Join Us Now! S&A Livecast Season 2, Episode 7

by Cynthia Reid
May 25, 2011 11:48 AM
13 Comments
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It's that time again people! Tonight the S&A Crew will discuss some hot issues taking place in the world of black cinema. Please join us at 8pm/est. Slated topics:

"The Crisis of the Black Leading Man" post

Sergio's post on "What Defines A Black Actor"
Black Actresses. Is there a color barrier? If so, is it the responsibility of "top tier" actresses to bring the matter to light?

No guest tonight. So not only will it be a chat fest, we're definitely taking calls and expecting your input! You can tune in to the live show HERE. Don't forget you can join us in the chat room as well.

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13 Comments

  • CareyCarey | May 27, 2011 4:00 AMReply

    Jug, speaking of Sergio, I agree, if one gets in a conversation, "debate" with him, they better be prepared to bring something. The man is unafraid to disagree, will be prepared to support his opinion, and will say it with a bold conviction that could lead others to believe what he’s saying is true, even if it’s not. *LOL*

    And, depending on the subject, in this case... movies, actors, film, etc, again, a person better be prepared or they’ll be left with pause on their face (and lips)because he is going to bring something from his vast knowledge on the subject.

    Sergio is the type of guy that you put at the top of your party list because he’s going to bring something to the table other than their body and a bottle of white wine. You know, if a person asked what you’re serving at “the” party, you might give them the food menu and they might respond with an uninterested look, but when you say Sergio will be there, oh shit, that’s the meal they were looking for.

    Again, a person may disagree with him, but he is going to inspire thought, pick & poke, instigate a deeper discussion, and do it in an entertaining fashion; qualities that I admire.

    In short, some people are quick to say they don’t like arguing. I wonder if they are referring to yelling and screaming, because without argument, rounded and balance discourse cease to exist. Governments would shut down and no court proceedings would even come to a right and truthful conclusion. Consequently, if one says they don’t like arguments, I hear , they don’t like having to support their opinion, and, they like being around like minded individuals. Everything is fine when their all drinking the same wine and smelling their own breath *smile*

  • Jug | May 26, 2011 6:26 AMReply

    That 5000 character limit be kickin' my ass Carey! LOL I had to chop it up and post it quick cuz it was one post at first :-P

    That's why I like listening to Sergio too. He makes me get off my ass & think about somethin' :-D

    But feel free to dissect and fire off on me. A blade is sharpened against another blade...

  • CareyCarey | May 26, 2011 6:11 AMReply

    Damn Jug, now you're really starting to piss me off. I mean, your last 3 comments (in a row, I must add) basically left liitle room for opposing voices to sqeak through, and thus, the floor (like that of a church when the pastor says sometimes that makes the congragation hang their head in shame) will be awfully quiet.

    Dang man, too much wisdom in the mind of one man, is a dangerous tool.

    And see, I like the way you kick fear to the side to voice a view that might kick others - dead in their groove zone. yep, I like that in yeah. Sergio has similar qualities- imo.

    Keep keeping it real. Our young are listening.

  • Jug | May 26, 2011 4:19 AMReply

    Good lord there was so much to discuss. First, I agree totally about the need for discussion. Sergio is right, get mad, get happy, get something, anything that causes you to feel, think & bring up discourse. That being said, there's much that while cool to talk about, I had issues with.

    Mainly, much of the discussion was coming from an almost academic mindset. Don't get me wrong, I agreed with practically everything that you guys talked about (still have my issues with the whole Vin Diesel thing, but I'll get to that) but my main concern is that the topics were discussed without any credence given to the landscape and what really happens. It's like everyone hating Lawyers...until they NEED one, then shit is different.

