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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Did You Know....

That 'The Pursuit Of Happyness" was pretty much BS? This from Sergio via "Cracked":

The Hollywood Version: Chris Gardner is a hard-working man with a pain-in-the-ass wife and an adorable little son boasting one of the greatest afros we've ever seen on a child. All Gardner wants to do is make enough of a living to provide for his son.

Through what we assume is black magic, he solves a Rubik's Cube in record time, wowing an employee at Dean Witter and he apparently passes the only test needed to qualify a man to become a stock broker. He toils for months, sleeping in subways and churches with his son at his side, but in the end it all pays off when he claims the one and only opening at Dean Witter, crying tears of joy and getting jiggy wit it in the streets of San Francisco.

In reality ... Gardner did get a chance to show his stuff in the Dean Witter training program (though we're sad to report his acceptance had nothing to do with solving a colorful puzzle game). But, as the more honest book version points out, he apparently wasn't quite the father the film made him out to be.

First, he was so focused on getting a job and earning his first million that, well, he actually didn't even know where the hell his son was for the first four months of the program.

Chris, Jr. was apparently living at this point in time with his mother, Jackie. Did we mention that the boy had been conceived when Gardner was still married to another woman?

In addition, instead of being arrested just before his big interview due to parking tickets ... well, it seems that Chris was actually arrested after Jackie accused him of domestic violence.

Don't get us wrong, Chris did indeed get his life turned around after landing the job as a broker. There were just some things in Gardner's past that they couldn't quite bring themselves to have Will Smith do on screen. Like selling drugs (as Gardner admits he did briefly), or doing cocaine with his mistress, with little doses of PCP and a hearty helping of Mary Jane tossed in for good measure.

Adulterous sex? Cocaine? Neglecting your child for months at a time? It says something about the man that he didn't drop the pursuit, despite having pretty much found happyness already.

From IW: Interesting. It seems those "small" real-life details are maybe what put dude in his downtrodden position in the first place, not just generic bad luck.

Speaking of Sergio, his "Black Harvest" film festival is coming to Chi-Town, aka Chicago. Here are the details:

14th Annual Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video
The Gene Siskel Film Center welcomes you to the 14th edition of the "BlackHarvest International Festival of Film and Video," from August 1 through28

The Midwest¹s biggest and best celebration of the black experience on film,Black Harvest highlights talent from around the nation and around the world,with a special emphasis on our own Chicago-based filmmakers. An array of special events, personal appearances, and filmmaker discussionskeep this year¹s festival exciting from beginning to end.

Filmcritic/cultural commentator Elvis Mitchell is our special guest on Tuesday, August 5, at 8:15 pm, with an advance screening of HBO¹s THE BLACK LIST,VOL. 1, presenting dramatic insightful portraits of influential African Americans. A special advance screening on Wednesday, August 6, at 6:15 pm,of TROUBLE THE WATER, set in post-Katrina New Orleans, provides a sneakpreview of one of the most acclaimed documentaries from the 2008 SundanceFilm Festival. The festival panel discussion "How to Get a Movie Made," on Saturday,August 9, is a valuable free workshop for filmmakers and aspiring filmmakers.

Five Black Harvest directors provide detailed advice on how toget your production off the ground. New this year, we feature a freevendors market in our gallery/café from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, providing information and demonstrations of production equipment. In recent years, Chicago has become a notable center for black independent filmmaking. This thriving scene includes producers, directors, writers, and many actors. We are pleased to present a stellar crop of newly completed features and shorts by local directors, several of whom have presented work in Black Harvest in the past.

There is tons and tons more happening and screening. For more info: Gene Siskel Film Center 164 N. State Street Chicago, IL 60601 phone 312 846 2075 fax 312 332 5859 email Visit our website at:


Bryan Wilhite said...

You know Invisible Woman, sometimes I feel guilty for not wanting to see back-to-school-special films like Will Smith's gig for his son. Sometimes I just feel like not seeing it. Oftentimes the feeling comes before the thoughts of facts.

I appreciate you bringing me the facts for me to think about... my guilty feeling has gone away... we do not have to make fake ass stories about great Black men... we just need to look harder... and ask the right people...

sdg1844 said...

Another sanitized, watered-down film. Why am I not surprised?

MsMarvalus said...

I mean, it is Hollywood...did you expect anything less?

It is what it is...

Exquisitely Black said...

I actually enjoyed the book much more than the movie (this is usually the case for me), it was more real, told the details you left out here and a few other interesting things.

I encourage those who haven't yet to read the book, you'll get a much better perspective IMHO.

Brigitte said...

I really really disliked that movie and how it tried to make Thandie Newton's "character" the bad guy.

justjudith said...

it's not shocking because that happens all of the time, but it is interesting when the public finds out the real story lol.

Invisible Woman said...

@bryan: you said it brother. No one is perfect, but show a hero in all their good and bad--just something real. That's why I enjoyed Malcolm X so--he was no saint, but in my eyes he was still an angel despite his previous faults.

@sdg1844: that sanitization leaves me weary...and unmoved. I will probably never see this film now.

@ms M: I know what you're saying, but as far as I'm concerned, that is just taking way too many liberties.

@EB: Thanks for that info. And yes, the books are always so much better.

@brigitte: hi there. I love Thandie Newton, I really don't want to see her like that.

@jj: I had no idea it was that bad!