when I first started blogging.

Please leave your votes in the comment section....you can list one or two or ten or twenty, any # of your favorite black films. They can be from the year 1900 to 2007. I'll give the results at the end of the week, then post them on the sidebar and leave it up until next year (hopefully I'll still be blogging). I appreciate everyone who responds...cheers!

37 comments:

Bohemian Hippie Chick said...

Here's my list, in no particular order...

Malcolm X
Carmen Jones
Bird
Lady Sings the Blues
Mo’ Better Blues
Hoodlum
The Color Purple
Purple Rain
Deep Cover
Sparkle

Ehav Ever said...

You took the idea right off my mind.

Cooley High
Lumumba
Raisin in the Sun (Sydney Pottier)
Tuskegee Airmen
Posse
Blade I&II
Deja Vue
Hav Plenty
The Last Dragon
The Hurricane

Tony said...

Not necessarily in order...
Coming to America
The Color Purple
Malcolm X
A Soldier's Story
Lean On Me
Bad Boys
Antwone Fisher
Glory
Amistad
I'll probably get in trouble for this but I also really really liked
Drumline

And I agree, that best movies of all time list is obviously created by a group with extremely limited movie experience and an affront to real movie lovers.

justjudith said...

i love this post. people were emailing me and commenting on and off line. thanks for the shout out and i look forward to the finished list :)

justjudith said...

iw: in my defense, when i saw uptown and let's do it again i was so young i didn't realize they were different until i was older. but by then, they were the same in my mind. so it's like florida -- no recount! lol.

Bohemian Hippie Chick said...

I completely forgot 2 of my favorite movies...if this had been a top 12 list, I would've included:

Lean On Me (my old high school!!)
Amistad (I admit it, I'm a Djimon Hounsou fan/groupie chick! :-) )

donyell said...

here's my list:

The Color Purple
Tap
New Jack City
A Soldier's Story
Hustle & Flow
Devil in a Blue Dress
Vampire in Brooklyn
Hollywood Shuffle
Def by Temptation
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka

FlyNerd said...

Some great lists here! A lot of memory-jogging as I went thru them. My faves (no particular order, and these are only the ones I can think of right now...):

Cooley High
Krush Groove
Juice
Chameleon Street
To Sleep With Anger
Deep Cover
Purple Rain
Killer of Sheep
The Matrix (just cuz Larry Fishburne was so bad-ass...)
Talk To Me

I'm sure I'll remember more later...

AJ said...

In no particular order:

The Color Purple
The Wood
Roll Bounce
Lean on Me
Antwone Fisher
Ray
The Best Man
Glory
Crooklyn
Remember the Titans

Wanda said...

Hmm...

The Color Purple
Coming to America
Glory
School Daze
Do the Right Thing
George Washington

That's all I can think of for now!

Wanda said...

bah, I totally forgot

Hollywood Shuffle
New Jack City
and
Ghost Dad

(i LOVED that movie when I was a kid!)

justjudith said...

tony: i liked drumline too :)

i am always surprised by lists like these and i wish that afi or even entertainment weekly considered more of the films that populate our lists than the standard citizen kane stuff. i mean, isn't great cinema in the eye of the beholder??

hottnikz said...

The Five Heart Beats
Purple Rain
Carmen Jones
A Raisin In The Sun
The Color Purple
Friday
Krush Groove
Beat Street
Devil In A Blue Dress
Soul Food
The Education of Sonny Carson
Juice
Do The Right Thing
Malcolm X
Sparkle (on the list cause Irene Cara was the shiznit & the Curtis Mayfield soundtrack)
Coming To America
Cooley High
The Wiz
Hollywood Shuffle
The Wood
Short Eyes (another soundtrack written by Curtis Mayfield)
What's Love Got To Do With It
Eve's Bayou
Claudine (There wasn't a soundtrack in the seventies Curtis didn't touch)
Rosewood
Menace to Society
Boyz In The Hood
New Jack City
Ray

These are movies that I can watch over and over again. I know there is a couple more that I'm forgetting.

harleyblues said...

K I don't Memeber them all

SHAFT!~ORIGINAL. your damn right lol

LADY SINGS THE BLUES~
CARWASH~
TO SIR WITH LOVE
RAISEN IN THE SUN

KINGS OF COMEDY~WELL I CONSIDER IT A BLACK FILM ME & MY MAN RENTED IT AND LAUGHED OUR ASSES OFF!~ WE QUOTE THE FILM ALL THE TIME!

