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Joe Morton Says Most Black Films Are Mainly About One Thing...

Interviews
by Sergio
November 29, 2013 1:20 AM
57 Comments
  • |

Come to think of it I’ve never seen an interview before with actor Joe Morton. I suppose there have been a few in the 30 plus years he’s been acting, including his new role in ABC’s Scandal, but I’ve never come across them.

So when this interview with Morton appeared on The Huffington Post, I was immediately interested and was even more so, in what he had to say regarding black films - especially what he says he believes most of them seem to be all about.

I have to admit that he has some pretty valid ideas. Well, that is except when he says there aren’t a large number of black people in Europe. Excuse me? Been to France, Spain, Italy or Germany lately, like in the last 50 years?

However, if you want to hear what he said for yourself, take a look. Do you agree with him or not?

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57 Comments

  • Monique | December 10, 2013 12:24 AMReply

    Many black actors do not want get jobs or looked at as "black actors"; Actors. Also, many films with blacks actors, at one time, were not funded verses its counter parts. It took people that some of us may not want to notice pooling their monies together to bring about more movies with blacks in them. Once the funding came, Oprah, Bill Cosby, ect..., black writers and producers were ready and now we are getting the jobs and better films that many of us want to see are being produce. PBS ran a documentary on this issue back in the 90s.

  • alfonso burney | December 5, 2013 8:51 PMReply

    Pheomenal as an Actor........... more PHENOMENAL as a Human Being - Love him and his work will continue to inspire - I think he interviews very well. Don't know why he won't do more.

  • BVAX | December 3, 2013 12:12 PMReply

    100% agree. We are more than slave movies, sports and jokes.

  • alfonso burney | December 5, 2013 8:53 PM

    I AGREE WITH YOU WHOLEHEARTEDLY BVAX

  • Marcus | December 5, 2013 12:50 PM

    We are more than that but do we actually believe that. What I'm saying is we have to go beyond just doing other movies but also marketing our movies. Presentations makes a huge difference.

  • kirk | December 2, 2013 6:50 PMReply

    No one cares what you think Joe. Your on a hit TV show. Just keep making kerry cry and let us figure out what the state of black films is. And that's the truth ruth!

  • urbanauteur | December 2, 2013 6:43 PMReply

    BROTHER FROM ANOTHER SEESAW...

  • CareyCarey | November 30, 2013 11:11 PMReply

    Joe Morton Says and Black Folks go Whoa!

    Here's the set up. In a recent interview at The Huffington Post, Joe Morton, who is presently in ABC's Scandal, voiced his opinion on the state of black films, white people and the powers that be. A few folks at Shadow and Act disagreed with his sentiments, while others agreed. One even suggested Mr. Morton shaded his words (watered them down) to stay in good standing with his bosses and the American audience at large.

    Consequently, away from the glare of the camera and the scrutiny he may receive from speaking the whole truth and nothing but the truth, Joe admitted to hedging his bet, and thus, has agreed to an impromptu round table discussion with Marc LaMont Hill, S&A and it's audience.

    Continue...

  • . | November 30, 2013 11:11 PMReply

    Marc: Okay ladies and gentlemen... here we are - off that white man's couch and in my living room. Now, as you can see I am a black man so it's apropos to say, game recognize game so don't drop no BS if you're overly sensitive to no-holds-barred feedback. With that said, so the folks know who's talking sh*t and who's telling it like it t-i-is, who do we have in attendance?

    Tambay Obenson: My name is Tambay Obenson, I'm the host and editor of Shadow and Act.

    Marc: Tambay O., huh, can I call you Sammy? "Tambay" sounds so Un-American.

    Tambay: Come on man, just because you work at The Huff Post don't mean I won't cut yo ass just like a you're a natural man black. So don't start no sh*t and there won't be none. Call me Tambay.

    Marc: Okay Tambay, who's next?

    Andre Seewood: My name is Andre, I am the author of SLAVE CINEMA: The Crisis of the African-American in Film.

