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Trailer Watch For "Because I Love You" (And A Disclaimer...)

by Sergio
January 10, 2012 11:30 PM
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Because I Love You

So, with S & A being the premier website for all things black cinema, we get contacted all the time by filmmakers who want us to post something about their films on the site. Most of the time we do, though occasionally, something comes along that gives us second thoughts.

All this is a way of saying that, when we were contacted in regards to this new thriller (currently in post-production), titled, Because I Love You, I admit I was rather leery, as you can see below from the description of the film and the trailer.

But then again, I felt that if I didn't post anything, that would in fact be censorship, which I totally abhor; and secondly, since we are the premier website for all things black cinema as I said, its our sworn duty to.

So here's is the trailer for Because I Love You; and whatever comments you have I leave it to you.

As for what the film is about, it tell the story of "Cream, an exotic dancer and devoted mother of a beautiful, little girl named Cookie and who is in the midst of a custody battle with her ex-husband Gregory, who wants her to stop dancing or give up her daughter. On the very night that Cream has decided to quit dancing, the strip club is robbed by a group of wild animals and she is taken captive and moved to an unknown location where she is beaten and raped repeatedly. They plan to use her and then kill her before they move on to the next city and the next job. The only thing keeping her alive is the care of one of the kidnappers who refuses to let her die and forces her to remember thast her daughter needs her."  

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  • THE REALEST | January 16, 2012 3:39 PMReply

    I have no doubt that this film will go down as a classic within the spectrum of black cinema. Bravo.

  • Joseph Elmore | January 12, 2012 6:58 AMReply

    my name is Joseph Elmore, I am the writer/Director/Producer of BECAUSE I LOVE YOU. First of all I want to thank Shadow and Act for giving our small project the opportunity to be seen. I read Shadow and Act every day and watch almost every movie trailer that comes up. I am not angered by the responses, I respect the conversation as well as the criticism and I look forward to the day when people will get to see the actual movie. BECAUSE I LOVE YOU is not a story about a stripper, it is a story about struggle and survival. I think we all go through things in our lives where we are conflicted about who we are and what moves we should make in life,especially at a young age, not completely understanding how those moves will effect our children some times until it is too late. Also we had the chance to shoot an action drama with an African American female as the lead, how cool is that. In the beginning I was told that if I make the lead characters white the movie would do a lot better but I disagree with that theory. People like good stories, no matter what the color and I believe that is all that the people criticizing our trailer are saying. They want to see a good movie and again, I respect that. BECAUSE I LOVE YOU is very risky, we know that, but what movie worth watching isn't. Thanks again for the platform and I am available to debate or have an intelligent conversation about filmmaking and story telling at any time..

  • Nadine | January 16, 2012 5:17 PM

    @JOSEPHELMORE - 1. Was your film based on a true story?; 2. Were you influenced by your experiences with exotic dancers in your day-to-day life?; 3. Would you say you know a great number of exotic dancers, if so, how many?; 4. Did you interview these "dancers" about their domestic lives and coping mechanisms, which it would seem your character would need to exhibit in your movie; 5. How is this action drama with an African-American female lead novel compared to The Players Club, about an unwed mother who becomes an exotic dancer with its prerequisite rape?; Can you name some other action dramas with AA female leads (idk too many)? 6. I suspect you chose exotic dancing because it is a riskier environment that would help explain the direction of the storyline. Had you considered another career for your female protagonist? If so, what was it/were they? 7. Is this movie, I haven't seen it, but based on the synopsis, is this movie more about the female lead or the dynamic between the exotic dancer and the conflicted kidnapper; 8. What message are you trying to convey and how would you characterize your audience (who is this movie speaking to)? Is there a message?; 9. Given the current dialogue on the imagery of Black women (of which I'm assuming you are aware) in videos (whores), on television (mammy's and sapphires), where do you think your movie lies (not what one would suppose I think, or others who might have misgiving about the synopsis, what you feel and do you believe its place on the spectrum matters)? SIDENOTE: You know...BET keeps putting up these, like, Shemar Moore, Vivica Fox suspense movies and I'm just like...are "we" into this? Even so, the plots seem so weak and unstudied. It's that study and an understanding of the human condition that makes these stories, as horrible as we might believe them to be, multi-dimensional and worth watching. 10. Do you feel like your movie has more depth than the suspense movies I just referenced? If so, why? Thanks...don't let these questions drive you crazy...some answers would help me to understand.

