A Disturbing Pattern

29 01 2010

Sorry for not writing yesterday gang. No excuses.

If you haven’t been under a rock or aren’t in a state of denial, you probably have an idea of what I’m about to discuss.  It’s the theme of the two pictures above. Halle and Denzel won oscars for their roles in “Monster’s Ball” and “Training Day”, respectively.  Monique recently won the Golden Globe for her role in “Precious”.

Now know that I’m not saying they weren’t deserving of the acclaim they got (not entirely), because they are all good (maybe great) in their own right.  My OPINION is as follows:

Denzel

Denzel was due for one. He has been in the game a long time and you can’t fade him. He’s as solid as they come on the silver screen, and I can’t really think of any weaknesses (in my lay opinion) of his acting ability.  I would probably have to go back to “The Mighty Quinn”, “Mississippi Massala”, or “St. Elsewhere” to see him give anything less than a trump tight performance. HOWEVER, an oscar for that role??  Where he’s a straight up n*gga behaving as n*ggerishly as we’ve ever seen him? Yeah, everyone marveled at how he stretched outside of the good guy role we were accustomed to seeing him in. But call me crazy, but his performance in “Malcom X” was heads and shoulders above that. But we know what that’s all about. Sh*t, I think he did a better job in “He Got Game” and even in that one where he was the bodyguard (and basically sacrificed his life) for the little white girl.

Halle Berry

I may offend some of you, or maybe not. Regardless, I’m gonna say it.  Halle Berry is nothing to write home about. I’m talking about her acting ability. She’s just not that good. Yeah, she’s easy on the eyes (I prefer Nia Long or N’Bushe Wright), but the only time she delivers a performance worth remembering is when she’s playing a disturbed woman.  Case in point: “Mo Better Blues” – crackhead, “Losing Isaiah” – I think she was a crackhead, “Monster’s Ball” – she was on hard times and may have been crackish too.  So she gets an oscar for acting crackish and letting Billy Bob run through her. Go figure.

Monique

I recently saw Precious. I had been holding it off as long as I could because I heard a lot of negative stuff about it and how it portrays black people.  I figured what the heck. I watched it. I cringed. For those of you who haven’t seen it, basically it’s a movie where they string together the most unfortunate events and circumstances together and pile it up on a black girl.  Poverty? check…Educational/Intellectual handicap? check…..Physical abuse? check….Incest? check….Obesity? check…..and let’s throw AIDS in there for good measure…check….

Oh yeah…Monique did do a phenomenal job. I wasn’t so distracted by my own uneasiness not to see that.

Now understand, I’m not naive enough to think that situations like this don’t exist, because I know they do. After all, life imitates art and vice versa. It just makes me wince when I see my community’s dirty laundry aired out in the public like that. Some people may say, well this is an effective way to bring light to these situations so that we can start to do something about it. Yeah, that sounds good in theory, but does it work in practice? Rappers have been rapping about the problems in the community since Melle Mell had “The Message”.  I suspect that this form of entertainment hasn’t done much to heighten the amount of action or activism to address these societal ills.  I think that movies may be a little more effective being that they are a visual representation. But when all is said and done, I think that more than anything, when so much attention is given to us (black people) behaving in such a way, it reinforces and/or perpetuates negative stereotypes.

Basically, I think it’s f*cked up that it seems that we can only receive adulation and adoration when we’re representing our worst.

What does that say to the world?

Think about it.

Corduroy…out…

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3 responses

29 01 2010
Preshonna

Well I have to say that I also thought that Monique did a wonderful job as Mary Jones in Precious. I dont think that it is airing “OUR” dirty laundry. If you look at some of the interviews Monique did, she had people from other races come up to her and say that they were “Mary Jones”. So it is’nt just in our neighborhoods.

29 01 2010
upsideyahead

Point taken. However, I don’t think I said that the “dirty laundry” was exclusive of the black community. At least that’s what I meant. Sure, we have dirty laundry, white folk have dirty laundry, and others have it too. I was just speaking on ours. I’ll do better to communicate what I mean. sorry. 😦

3 02 2010
A

I know that we are not the only ones who have issues, but why must we be the poster children for dysfuntionality and only be rewarded when we portray it on the screen instead of more empowering images. That says a lot about what people value and what they will pay to see.

By the way, Precious was based on the novel Push, which was based on a true story. Reading the book was enough for me not to see the movie. Hats off to Monique though. I, too, believe that Halle is over-rated although I did like Boomerang.

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