    Marc: HMMMM... so you know a little something about white folks and cinema - huh?

    Andre: I sure do... you see, white folks don't...

    EVERBODY: "WAIT!"

    Marc: Yeah Andre, hold up a minute, lets get through the pleasantries before you get into your book. Who's next?

    Tanya Steele: My name is Tanya, I am awriter who frequently submits posts at S&A.

    **Charles Judson, although not part of the round table, is sitting in the audience. He's heard whispering to a friend... "my God. I hope she stays focused. If she goes on one of her racial rants, I'm outta here"**

    Marc: Who's next?

    Sergio Mims: My name is Sergio **long pause**

    Marc: ...and Sergio... ah... is there something you'd like to tell us about yourself.

    Sergio: What would you like to know?

    Marc: Well, for starters, what brings you here tonight? I mean, I can assume you're a writer for the blog but what's you specialty?

    Sergio: Okay, I'm glad you asked. See, some folks got me confused, misunderstood, all fked up... I don't know how many times I've told these knuckleheads that I am not a journalist, I'm a gossip hound who just happens to love movies. In fact, I wrote this post. Yep, I wrote this race-bait-gossip at it's finest, so I am here to follow it to the end.

    Marc: My man, do yo thang, I ain't mad atchu, welcome. Are there any others

    Tambay: We brought along a few of S&A's more vocal readers. They're in the audience. And, if I know that crowd, they will have something to say.

    Marc: Good, so lets get started. Joe Morton has been gracing the wide screen for 30 years, most will know him from The Brother From Another Planet, now he's on ABC's hit show Scandal. Welcome Joe.

    Joe Morton: Thanks for having me.

    Marc; Joe, lets cut straight through the normal rhetoric. Were you surprised at the cult following?

    Joe: Well, it hard to get a smart cult following but you got Shonda Rhimes who is the head of this one. She has figured out the key for what an audience is looking for.

    Heckler from the audience: "...and what is that key, a white man using a black woman?"

    **Joe pretends as if he didn't hear the question that's on the minds of many.**

    Joe: More importantly, it's a show that stars a female and written by a female, but in no way shape or form is it about women's movement and what that implies, it's simply about power.

    Another voice from the audience: "I'm calling bullsh*t, get to the real issue, everyone knows this is about a black woman in a lead role and how she's portrayed on the screen.

    Marc: Excuse me, would that person like to stand and state your name.

    Akimbo: My name is Akimbo. I've been taken to the wood shed for supporting and defending the white man/black woman relationship in this show, which is really it's drawing, so can we please discus that issue?

    Marc: Well Joe, lets go there. How important is it for you as an actor to get those roles which are not race specific but still give you the opportunity to put a spot light on race, gender or what-have-you... and to represent the race so to speak.

    Andre Seewood: Hold up Joe, before you wax poetic while kissing Shonda's azz and placating white folks, I think I need to jump in here. Look, a vast majority of White people don’t like Black movies because they lack the empathy necessary to identify with Black characters which in turn affects their ability to “suspend disbelief” and surrender to the narrative of a Black film. So if whatever you was about to say, did not speak to how the show has managed, to some degree, to keep a few white viewers engaged and entertained, I'm gonna call bullsh*t, but go ahead, keep talking.

    Joe: Well, first, let me say I am with you Andre. Once a play or movie opens with racism or a black person in the lead or whatever, half the *cough*white*cough* audience is already half way out the door. They've known that story, they've seen that story or don't wanna see it. But if suddenly a character appears and they are an American of African decent and you don't get it until half-way through, the "oh I see, this is more about the "story" than their race" it's about who he is and how he got to that place, then we're talking about the real world.

    **CareyCarey is in the audience. He leans over to his friends and whispers, "what the hell was that mumble jumble? The real world? You don't get it until half-way through? Get what, that the people on the screen are either black or white? What world is he talking about? Geez... the Brother from the other planet must be having a flashback"**

  • Charles Judson | December 2, 2013 5:57 PM

    Glad you didn't leave the punch in. I was up super late working and snacking. I may have choked. Although now, I want to read that version...I see me with a glass jaw, hitting the floor hard with a loud smack...