    The discussion about leading men, you guys started to go there with Daniel Craig. They actually didn't want him because he was Blond & "older", Henry Cavill-the new Superman- & Sam Worthington were among top choices. That is the standard for the ENTIRE industry. Look at every major tentpole, they cast "boys" or those without "character" to their face. Sure they might be 25, but as Sergio said (brilliantly I might add), they have no presence. Why? Because it's about what sells right now. Until a majority of movie goers are over the age of 30 or 35, which won't be happening anytime soon as ticket prices have skyrocketed and they have kids/movies suck, you won't see GROWN men back on the screen in droves, another reason folks are running to tv. They wanted a younger actor for IRON MAN and SHERLOCK HOLMES at first, not Robert Downey Jr. There's a reason why every movie franchise is rebooting with younger leads or doing another installment with a younger actor "getting passed the torch". Because YOUNG is the money maker right now. Youth has always been a the treasured commodity of Hollywood, but it has always been relative, a 35 year old as opposed to a 55 year old. But now it means YOUNG, 25 or younger, and sorry to say, anything of weight, gravitas or longevity is out the window because the actors are more unseasoned and the characters they are asked to play haven't done a damn thing in the world. They don't have families, they haven't saved people from fires or riots, and if they're asked to do that in a movie it's laughable-we don't believe them for that very reason. But let's get back to tentpoles.

    I talk tentpoles, because as far as theatrical is concerned, are what's keeping the lights on. Major studios are making fewer and fewer movies, those are being done by the mini's-Relativity, Summit, etc-and then being distributed by the majors. It's movies like TRUE GRIT & KING'S SPEECH that gain ground over time, like a movie should. But in this day & age where movies are EXTREMELY too expensive to produce, the only guarantee on investment, of which there really is none, is to get young people & families into theatres. If you got kids, you HAVE to take 'em to anything animated or with animals or you're a piece of shit parent.

  • Jug | May 26, 2011 4:18 AMReply

    And that ain't gonna happen with a bunch of 40 somethings running around the screen. What about PIRATES you say? Yeah, well there was a reason Orlando Bloom & Kiera Knightley were so prominently featured. And once Jack Sparrow became the draw, they figured out a way to burn those two out of the picture (even though in the new one they added a similar ridiculous storyline, but whatever)

    So take that & roll it on over to the lack of Men in black films, & it makes sense. We're not immune to that mess; it's not only the business model, but it has become the esthetic. Everytime a grown male star seems to break out (Idris, Daniel Craig, Viggo Mortenson, Clive Owen) that trend sort of falters and a new crop of 20 something, lack of heft cats hit the stage (Armie Hammer, Sam Worthington, Anthony Mackie). And I'm not talking about their talent specifically, I'm talking about their physicality-shoulder width, head/face shape, sound/depth of voice. In this sense, I'm expounding on what Sergio said, because screen presence can come from anywhere. Peter Dinklage has AMAZING screen presence and he's a Dwarf.

    So in black movies, you have Laz Alonso, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, etc. Nothing about their talent, but they all seem to be babyfaced and "light of voice", so as Sergio pointed out, no heft. A leading man is someone that when he steps in the room, you feel like he's gonna handle it. Kick ass, take names, and sweep the woman off her feet-literally. Which of the aforementioned names do you really see doing that?

    And all that "well, we're in a new age" crap is just that-crap. Go to the movies and everyone secretly wants the same stereotypical things to see because it stimulates their libido. Come on, really, do women get all "hot & bothered" when some dude sits and "talks" about stuff? And I'm talking the movies ladies, not real life. No they want him to DO shit, take care of things, be in charge. The "men" being hired right now, ain't cuttin' it.

    The "what's a black actor" thing is really problematic for me because as an actor who's auditioned for many a gig and talked to many a star, I think folks outside the biz give waaay too much credit to actors. Just like the A-List thing, there's FEW (on one hand) actors that can say I'm gonna do this & I'm gonna do that. They have to choose when it's offered to them, not demand. And most of them that can are white. SO, black actors, often you take what you get. You think Djimon ALWAYS likes playing "the African"? You think Viola ALWAYS likes playing "the unattractive dark woman"? Paul Patton will ALWAYS be the cute/really pretty light skinded girl LOL. Regina King had to FIGHT to not be the side-kick ghetto girl. She and Sandra Bullock had to fight A) to have her in MISS CONGENIALITY 2 & B) to not have a romantic lead, the story be about two women. Charlize Theron had to fight to get MONSTER made and was told , quote, "Just shut up & be beautiful". Notice a trend, it's not just about race, but about sex-your look. I could go on.

