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Monday, December 3, 2007

Reader Comments and Industry Shenanigans.....

I love you guys' is always so interesting to read what someone thinks about film and it's by-products...some of your comments are very thoughtful and on point, some of them make me laugh out loud--freakin' hilarious.

I want to post a couple of comments that came up in the past couple days, as I thought some of you may be interested. The first up is from reader Janice, who commented on my post "Chocolate Rain" regarding the movie "Bolden":

wow, i'm really excited about this (and this is the first I've heard about the movie.

I was googling and came across a trailer for a short movie written by one of the lovely actresses, Karimah Westbrook.

I really want to see this short film but they don't have any info, looks well shot.

I took a look at the page, and must admit, it did pique my interest; unfortunately it is probably one of those films that will be shown at a couple black film festivals and never heard from again **sigh**. The synopsis is this:

Best Kept Secret is a short drama that explores the Down Low lifestyle that many African American men are living. Today, while there are black men who are openly gay, the majority of those having sex with men still lead secret lives, products of a black culture that deems masculinity and fatherhood as a black man’s primary responsibility.

A few years ago, the epidemiological data started rolling in, showing increasing numbers of black women who weren’t IV users getting infected with H.I.V. While some were no doubt infected by men who were using drugs, experts say many were infected by men on the Down Low. The center for disease control states that African American women represent a whopping 68% of new H.I.V cases, causing President Bush to declare a state of emergency and pledged to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in the black community.

AIDS researchers point to shame and stigma as two driving forces spreading AIDS in America. Best Kept Secret will heighten the awareness of this dangerous secret and encourage people to live a more protective and honest sexual lifestyle.

From IW: Here is the trailer:

Reader Lance, a screenwriter, has made some interesting points over the past few days...this one related to those actresses in "Bolden" as well:

hmmm, i wonder if "hollyweird" are going to "shop" the new sisters to push out the "old"...particular sistergals who are in their 30' sanaa, gabrielle, nia and so on...

it's the glass ceiling effect but in hollywood, age is the excuse. and if you ain't got major $$$$ to bankroll your own project...the future looks dim. ;-(

Even if that is what might possibly happen in the future, these pretty chicks don't have much to look forward to...example--this post I read on a blog that recently came on my radar "The Black Actor", another blogger who also writes about Hollywood shenanigans and its effects on Black folk:
Something Sanaa Lathan Said...

I was preparing another post and fooling around on the computer. In the back of my mind was what Sanaa Lathan stated in that Essence interview. She said, “I’m happy to have gotten a job this year.”

Anyhoo, while on IMDB I took a look at Sanaa’s work over the past four years.
I was stunned.

For the years 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 Sanaa Lathan has appeared in TWO FILMS only!

I had no idea.

Then I took a look at Nia Long

I was equally surprised. She doesn’t fare much better than Sanaa Lathan – with only five movies in the last four years.

Then I was wondering about Gabrielle Union, she’s working regularly.

Only TWO FILMS in the last four years!?

From IW: Damn. She posted this too:

Where are the young black actresses?

Where u at?

I was going to prepare a post. But now I can’t. So, I guess I’ll post this instead…

I needed two things to write the post. To begin with, I needed two lists…

a list of ten popular white actresses under 30 – between the ages 20 - 29.a list of ten popular black actresses under 30 – between the ages 20 - 29.

I’m unable to write the post because I can’t finish one of the lists. :(

… unless you, the readers can. I don’t know everything. There’s plenty that I don’t know. And plenty I’m not in the loop about. So, I could be missing eight actresses.

It’s quite possible. In fact, I’m really expecting to be embarrassed if and when readers fill up the list. Because as I’m writing, I’m saying to myself, “surely, you’re missing people.” Because really, I just can’t believe this is the end of the list. I don’t believe it.

[The Black List]
Meagan Good
Lauren London

[The "Other" List]
Hilary Duff
Anne Hathaway
Lindsay Lohan
Scarlett Johansson
Christina Ricci
Kate Hudson
Kirsten Dunst
Anna Paquin
Jessica Biel
Keira Knightley

Isn’t it reasonable to expect that in almost 2008, we should be able to name off the top of our head ten young black actresses?

I was unable to do this.

Can anyone?

Ah, Meagan Good. I remember when I first saw her in Eve’s Bayou. I thought her career held such promise. Like Jurnee Smollett, I thought Good’s showing in the film was more than respectable. I thought Meagan Good was going to blossom into a highly regarded young actress. It seems that Meagan Good is becoming more well known as a caricature in the gossip rags, rather than a talented young actress to be reckoned with (which she probably could be – and may still be, before all is said and done).

The good news: Meagan Good works very regularly!

As for newcomer Lauren London, I thought she held her own in ATL.

One of the reasons I don’t think young black actresses are given the chance to shine and bloom like their white counterparts is because I think often their white counterparts are seen as actresses first and whatever else they are, second. Say what you want to say about Lindsay Lohan, she is still recognized as a very talented actress. My guess is that sistas are probably often seen through amorous eyes first; probably in some instances with little regard to their thespian capabilities.

When the list fills up, I’ll write the post.

How were they selected? Not much thought went into it. I just started listing the names of some of the most popular actresses I knew of. Then I separated them by age. I went from there.

If you’re wondering, the following people don’t qualify for the list. Why? The main reasons…

Beyonce has been in only two movies the last four years. Jennifer Hudson has only one film credit at present. Eve hasn’t been in a motion picture in three years. Raven Simone has appeared in one film in the last four years.

From IW
: In case anyone thought we were making inroads in Hollywood...SIKE!