  • CareyCarey | January 13, 2012 2:04 PM

    JOSEPH, you are to be commended for coming back to address this mixed bag of commenters/visitors. This place, Shadow & Act, can be a very intimidating "lecture hall". It's filled with a host of different personalities, likes and dislikes. Some are louder than others (which does not make them right) and some are do or die hard core cynics. They lay in the weeds to pounce on anything that does not fit their snobby way of life. That's right, regardless of their protests that they are not snobs, their actions speak louder than their words. On the other hand, there are filmmakers like yourself, who seldom step on another man's dream, they applaud the effort and the hard work. Don't get me wrong, there are a few filmmakers who I've noticed that have no problem venting on another filmmakers product. I'm not going to mention any names but one did a horror flick and another did one on "brotherly love", but to my knowledge they are in the minority of film producers who so vehemently oppose videos like yours. Nevertheless, the point is this place is a mixed bag of movie goers. There's the "black power" crowd (black racist by another name). The snobby lobby purist crowd. The drive-by and holla crowd. The anything Tyler Perry hater crowd. The BET and ROM-COM crowd. The film student crowd. The film industry crowd and the casual movie watching crowd... just to name a few. So my man, in my opinion, you're doing just fine, you're ahead of the game... you have the right attitude! Take the good and leave the rest behind. Some people have not walked in your shoes. They are just big talkers who love to lay in negativity. Big ups and keep your head up.

  • Very Interested | January 13, 2012 11:40 AM

    Joseph, I hope that you get the opportunity from S&A to express your vision and motivation to write such a compelling story about an African American woman that obviously had to make a tough choice to do her line of work. I, for one, am very interested in seeing the end result of this project. I agree with CreoleSista that the production value looks great and I like the whole hip opera approach. I don't think that some of the people here see the bigger picture; which we all don't that's why it would be a good movie to view. Good luck!!!!

  • CareyCarey | January 12, 2012 1:20 AMReply

    S & A PRESENTS! Everyone Else Wipe Your Feet and Take a Seat! Todays story is about The Little Red Hen. Let's look at her as Shadow and Act.

    Once upon a time there was a little red hen. She lived with a pig, a duck and a cat. Lets call those farm animals the visitors of S & A. Well, One day the little red hen was working in the garden when she found a grain of corn.

    "Who will plant this grain of corn?" she asked.

    "Not I," grunted the pig from his muddy patch in the garden. But I'll tell you how I would do it. Maybe there should be some special group that these kinds of films can go in like the "I don't know about this, what do you think" group.

    "Not I," quacked the duck from her pond. But I'll tell you what you're doing wrong.

  • CareyCarey | January 12, 2012 1:18 AMReply

    "Not I," purred the cat from his place in the sun. But I'll be sure to come back and join in the fun.

    So the little red hen went to look for a nice bit of earth, scratched it with her feet and planted the grain of corn. Huuummmm, this sounds like Tambay and S & A. Anyway, during the summer the grain of corn grew. First it grew into a tall green stalk, then it ripened in the sun until it had turned a lovely golden colour . The little red hen saw that the corn was ready for cutting. IndieWire knocked at the door. However, before she answered the door, the Little Red Hen decided to call The Black Diaspora one more time. "Who will help me cut the corn?" asked the little red hen.

    "Not I," grunted the pig from his muddy patch in the garden. "But please call me when the cornbread is done".

    "Not I," quacked the duck from her pond. "But ring the bell when it's eating and cryin' time". I don't know nothing about birthin' babies nor writing nor hard work. But I do know Shadow and act needs a Step your cinema up section.

    "Not I," purred the cat from his place in the sun. But do wake me and shake me when you post it. I'd much rather hear more of your opinions and see more critique of the work being developed by filmmakers of color of all levels. If we're to have a strong(er) cinema, simply posting for postings sake is not going to be enough. I don't want to come to S&A just for pass through's and reposts with a light smattering of commentary.

    "Excuse me" shouted the little Red Hen, who's now turning black. If you don't want to come to S & A, I don't believe your name is on the door. I have a great staff of diverse contributors who I trust. They are free to post whatever they want. I am not hear to run a Snobby Bobby Think Like Me... dress to impress shop. Besides, I believe I've said many time that if anyone has something they'd like to add to the mix, to please submit your articles and/or ideas to me. But, if what we are doing is so displeasing, there's the door... exit stage left. But I still love ya. So pull up to the table and get your grub on.