  • CC | December 2, 2013 4:28 PM

    Charles, this is a tough crowd so I am pleased that someone cracked a smile. And check this, I was laughing while writing that line because as you said truth is truth, so I knew you'd appreciate it. You did have a larger role but it got too involved. You know, Tanya said something, you check her, a fight ensues and then it's on.

    Yep, it was a bit too much, especially the part where Sergio accidentally knocks out Tanya Steele and you, with the same punch. Yep, it was a wee bit too much.

    But thanks for letting me know somebody reads this mess.

  • Charles Judson | December 1, 2013 3:57 AM

    I saw my name and dialogue, and couldn't do nothing but laugh. Truth is truth.

  • . | November 30, 2013 11:09 PMReply

    Marc: Hmmm... Joe, you may have confused a few people with that political correctness but lets move on. You wrote a piece for The Huffington Post which I thought was... well... lets take a look. The title is "When Will Black Historical Films Focus on Triumph Rather Than Plight? In short, you said these kind of films (you called out 12 Years A Slave) inflames an omnipresent and smoldering mistrust of whites by blacks. Would you like to say something about that?

    Joe: Yeah, it's simple, these films are not going to open your eyes to anything new... it's not gonna make you feel "oh we should do something about that". It's just going to make you more angry. And lets be real, most of the films coming out of Hollywood in which a black person is a central character is ether about integration or whites saving the disenfranchised black person... "42"... " The Butler", "Help"... all these movies are about the same topics, as if we've only been the help or begging for integration.

    Tanya Steele: PREACH... you bad mfer! It's time for blacks to stop taking care of white folks. How long will we continue to worry about how they feel? Sh*t, they make all these goddamn movies about leading us to the promise land, help us and teaching "us" how to be civilized, when there are millions of racist, poor, ignorant uncivilized whites who could use their help. Racism is a learned behavior and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. But, through films, they love presenting us as the "victim" and the downtrodden... and some negros are buying into that mess with open arms.

    Joe: Show you right Tanya... and some of the arguments center on the words "black film". Those words tell a producer or a director, and more importantly the audience, it's for black folks only. So we need to get rid of the term "black film".

    **A voice from the crowd**

    Carl: Can I throw a few spit balls on the wall, I mean, give my opinion?

    EVERYONE: NO!

    **Carl leaves abruptly to check back in at his alternative learning High School**

    Andre Seewood: Wait a minute, who's fooling who? Call it what you want, when a black person appears in a major role, white people, first and foremost see their color. So it makes no different if it's a "black film" or just "a film", if the black character does not appease the their sensibilities, they will not spend their money or time on watching said film. In fact, if one cares to notice, Scandal's viewership is predominately black folks, so lets not be fooled or mislead to believe the "problem's" problem is the term "black film".

    Marc: Hey Tambay, do you have anything to say about this?

    Tambay: My name is Bennett and I ain't in it. In my interview of Steve McQueen, I gave a short opinion "12 Years A Slave", many of my own readers blasted my head off. So I'm playing the nut role on this one.

    Marc: Sergio?

    Sergio: Nope. Well, I just want everyone to know I am not a journalist? You want journalism read the New York Times.

  • CareyCarey | November 30, 2013 11:01 PMReply

    Marc: Okay then, good-night folks. Keep watching Scandal but don't call it a black film. It's just a series featuring Americans of African decent (as Joe white-washed it).

    **A voice hollers from the audience**

    "I don't watch Scandal and I love me some black movies and black men. And for the record, my name is Scripttease!"

  • CareyCarey | November 30, 2013 10:59 PMReply

    .

  • Jermaine Hall | November 30, 2013 6:04 PMReply

    That's what's so great about another "black show" on TV now, Sleepy Hollow, it's a show featuring a mostly black cast that has nothing to do with slavery, or inner-city poverty, or the segregated South, but at the same time manages to address race with characters that are fully fleshed, well-rounded human beings, not just cardboard symbols.

