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Jeffrey Wright: "There Is No Black Cinema Because We Have Little Control"

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 5, 2011 1:52 AM
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Let's see if this one sets off a similar kind of explosive reaction as the last 2 did - the last 2 being Anthony Mackie's "We're being lazy on our game" comment, and Morgan Freeman's "We need to get over that shit" line... both essentially in response to questions about, broadly-speaking, the current dearth of black representation both in front and behind the camera in Hollywood. I'd say Jeffrey Wright's comments echo Mackie's more-so than Freeman's.

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  • Kia | May 8, 2011 12:14 PMReply

    The Untitled MLK project in development by Dreamworks proves Jeffrey's point.

  • Jug | May 6, 2011 8:28 AMReply

    But I will say, the Q&A section is a bit more problematic & seemingly conflicting. Interesting to hear thoughts about it....

  • Jug | May 6, 2011 7:56 AMReply

    I don't know if this speech has been covered on S&A, but it is brilliant in it's complexity and thoughtfulness as well as the questions it raises & it goes right along with the conundrums expressed by Jeffrey, Anthony, Morgan, Spike etc etc.

    It's from 08 so "some" things have changed, but as much as we talk about resources, controlling our image and the dilemma of being an artist or a black artist, this thing had me from the git go.

    Harry Lennix is a beast!

  • gomezlb | May 6, 2011 3:40 AMReply

    The solution is to gain some financial goal he stated the solution when he stated the problem. It's just that control is going to have to evolve slowly instead of quick and revolutionary, i think.

  • Jug | May 5, 2011 6:54 AMReply

    @Zeus- Maan, it was tough! LMBAO

  • Zeus | May 5, 2011 6:14 AMReply

    Jug -- I agree completely and I am proud of you for keeping the post short. :)

  • Jug | May 5, 2011 5:43 AMReply

    I had this WHOLE LONG response written out but I said "keep it short Jug". Let's see if that happens LOL

    Jeffrey's right and what I love about his statement is it's not a judgement or a condemnation on anyone, just noting what is happening from the inside. I'm sure he does his part but not everyone is Sojourner Truth or MLK. He may not be the kind of dude to "start a movement" but that doesn't mean he isn't active either.

    AHHHH but a very TELLING thing (that I said before) is that he said there aren't black resources EQUAL to the talent of the writers, actors, directors to build black cinema. FOLKS WANT TO BE PAID FOR THEIR TIME & THE QUALITY OF THEIR WORK! Period. Be about your shit, make it professional, give benefits, don't make people work in substandard conditions, guerrilla filmmaking and all that but then never give them a finished copy of the film-hell FINISH the damn film! Bad lighting, poor editing, poor writing, etc etc. don't do that and then turn around & say "oh, it's a black production, we're trying to do the best we can." BULLSHIT! If you can't provide quality for my skill set...Deuces!

    Like Charles Barkley said "Anything less, would be uncivilized" LOL

  • Keith Josef Adkins | May 5, 2011 5:13 AMReply

    I appreciate Wright's observation (and talent. i'm a big fan), however, one of the problems within black theater and cinema is so many of us sit back and give observations without providing solvency/solutions. We can all make the assessment that we don't have the resources, however, we need more people like Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Mackie and George Wolfe, etc to create more resources. To do the very thing they say we need. I will be knocking on their doors soon re a festival I'm planning and I'll let you know what happens.

  • Cynthia | May 5, 2011 2:05 AMReply

    Thank You for telling THE TRUTH Jeffrey!

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