  • CareyCarey | January 12, 2012 10:59 PM

    Charles, you know I couldn't resist poking a jab your way. Of course I knew and understood what your where saying and your position in the film industry. Nevertheless, I have to stand on my position that you, nor I, wrote the mission statement for Shadow and Act. Granted, this film may not win any awards but it does open up a line of discussion that we all can learn from. That reminds me, as you know, this forum can never be a place for the types of discussions you're looking for. It just can't happen for a plethora of reasons. First and foremost, there's no moderator who would/could keep the discussion in line and in focus. S & A's staff are presenters not moderators. Also, this format is confusing as hell. So, in short, I believe S & A is doing exactly what they are suppose to do... throw it on the table and let the chips fall where they may. It's the hand they've been dealt. Besides, some folks (many folks) do not want anything to do with long ass serious discussions on film. They just simply want to be entertained because "thinking" is one of the hardest things man has to do on a regular basis. Life requires a break and many find their peaceful zone in movies.

  • Charles Judson | January 12, 2012 10:16 AM

    CareyCarey my whole point is that I want to know MORE of what posters are thinking and their opinions. I'm not interested in hearing my ideas parroted back to me. As I said, there are very few sites that offer any in depth commentary about Black film and as someone who has to sift through 2000 plus films to program for a film festival, I can tell you right now, Black filmmakers HAVE to step their game up. Just as I'm having to explain to filmmakers from colleges here in my home state of Georgia, they HAVE to do likewise, because too many of their films, even when they are good, still aren't standing up to what's coming out of places like Dodge Champan and FSU. Just being good is not enough. One of the first major steps to doing that is having more substantial conversations and getting filmmakers to dig deeper. For me, it's not that I need you to believe in my ideas or my personal approaches to filmmaking. However, I do think that when filmmakers really discuss and debate what works and doesn't work as filmmakers, when filmmakers learn how to defend why they tackled a work the way they did, it helps everyone sharpen their senses, helps filmmakers hone what philosophies they want to use or ignore completely, and it encourages them to take risks. And I would write more, however we just moved the festival to Georgia State and we will start working to build some joint mentor and filmmaker initiatives, where I hope I can put these ideas into practice. But, I do have a piece or two that are brewing in the back of my mind.

  • CreoleSista | January 11, 2012 3:57 PMReply

    Okay, people - what exactly is wrong with this film? I read some of the comments before watching the trailer and I was expecting the worst trailer ever. This movie looks like it has more production value than the so-called classic, Players Club. The main woman stripper can act better than LisaRaye. I loved the singing in the trailer and the film looks like it could be a horror-robbery movie. S&A posts all kinds of films, so, this post doesn't bother me at all.

  • Jug | January 11, 2012 4:27 PM

    You're kidding, right? So the "better than Lisa Raye" chick is only relative to the acting in say what, BELLY 2? The chick taking a crap in the woods, the crappy editing & the "we take ourselves so seriously" gospel moaning track on a heist of strip club? Really, come on be real, do you think that was a good trailer? The greased up for no reason black dude in the bedroom, the black dude who damn near did a ninja flip over the deck, and as a friend put it, the expendable Barney Fife white dude to boot LOL And PLAYER'S CLUB is a classic precisely because it IS bad. Not a good movie, but it's fun to watch-a guilty pleasure. It doesn't take itself too seriously, thanks to Bernie Mac, Adele Givens & Jamie Foxx. When it did get serious (anything & everything Lisa Raye said, it was unintentionally hilarious "You thought I was gone let you get away with this, HUH?! Now get the fuck out my house!" the best LOL) This tho, is some low budget mess that thinks it's real deal. It would've been the crown jewel in Maverick Films' cap, man that hurts just thinking about that. Is that company even still around anymore?! More production value doesn't make it good, just ask Rob Zombie.

  • chiguy | January 11, 2012 2:20 PMReply

    XXL had a step your lyrics up section. Shadow and act needs a Step your cinema up section.