  • Ken Mask | November 30, 2013 5:28 PMReply

    Art is best delivered over a wide range of perceptions. He is correct that we need sustentative stories with popular, universal content.

  • Jug | November 30, 2013 2:30 PMReply

    He's right. And what he meant about "not a lot of Black people in Europe" is when a film is labeled "Black" or "Urban" and distributed overseas, there isn't a large enough demo to justify distributing the film for such a small, niche audience. He was illustrating the BS of that argument, both that and calling films "Black" and "Urban".

  • j | November 30, 2013 12:04 PMReply

    barack obama was born in hawaii. not "some people think he was born in Hawaii..."

  • Amy | November 30, 2013 9:42 AMReply

    They're both hot!!! Love intelligent men. #delish

  • Nemesis | November 30, 2013 7:22 AMReply

    I have to say that I actually agree with his point about there not being many black people in Europe. He didn't say there aren't ANY black people, just not many.

    I don't think there's a single country in Europe where the percentage of black people goes into double digits. I live in the UK and, outside of London and a couple of other cities, it really isn't difficult to stick out like a sort thumb... and it only takes an hour's drive outside of London to start seeing and feeling this.

    At best, we're probably looking at black people making up 5%, or likely less, of the population of Europe. Undoubtedly, most European countries wouldn't even be half of this. So, marketing wise, particularly with regard to Hollywood/studio films, if a film is perceived as being "black" then it's not exactly going to be one a buyer will be gagging for, is it? Films perceived as "black" will always be perceived as niche films as far as the "mainstream" is concerned and so, I'm guessing, are pretty much distributed and sold like independent films.

    What's most interesting about this notion of black films not selling abroad (i.e. outside the US), is that it tends to focus on Europe. Apart from having a diversity of theme and story, it might also be worth considering marketing "black" films to the African continent where, contrary to popular misconception, there is a rapidly expanding middle class - of almost exclusively black people. ...and yes, there are cinema chains, at least that I know of in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and mostly likely Kenya. Worse case scenario, you'd be marketing to the equivalent of at least the black population of Europe, possibly more - and growing.

  • William Spiritdancer | November 30, 2013 3:37 AMReply

    Absolutely! I've been saying the same thing for years. It's so freakin' frustrating seeing Hollywood's one dimensional stories of American Americans.

  • LS | November 29, 2013 8:11 PMReply

    Joe Morton has mostly played genius or men of importance. Mr. Host forgot to mentioned the tv series Eureka... good series...

  • ALM | November 29, 2013 7:40 PMReply

    Joe Morton is THE MAN on tv right now. People flip out over him on twitter on Thursday nights.

    There are definitely plenty of movies about "the struggle". It would be great to see more movies about "the triumph".

    Lord, that Marc LaMont Hill is so fine......

  • ken barker | November 29, 2013 6:19 PMReply

    Mario van peebles asked where is our "jurrasic park, our batman"? I tend to agree. Less navel gazing and lets create films for wider consumption first. I hasten to add these should be lead by mainly black casts and HODs. All sub categories will find a place under there. Creatives join with the best of our financial brains and make things happen. Read the names of the execs on any Hollywood film. That might inform you and inspire us to follow that model. Right now we are rather nicely theorising a lot of B/S, being devicive and getting nothing done. I actually make films and want to reach audiences. Think on. KB

  • CareyCarey | November 29, 2013 5:38 PMReply

    PERFECT! The Bother from Another Planet (Joe Morton) said what had to be said but it hurt soooo good... and the devil's in the details. I am reminded of Chitterlings ( Chitlins, Shitlins, Wrinkles or the small intestines of pigs), they have a foul odor but they taste soooooo good.