  • Jug | May 26, 2011 4:17 AMReply

    Vin, Rashida, Wentworth, Martin Sheen-any actor that does not LOOK like what their ethnicity is is going to get the roles that they are offered. Unless they write their own shit, that's how it goes. And sexuality is the poison pill because as Rupert Everett so wonderfully illustrated, you come out your career goes in the toilet (plus he's a jackass). So what you have a "community" to go to?! Is that community hiring you for a job? Maybe if it's John Waters or you're on LOGO channel. Otherwise, you're fucked. Jmac made a comment about Don Lemon. BIG difference. Don isn't asking us to believe he's something else, something we can go home and put in our mental masturbation file. And YES, that is what leading men & women are y'all. Let's stop kidding ourselves. But the visual part is the key, especially when you don't LOOK like what you really are, I can still fantasize about you-Vin, Rashida, Wentworth-and make them the ethnicity I want. But folks like the Rock, nah, that dude is Black & Samoan. His name is Dwayne Johnson for Christ's Sake LOL

    I get wanting them to "proclaim their ethnicity" so that it sends a message, but that's a far cry from refusing to do it. Every interview or every commercial can't be "look how black I am". That's how you get those shitty commercials late night on BET or during The Steve Harvey morning show with the wack ass "smooth jazz" while the sistah girls are talking at the water cooler about the skin cream that's made for US, "Guuurl you know I'm gonna git MINE!". COME ON! We get it, we're not retarded. That's a step from Tyler Perry stuff.

    Yes, I would like more brown skin, dark skin women out there. In commercials as well as in features and tv. But that comes to two things, what we want as an audience and what creators of content choose for their projects. There are a GANG of commerical/video directors who are black, and then they transition into tv directing & film directing. Who are they hiring? Look at the commericals (talking about fashion/makeup type, not eTrade), are folks running to have dark skinned models in them? Many of them are actually looking at your face & body like tools, not as racial qualities, just like they were using a brush, paint & canvas.

    That's a function of CASTING. So it's not necessarily about what that model/actress wants, it's about what the people on the other side of the desk want. And then what the folks upstairs want. It wasn't the actors fault about the casting of all the good people in PRECIOUS were light skinned, that was Lee's fault. Nothing is cut & dried and certainly not on the shoulders of Paula Patton & the like. That chick is just trying to get along.

    Case in point, I know for a FACT she turned down that movie HOMECOMING, when it was called GLORY DAYS at Paramount Vantage (I heard it myself). But now that it's at Our Stories, how much you wanna bet she's gonna be in it? Or at least asked to do it. Because aside from MI4, nobody is kickin' down her door. And you want her to kick up dust over her ethnicity? Shiiiiiiiiiiiit

    But it was a good podcast y'all. Definitely got the hairs on my neck up. Look forward to the next one!

  • Tamara | May 26, 2011 2:41 AMReply

    Great discussion! I have no words; nothing to add. I love you guys! LOL

    And Wentworth is hot! LOL (stating the obvious)

  • JMac | May 26, 2011 1:36 AMReply

    Great podcast - first time I've listened in. Loved the history lessons from Sergio. Never knew about Ebony's colorism issues or the Jennifer Beals deal. I thought everyone knew she was biracial or had some black in her back in the Flashdance days. All the little black girls around here did :D

  • CareyCarey | May 26, 2011 1:15 AMReply

    John asked: "Who’s the woman with the sexy voice again?"

    If you ask me, they all have sexy voices. I like my women with a back on them. I don't have to be able to touch my finger when I wrap my arms around them, and bark is always better, imo, than a sqeak. *smile*

    And, as a side dish, a woman that can't cook is like a car without tires. She may sound real sweat and wear a size 10, but where are we going to go if we're both hungry, and jack n the box is closed or my money says don't go?

  • Neziah | May 26, 2011 1:09 AMReply

    I agree with Kia, great podcast, very enlightening.

  • Kia | May 26, 2011 1:03 AMReply

    Excellent podcast... Cynthia hit on the nail... everyone gets the payoff... for being exotic except us. Made me think.

  • John Singleton | May 25, 2011 10:00 AMReply

    Who's the woman with the sexy voice again?

  • Tamara | May 25, 2011 4:40 AMReply

    Might log into chat.

    Great topics! Can't wait to hear your discussion.

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