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Re: “Oscars & Race: Spike Lee, James McBride and Tyler Perry Chime In (and Why Red Tails Matters)

Yeah, right, that's why "Glory" and 'A Soldier's Story" were so hard to make and so poorly received. 

Look, I can think of many people and causes a lot more deserving of your sympathy or concern than multi-millionaire filmmakers who imagine themselves 'oppressed' because they aren't multi-billionaire filmmakers like George Lucas.

As for Lucas' claim that Hollywood execs told him they don't know how to market a 'black film', I say bull feces. Give us some specific names, George, I'm waiting. I think George is saying these things to fend off the inevitable backlash that arises when whites make a 'black film'; he is trying to make a conspicuously show of his unique empathy and sincere concern for the black community and that he is no regular ole white boy:

"See? I'm one of the good ones. Please don't yell at me for making a film that should be reserved for a black filmmaker. Did I mention I love Oprah and have The Chronic on my iPod?" 

Don't be so naive.

As for Spike Lee, to be honest, while there are some interesting and novel aspects to some of his films, most people, black and white, are simply underwhelmed by them. For most of his career, Lee enjoyed kinder than warranted reviews and inflated praise for his work by critics who felt to do otherwise would be seen as evidence of racism (if they were white) or racial treason (if they were black).

The fact is most of his films have been every bit as polemical, divisive, and confused as "Redhook Summer", it's just that now perhaps because the spell of political correctness has lifted a bit or because we have a black president or because there are many more prominent blacks in the film industry, critics feel more comfortable giving their honest opinion of his work (even if they still feel the need to qualify it with feigned praise for his earlier works).

Lee is a throw back to the era of Sweet Sweetback, stuck in the Melvin Van Peebles mode of the lonely, angry black filmmaker, forever sticking it to 'the man', like David facing Goliath. Sorry Charlie, but it ain't 1968. The angry black man shtick just doesn't work any more. You're going to actually have to make a good film today if you want to be considered relevant and not just a symbol of black rage that nervous white critics can pretend to admire to establish their anti-racist bonafides.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Herodotus on 02/04/2012 at 2:15 PM

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