    Listen, although Joe, being on a popular TV series (and only a fool would bite the hand that feeds him) tried his best to speak in politically correct terms. However, if one paid attention to the details of what he was NOT saying and/or was hesitant to say in fear of stepping on toes or risk being viewed as the angry black man, it's clear what he was saying about the state of black films, white people and the powers that be.

    Now, since I don't have a dog in this fight, nor does anyone pay my bills, I am safe to give y'all the interpretation (my interpretation) of Joe Morton's thoughts if he was free of shackles to speak his mind.

    Going back, some might view/perceive/take what I am about to say as they do chitlins (i.e., negro food, stinky, disgusting, etc,) nothing an honorable black person would ever consider puting on their plate. On the other hand, there are millions of blacks (and whites btw) who are wise enough to have an open mind. That said, it's time for another one of my skits that I hope will highlight the fine details of this issue.

    The title: "Joe Morton Says and Black Folks go Whoa"

    The cast: Joe Morton, Tambay Obenson, Sergio, Andre Seewood and Tanya Steele.

    Supporting cast: Ski-Triumph, Carl, white folks, CareyCarey, Akimbo, Blackman, Scripttease.

    Walk on and drive-by: Nadia, Peter, Other Song, No-Brainer

    Btw, anyone who desires a part in the skit, please raise your hand. If you have a part but want out, raise your hand or forever hold your peace.

  • Busta | November 29, 2013 4:35 PMReply

    Darien Sills-Evans' "X-Patriots" was about a different perspective. Outside of this site, I've hardly read anything about it and it was killing on the festival circuit years ago.

  • Katie | November 29, 2013 3:59 PMReply

    HERE WE GO AGAIN! Another black actor going around having a problem with black films. What is he doing about it instead of talking/reflecting? Is he donating to black content creators who are trying to make nuanced films? Does he open his social media platforms to signal boost film crowd funding campaigns? Matter of fact, where's his film? Probably not even in sight.

    Imma need him to walk AND talk at the same time.

    And I would argue that The Help is not even a black movie. The screenplay was not written by a black person and it did not have a black director. Hell, The main character wasn't even black.

  • katie | December 1, 2013 7:41 AM

    No I didn't, you did. Talking and reflecting won't change the situation, doing will. Stop asking/expecting Hollywood to give us a platform to tell our stories. It has proven futile and they owe us nothing. if they wanted to within the 100 years they've been in business, they would have done so by now. Move on and create your own content if you don't like what's being told. I'm sure he has some money and connections to start a web series/indie film/short video, but he just believes whites should take care of the problem they are dilbertly creating.

  • Israel | November 30, 2013 6:04 PM

    You missed it.....it's ok....but you missed it.

  • Katie | November 29, 2013 5:26 PM

    This is what I consider a black movie: A black director, a black screenwriter, AND a black cast. If the film does not have a black director OR a black screenwriter, but a black cast, It is most likely a Hollywood film marketed to black people. Same for the reverse. It's a Hollywood film marketed to white people.

    And honestly, for it to be truly "ours" we would need to have an alternative mass media organization. Even our "black films" mainly belong to white studios in a white-owned industry. Black web series are OURS because they belong to the respective black content creators in full. No one can take it from them. That is cultural ownership to me.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | November 29, 2013 4:17 PM

    Your last paragraph begs a counterpoint: If a film were written and directed by an African-American, possibly with a predominately black crew, but featured a predominately white (or other non-black) cast, would it be their movie or ours?

  • Adam Scott Thompson | November 29, 2013 2:36 PMReply

    To me, the biggest stereotypes that's been perpetuated by "our" films is that we're always trying to hook up and screw/date/marry/make babies; especially women, as if everything else they achieve in life is bullshit unless they have a do-right man.

    Every other black film is either a romance, a comedy or a romantic comedy. Throw in the urban thrillers (think fallen white actor plus a tired rapper), filmed stage plays starring Clifton Powell/Vivica Fox/Kenny Lattimore (huh?) and morality tales a la "Temptation: Confessions of... [I forget the rest]" and you have our yearly output.