FRIDAY
NEXT FRIDAY
FRIDAY AFTER NEXT
DO THE RIGHT THING
ROOTS
THE TEMPTATIONS
I'M GONNA GET YOU SUCKA
SOUL FOOD

AHH WHAT WAS THAT FILM WHERE LAWRENCE FISHBOURNE PLAYED A SCIENTIST HE HAD A GNAG LOAD OF PEOPLE AFTER HIM THE NED HE IS PLATING GOLF IN A KILT?

this is all I can think of at this time~
I'm talights harleyblues

Mrs. Grapevine said...

Dramas:
Lady Sing the Blues
Black Girl
Fresh
Claudine
A Raisin In The Sun
The Color Purple
Menace II Society
Juice
New Jack City

Musicals:
Sparkle
Polly by Debbie Allen
Five Heartbeats
Purple Rain

Comedy:
Which Way Is Up
Friday
Coming to America

Documentary:
Eyes on The Prize

Sincere said...

In no particular order, just off the top of my head:
Coming To America
Bamboozled
Malcolm X
Do the Right Thing
Roots
Amistad
Boomerang
Juice
boyz n the Hood
New Jack City
Cooley High
Menace II Society
The Wiz
Mahogany
Lady Sing the Blues
What's Love Got to Do with it
Carmen (original, not the one with Beyonce)
Ali
Ray
A raisin in the sun
Mo Better Blues
School Daze
Jungle Fever

Thembi said...

Only one add in is necessary - New Jack City.
And Jerry Maguire? Can't cosgin on that IB. Cuba Gooding Jr's presence tom-iffies that movie no matter what else is going on.

Vanessa said...

Hi, IB, great post. Here are my Top 25 picks in no particular order.

Claudine
Imitation of Life (1934)
Imitation of Life (1959)
The Color Purple
Waterproof
Malcolm X
The Josephine Baker Story
Cooley High
New Jack City
Sparkle
Willie Dynamite
Barber Shop
4 Little Girls
She’s Gotta Have It
The Learning Tree
Sweetback’s Badass Song
A Raisin in the Sun
Carmen Jones
Black Like Me
A Family Thing
Shaft
Soul Food
Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
Dead Presidents

Yobachi said...

Well in no particular order:

Coming To America, Boys N the Hood, Malcolm X, Five Heart Beats, Menace II Society, Claudine, Color Purple, Lean On Me, Hotel Rwanda, Dead Presidents, Barbra Shop, Bamboozled, Cooley High, Do The Right thing, Nutty Professor, School Dayz, Harlem Nights, Devil In A Blue Dress, Eve’s Bayou…

And there are more good ones, but those are the best – at least the ones I can think of right now

Saladin said...

I tried to post this earlier, but something went wonky:

Films I don't think anyone else has put yet:

The Harder They Come

Dead Presidents(though I see since my original post attempt someone has already added this one)

Superfly (there's lots that's offensive about it, but it was groundbreaking and better made than some of the other selections here)

And since the "Black" criteria is clearly being liberally ineterpeted I'd add:
Ghost Dog
Brother From Another Planet
Lone Star

Bryan Wilhite said...

Yeleen

Wend Kuuni

The Wrestling Grounds

Kirikou et la sorcière (ok, not really Black)

Fresh (another one not really Black)

Blade I (the rest of the series turned white)

Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned (super Black)

HotSauce!! said...

Does anybody remeber that movie Pottie Tang!! I know that was off the subject, by why do blacks make dumb ass movies like that..... I know most of the movies that denzel does are not "black movies" but her sure does make then seem like it. like "John Q". and lets not forget dissapearing acts (didn't love) and waiting to exhale which i did love (I think)

CazualC said...

Claudine (I'm watching this tonight!!)
A Warm December
Carmen Jones
Malcolm X
The Color Purple
Hotel Rwanda (an African American starred in the film)
Cooley High
Sparkle (I have never seen this movie but my homegirl swears by it and is making me post it)

This was a good topic and I really am watching Claudine tonight, I love this movie (as a matter of fact, I am going to post one of the songs from the soundtrack on my blog)

Anonymous said...

can u give your girl a call - tjb

cooper said...

I swear I did this a couple days ago. Blogger is sucking my ass. Sorry no offense.