Speaking of Lauren London, 100% percent of you agreed that the Lauren/Weezy hookup was extremely disgusting, to put it nicely, haha. Lance also had a great theory on why 50 cent (and reader names 5 dimes, 50 pennies, and my favorite, .34 Euros, from LaJane) was in a thousand years able to act with DeNiro and Pacino...which everyone was completely perplexed on, (including me):

when i first heard about this project a year ago. 50cent, deniro and pacino, i was like "wtf?!!!"...50???

get real...true, there are plenty of actors who could "probably" do a superior job than 50 based on previous acting roles, etc. but why 50?... i did some research to find out that millennium films, that produced "home of the brave" starring 50 is also producing this film "righteous kill". interesting.

did 50 had a contractual commitment with this prod. co that would have tied him into this film? maybe or maybe not. but one thing is for sure...50 cent has "will smith" bank right now and he could have easily bankrolled his way into the film with millennium's producers blessing.

will i watch the film? sure, it's de niro and pacino. those are the stars to watch fo sho. the producers would be suicidal to have 50 run alongside d&p for the length of the film. if so, d&p will school him so much, that they ain't gonna let him fuck up "their" game. case in point: denzel washington in "training day"...who woulda thought snoop dogg and dr. dre would step up their acting game. when denzel's on the set, betta have yo' shit together.

From IW: Indeed.

And finally, I mentioned the other day I was developing a crush on Tony Rock. Well, after viewing this little tidbit he's in, I might have to rethink that. Remember "Farrah", the one who was kicked out of Destiny's Child back in the day? Well , she's made a "movie" called "Single Black Female", which is such a huge rip-off of "Single White Female" that they didn't even bother to change the title. Even worse, it looks like it was filmed on somebody's camera phone, straight up. It should also be noted that Farrah is one of the "Executive Producers", which goes a long way in explaining the reason why this film is even in existence. Watch at your own risk:


Lance said...

nice post and thx for the props...

in theory, i think it's going to be a situation where white folks recognize us (brothers & sisters in the biz) on a "free medium" like t.v. and press reviews to get them to support us on big screeen. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. case in point the cast of "friends". stars from one of the most highly rated shows on t.v., can't hardly do squat at the box office. but when you're making a $1mil an episode in syndication, who needs the big screen?... unless you're trying to keep your ego in check.

by the way, i've been on blockbuster online for the past few months and rediscovering the love of the old films, particularly the 70's black flix with yo' girl pam grier and 'nem. long live the 70's!!!!

ambboogie said...

WOW.. I'm AMAZED at the stats.

They truly are INVISIBLE!

and I'm sure that Sanaa gets lots of scripts but little to none that are worth doing!

Lance said...

that's probably true about sanaa, but if you look at the career of samuel l. jackson, if the money is on the table, he'll do just about anything. regardless of the script...and no worries of fanbase or career moves.

i'on kno'...maybe it's a gender issue also, whereas a man can pretty much do whateva and nobody flinches...have a sista bone a white guy and see what happens...

and i'm guilty of sarcastically-bashin' halle & sanaa in previous blogsites on interracial scenes on film, but i admit i was wrong. it's like we all tend to take entertainers as our own and with "invisible puppetry" make them do what we would like them to do.

and "reel/real" life ain't like that...

Thembi said...

IW Tony Rock is just SO CUTE...honestly I can't take it. I've been trying not to be one of those chicks but the post about my crushes sho'l is comin. Such a slim-roni!

Chocl8t said...

Nice post! Didn't think my 50 pennies would make it to the "Main Page"! LOL

I'm at a loss for black actresses within that age group! WOW! When framed like that it really spotlights how "invisible" black women are in your industry.

Baby Please said...

LOL. That film clip was hilarious!

Invisible Woman said...

@lance: thanks for the compliment...70's films, both black and non-black, is my favorite genre. @thembi: it kinda took the shine off a bit, knowing he chose to be in that $77 film on purpose...

@chocl8t: thanks...I agree with you and Amboogie--who needs a bigger example of invisibilty than that? Here I was thinking Union was making a ton of films...I guess it just seemed like it. The reality of the stats is jarring.

@ baby please: the name. That is one of the scariest, funniest clips I've ever seen!

Regina said...

I don't know where our young black actresses are, you are right they are invisible.
I'm not a Megan Goode fan, I think Eve's Bayou kind of killed it for me, her role (which she did play well, a little too well) totally disgusted me from beginning to end, and then her roles in other movies didn't help..."The Cook Out"; "Roll Bounce", she always seems to play the same kind of chick...

Yobachi said...

Daaang, Jurnee Smollett is smoking.

She ain’t an adorable, precocious little girl any more.

The only roles for black women are poppin that thang and rap videos.

Yobachi said...

in rap videos I meant

Invisible Woman said...

Yobachi: From your comments here and on other blogs, I am starting to see your taste in on activist playa! haha :-)

Anonymous said...

I think its an issue of gender and race. Sanaa is a black woman so things are tougher due to gender and race. Sam Jackson just cares about money that's all he cares about he is not a leading man though. He's kind of a stereotype in a lot of ways.

Invisible Woman said...

Good point, anon.

jjbrock said...

Great post I just don't know what to say. I hope things change soon.

Afrodite said...

Sanaa Lathan has only been in two movies?!? What the feez? It seems like it's been more. I actually like her acting a lot more than Gabrielle Union or Nia Long.

Lauren Not my cup of tea.

Invisible Woman said...

Always thought Sanaa was far, far better than either one of them; she is a real actress imo.

Lauren is just pretty to me; I've only seen her in two movies...

Anonymous said...

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