  • slice | December 1, 2013 7:29 AM

    Yeah, there are a lot of silly movies like the ones you mentioned, but there are also a whole bunch of indie films made by black people that aren't anything like that--however,they tend to be indies, and black indie films don't get as much push as white indie films,plain and simple. Also, not many films like the ones you mentioned even make it to the screens anymore (unless they're made by Tyler Perry) and they're pretty played out by now (those types of flicks were real popular over a decade ago.) Those films have pretty much faded out to some extent.

    "To me, the biggest stereotypes that's been perpetuated by "our" films is that we're always trying to hook up and screw/date/marry/make babies; especially women, as if everything else they achieve in life is bullshit unless they have a do-right man."

    As a woman, I can't stand those types of films either (like some of Perry flicks, not all of them--I do like some) as if a women isn' worth anything until she gets a man---that's some sexist BS right thee.

  • blackgirlinberlin | November 29, 2013 1:55 PMReply

    I liked the interview.. but no there are not a lot of black people in Europe. I live here in Germany, been in Europe for a long time.. sorry NO there just are not that many.

  • MK | December 2, 2013 4:58 PM

    What Joe Morton means, I think, is that no European country has a black population sizable enough to allow for profitable marketing. Even in European countries that house the largest number of blacks, any film that is marketed as a 'black production' will only satisfy a tiny niche audience.

  • snifferdoggy | November 30, 2013 4:30 AM

    Perhaps if the "Black" people within Europe actually connected with one another we'd have a more educated idea whether there are/aren't many "Black" people in Europe.

  • Solid E | November 29, 2013 1:06 PMReply

    I can only speak for myself. There is no such thing as a film that must be made or a story that must be told. This is nothing more than a Hollywood marketing tool. Also I totally disagree with the notion that black people need to be reminded of the horrors of slavery and the best way to do this is with a major motion picture. This is didacticism at its finest. When I spend my hard earned money on a movie I want to be entertained. I do not want to be preached to, enlightened, educated or given a code to decipher. Entertainment is all I want. Make me laugh, cry or scare the hell out me but please no didacticism. Black filmmakers seem to spend more time trying to justify their art than they do making it. One final rant is this, please black filmmakers stop telling your audience how they are suppose to react to your art. We seem to do this more than others.

  • JTC | December 3, 2013 9:16 PM

    Fortunately, everyone has the right to pay their 10 or more dollars to walk into a movie or not. So if you want escapism you can do that, and if you want something which enlightens you in some way; you can search for that as well. My only concern is that we begin walking a dangerous line when we start to prescribe one kind of film or the other, or when make false distinctions between things which need not be distinct. And far more than for my favorite films, my favorite books, my favorite songs, and my favorite moments in my life are both entertaining and enlightening.

  • CC | December 3, 2013 7:11 AM

    " there are also a whole bunch of indie films made by black people that aren't anything like that--however, they tend to be indies, and black indie films don"t get as much push as white indie films. I specifically look for those that do and watch them, and I get entertained on top of that" ~ Slice

    Practice what you preach, school us. What are the titles and where can they be found?

  • slice | December 1, 2013 7:44 AM

    @Solid E

    I totally disagree. Some stories and films DO have to be told---and people who make indie films tell them all the time. And,yes,both and black AND white people and other people of color need to be reminded of the horrors of slavery, because we are still dealing in some ways from he fallout of it, which it why we still have racial problems to this day. Just because you don't want to see them dosen't mean they should never be made. I spent my hard-earned change to see 12 YEARS A SLAVE. I'm glad it was made, because way too many people believe that just because we have a black President,all our racial issues were supposed to just fly up and disappear into nowhere, when the truth is, it never has. Hell,more racism came out when he got elected!
    "One final rant is this, please black filmmakers stop telling your audience how they are suppose to react to your art. We seem to do this more than others." Oh,please, white filmmakers do this all the time,too. Where did you get the idea that only black filmmakers are doing this? There's no didacticism about it. Fine if you don't want to be enlightened---you do know that you can be enlightened or taught by a film and still have it be entertaining, right? Films have been doing that since they were invented. I'm past tired of films that don't make me think---there's already enough of those---I specifically look for those that do and watch them, and I get entertained on top of that.