Color Purple
In The Heat of the Night - so intense
The Lady Sings the Blues
Roots
Guess Whose Coming to Dinner
Do the Right Thing
To Sir With Love

I think that i have a crush on Sidbey Poitier.

Amistad and Eve's Bayou

Mrs. Grapevine said...

I agree with "In The Heat of The Night" and I need to add "Yesterday". It's a South African film, but that counts right?

Tayo said...

Okay, I swear that every time I came up with a movie that no one else had mentioned, I ended up seeing it somewhere on the list.

Great job guys! Some of these movies I haven't seen in a long time!

I'm going to see if I can think of any more!

Tayo said...

Oh snap! Thought of some... if I'm duplicating, sorry:

Love Jones
Higher Learning
Love and Basketball

Invisible Woman said...

knownit2 could not get into Blogger, but he nominates Superfly and Sounder, just so you know :-)

SpiralButterfly said...

Great post. Here is my list:

Diary of a Mad Black Woman
Friday
Soul Food
Boyz in the Hood
Menace II Society
Purple Rain
Guess Who
Coming To America
Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood
Poetic Justice

tobenson said...

Cool! I've actually been compiling a similar list on my blog on MySpace... Back in June, inspired by the AFI's list, I asked folks to suggest films for a "Greatest Black American Films" list. Got about 300 suggestions... most weren't worthy. With the help of several folks, got the list down to 188 yesterday, and reposted it, and now requesting that others help in narrowing it down some more... maybe down to about 50 to 75. You can find the original blog post HERE. And the narrowed down list of 188 films HERE. My plan is to get the list down to about 50, and then on my podcast, bring on 4 or 5 cinephiles to help break the remaining 50 down to a solid list of maybe 10 to 20, and then publish that list to every media outlet I can gain access to.

TAO

tobenson said...

BTW, I dig the image of the little boy looking into the camera at the top of this post. I'm going to have to "steal it!"

:o)

Where did you find it? And do you know who the photographer is?

Thanks!

TAO

Wanda said...

I'm gonna get you sucka
Poetic Justice
Uptown Saturday Night

PurpleZoe said...

In no particular order (sorry)

Hav Plenty
Eve's Bayou
Mahogany
The Wiz
Purple Rain
Love Jones
Lady Sings The blues
New Jack City
Ray
Crooklyn
The Color Purple
Juice
Black like me
Afropunk
Devil in a Blue Dress
Stormy Weather
Hotel Rwanda
Malcolm X
The Last Dragon
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
Mo Better Blues
Krush Groove
I'm gonna git you sucka
Beatstreet
Schooldaze
Do the Right Thing


I'm sure I am overlooking some, but I heart these. ^_^

PurpleZoe said...

Also...

Fresh
Dead Presidents
Menace to Society

Have to cast a vote for those.

Coltrane Jenkins said...

Love your blg (got here from Supernegros site... by the way, I need to figure out how to be down with the NJL). Anyway, my top 10:

1. Shaft
2. Malcolm X
3. Glory
4. Get on the Bus
5. Boyz n the Hood
6. A Soldier’s Story
7. Jungle Fever
8. In the Heat of the Night
9. Mo Better Blues
10. Carmen Jones

Qadree said...

I like to many films to list favorites, plus many of my favorites don't deserve to be on a list of great films, so these are films that I believe deserve recognition in no particular order.

1. Nothing But a Man (1964) - I heard this was Malcolm X's favorite film and it was one of the first films to approach relationships between black men and women in a serious way.

2. Stormy Weather (1943) - The was nominated for AFI's top 100 films, but it didn't make it and ended up on AFI's top 100 songs in film at #30 for Lena Horne's rendition of Stormy Weather. This is the only musical I can watch from beginning to end and no musical on AFI's list can top it's performances.

3. Roots (1977) - If we can include a mini TV series on the list I'll add this one.

4. Do the Right Thing (1989) - Almost twenty years old and still more relevant than most films that are being made now, though I think it would have been even better if Spike had let an actor play Mookie.

5. Cooley High (1975) - Judging from the reviews I've read, many white people don't have a clue as to what this film truly represents. I won't get into that here, but it's definitely on my list.

6. The Color Purple (1985) - I can't think of another film that so many black women can quote line for line, and though it won plenty of awards, I believe it's appeal to women is one of the main reasons that this film doesn't get the critical recognition it deserves.

7. Hoop Dreams (1994) - I believe this is the third highest-grossing documentary of all time, and it's on many top lists already (not including AFI's).

I'll try to add more later.