    And black filmmakers wind up having to justify their art because if they don't make something that is in line with what a mainstream picture is supposed to be, they have a harder time getting their films out there, due to lack of good distribution, and a business that dosen't consider black films to be worth a damn.

  • Miles Ellison | November 30, 2013 7:27 PM

    There's plenty of entertainment with no educational value whatsoever. It's in almost every multiplex and all over cable TV. It's not like a revolution of didactic film making has taken over.

  • CC | November 30, 2013 6:19 PM

    Amanda, do you see the problem with your comment? Well, you've basically inferred that those who do not seek movies as a source of enlightenment or education are not using their minds. On the other hand, those who do seek those riches by going to the movies are the smartest people in the world. Hmmm... let's look at a few details. I'll use something everyone can relate to.

    I am sure everyone is familiar with the name Ray Harryhausen? Well, one might not recognize his name but I am more than sure his work has been seen by the vast majority of movie watchers. He was the creator of a visual effects form of stop-motion model animation. If you've seen Mighty Joe Young (1949), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), featuring a famous sword fight against seven skeleton warriors, Clash of the Titans (1981), and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, often remembered for the sword fight involving a statue of the six-armed goddess Kali, you know Ray Harryhausen.

    Now come on, me and Solid E are sitting in the theater being entertained by the fighting skeletons and the six-armed goddess kicking much ass. In doing so what did we lose? And, those who look for a "richer", deeper, more educational experience, what did they find from watching those films? Or, maybe, you're implying that-that crowd does not watch films purely for entertainment, and therefore would never watch that type of fluff - huh?

  • Amanda | November 30, 2013 1:40 AM

    "I do not want to be preached to, enlightened, educated or given a code to decipher." - A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  • Ravin | November 29, 2013 2:03 PM

    I am not quite sure I understand exactly what you are saying: are you saying that good art/a good film should not be ostensibly didactic--as in "I am going to force some knowledge down your throat"? or are you saying that yo don't derive pleasure from ANY FILM that is not aiming to make you "cry, laugh or to scare you"? If the second is the case, the vast majority of American films (black and white) cater to this taste and aim directly for your pocket book, so you should gladly be able to ignore the very few that attempt to move beyond fantasy and escapism for its own sake. I appreciate you were very careful to write "I can only speak for myself," but I would like you to consider the power that visual representations hold for an understanding of the nature of our reality. I would also like you to consider whether or not there is not a particular form of pleasure that can be had from being made to think critically about salient issues. So for instance, are you not able to enjoy the work of Terry McMillan and Toni Morrison even as they have very different projects in mind? (One writes escapist fiction, and the other forces you to think more seriously about African American history and culture). I agree with you that a good film should not be overtly didactic because that's a failure in artistic execution. But I doubt that you are saying the only films you enjoy are those that allow you to not think about serious issues. Lastly, I disagree with you that the idea there are "stories that need to be told" is simply a Hollywood marketing tool. Hollywood doesn't really care about "black" stories that need to be told, and really any "story" that need to be told, if it doesn't inflate the pocketbook. You do have writers and directors who understand there are narratives out there we need to be made aware of because they affect our understanding of the conditions in which we live.

  • Peter | November 29, 2013 12:32 PMReply

    Seriously-- you can write four paragraphs about the fact that the interview has content, but not report any of the content itself. I suppose the mandate was to write a teaser and try to get people to click on one more HuffLive video, and so you had to leave all of the content in the video. And if I want some sort of enterprising work from HuffPo it only makes sense that the work would be done not in the field of actual journalism, but in advancing the styles and techniques of click-baiting.

    Not interested in HuffPo Live. Didn't click on the video today, won't do so tomorrow, either. Do some actual reporting, or be clear that your link doesn't actually connect to content.

  • JTC | December 3, 2013 9:03 PM

    Really? Watch the video or don't, but seriously folks...

  • MK | December 2, 2013 4:49 PM

    People complain like they're entitled to content. Like they have a paid subscription to this site. Folks like Sergio dedicate their free time to write these posts. It's not journalism, it's hobbyism. If it's not up to your standards, move on.

  • Carl | November 30, 2013 3:48 AM

    @Muse @Sheba Baby

    Your probably the same cry baby but if these two dumb ass comments are actually from two people, please pull the stick out your ass and find something to really be upset about.

    Who the hell cares! Just look at the video you tender toed negroes! STFU. Complaining about absolutely NOTHING! Get a life! Just say you don't like Sergio and be done with the manufactured outrage.

  • Muse | November 30, 2013 2:25 AM

    I agree with Peter and Sheba. Regardless of whether or not you identify with the term "journalist," that's how you're perceived when you write these articles informing readers about all-Afrocentric-cinema everything. And it DOES come off as lazy journalism to provide no context or insight about the video content. For example, you could've highlighted particular moments in the clip to deconstruct in your article, such as Morton's assertion at 6:35 about why the term "black film" was problematic.

  • Sheba Baby | November 29, 2013 2:03 PM

    I actually agree with Peter in the fact that we should definitely know what was said by Joe in this blog post. This is a very informative site that I'm sure reaches everyone across the world and not everyone has time or means to click on videos. Some folks may be at work while reading this site and may not be able to watch videos. Some people just may have very slow internet and can't watch this video.

    As an avid reader of this blog I'd like to know what he said and have the option to click on the video link if I want to rather than having to read four paragraphs setting up the video. Not trying to criticize anyone but a breakdown of what happens in videos is what I believe to be standard for most blogs.

  • Winston | November 29, 2013 1:33 PM

    Peter, go puff yourself. Since when is connecting to another site a bad thing? Your argument is pointless.

  • sergio | November 29, 2013 12:47 PM

    Gee ya think if that if I wrote about what he said then there would have be no need to actually post the video? Why waste the reader's time to read what Morton said when you can actually see the video yourself and make up your own minds if you agree with him or not? You don't want to watch the video today, tomorrow or 30 years from now that's O.K. It's a free country. I had no idea you're schedule was SO busy that you can't watch a 10 minute video. And by the way when did I ever say I was a journalist? You want journalism read the New York Times

  • Carol | November 29, 2013 11:45 AMReply

    I agree with him. Please remember that blavks are only similar by shade of skintone in the workd. I think non-black critics snd others who think unilaterally forget that bkack people like other ethnicities are historical memories of the American past. The movie he speaks about was equally offensive to all the vuewers of that film. We need to see different images of blacks on film and television. And the truth of modern black stories, not just the civil rights movement, integration or the sanitized version of the horrific acts or films that don't blossom the versitility of bkack and even latino/asian and other ethnicities on the screen.

  • other song | November 29, 2013 9:51 AMReply

    I agree with what he's saying, but dude's acting like all we watch are slave movies. That couldn't be further from the truth. If anything, we're being drowned in sophomoric comedies and romance movies. I agree that we need to see a wider range of Black film period and I also think that we should embrace our suffering and let people know about it. Too many of us forget how brutal slavery was. And frankly, what's wrong with distrusting white folk? It's not like they've stopped f*cking us over. There are some great white folk out there no doubt, but white supremacy is real sh*t. It's not gonna disappear just because we wish it wasn't there. You have to actively fight it, and the only way is through education and knowledge of self.

  • other song | November 29, 2013 10:38 PM

    I agree momo

  • MoMo | November 29, 2013 4:25 PM

    If you think of the American Industry as being the largest and most powerful film production engine in the world, African American producers not only have a responsibility to not only tell the stories of all the Diaspora, not just what's happened in North America. Jewish file makers do, why shouldn't African Diaspora leverage the power of American film to use the American Film industry as a canvas.

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