  • Charles Judson | January 11, 2012 12:43 PMReply

    I'm not a fan of the post it and let other people decide tack. At least, not when it's obvious when the poster has some strong thoughts they would like to share. S&A has become one of the most influential voices on the net. Now that it's a part of Indiewire, even more so. I'd much rather hear more of your opinions and see more critique of the work being developed by filmmakers of color of all levels. If we're to have a strong(er) cinema, simply posting for postings sake is not going to be enough. I don't want to come to S&A just for pass through's and reposts with a light smattering of commentary. Less Ainitcool for Black Folks and more Cahiers du cinéma. Speaking specifically to "Because I Love You", the trailer has a strange mix of sincere filmmaking and narrative "blindness" that's fascinating. It's a bold screenwriter that will name a mother and daughter Cream and Cookie. And speaking to Tamara's points, this trailer is loaded with so many contradictory themes and messages about Black women, someone could probably write a pretty hefty Madonna/Whore thesis paper just off this trailer alone. It's obvious the filmmakers would think differently, however, it's all in there. Lastly, it's always curious when filmmakers mix two stories and (potentially) rob a character of their own arc. A story about a stripper in a custody battle is worthy of exploration, especially for a Black community that so often operates on a Saturday at the Juke-Joint/Sunday in the Pew approach to morality, sex and Black Women. To have Cream's story and personal journey "hijacked" and diverted into a thriller is either storytelling genius gone awry (it's something that a Jean-Luc Godard would have done in the 60s and be praised for), or a giant misstep from the jump. Because I Love You's plotline is akin to having a character from Nigeria who wants to move up in the world and be somebody. And in the story he's kidnapped, put on a slave ship, sent to the United States, and his slave master puts him through school and makes him a business man.

  • Tia Smith | January 13, 2012 11:29 AM

    I don't understand what is the problem with this trailer. It's no different then watching The Town, Dead Presidents, Takers, Natural Born Killers, True Romance, etc..... Is it that the conservative at heart cannot relate to an issue that is blatantly out there in our community(society). Charles you said it best with the whole Saturday at the Juke-Joint and then Sunday in the Pew approach. Furthermore, to say Cream's story and journey has been hijacked is unfair to the filmmaker because you don't know that yet. And to Sergio, what is so leery, about this trailer? Many movies have had dancers and robberies, so what's so different about this one that it needs a disclaimer????

  • Charles Judson | January 11, 2012 4:58 PM

    If Sergio hadn't told us he had reservations, even using the word leery, about posting this I would agree with you more. However, once he alluded to his concerns about the trailer and synopsis in the post, I think it would have been much more useful if he had gone a few extra steps and delved into why he was leery, and not leaving it to us to fill in the gaps. I'm all for supporting folks, yet knowing how folks like Sergio approach films, and not just films that have gotten distribution, but filmmaking in general, I think would be inordinately helpful. He's got a historical and career perspective that is invaluable, even if you agree or disagree with his opinions. And I think not applying a filter to avoid censoring another voice isn't helpful to an ongoing discussion and exploration of Black Cinema. Ultimately, most folks here are saying they don't want to see the film, nor or they interested in seeing it to even dissect it as a piece of art and know what Black filmmakers are making and why. I think even Sergio has to agree that he knew that was a fairly certain outcome with the majority of S&A readers. So why post it? To support Black Filmmakers? I know why the filmmakers sent it to S&A, because a post to S&A is exposure and validation that it's worthy of recognition. There are hundreds of sites that can post a trailer, but very few that actually discuss Black film and filmmaking with a critical eye and with a voice that's interested in expanding the conversation. The more we (and I mean us readers, audience members and filmmakers; this isn't something that should just sit on the shoulders of S&A) treat what we do as an art form and stop treating so many works, or filmmakers, as equally meritorious or equally disdainful, and have more detailed dialogues about what we and others are creating, be it good or bad, the more I truly believe we'll all benefit in the long run.

  • Stacie | January 11, 2012 3:14 PM

    I understand where Sergio is coming from. Shadow N Act should not ignore or ban projects just because the (editors) don't like the subject matter. As a filmmaker, I notice that the site has it's favorites but they seem open to supporting everyone. Also, I think it's more about keeping the public up to date on what's happening in the industry and who is doing what.

    I don't think it's worth the time or effort to do a full critique of a trailer. Maybe when someone sees the entire film, they will want to post about it. I, personally, am not interested in seeing or reading about the film but I'm not in to stripper horror suspense movies.

  • Sergio | January 11, 2012 12:18 PMReply

    How about that. I didn't notice

  • Jug | January 11, 2012 12:14 PMReply

    I was riveted by the wood door. Stunning Performance

  • Jug | January 11, 2012 12:15 PM

    A cautionary tale of making PLAYER'S CLUB without Bernie Mac

  • Tamara | January 11, 2012 9:20 AMReply

    Hmm. I read the synopsis first then watched the trailer... I didn't know robbing strip clubs could be so lucrative? I hate that the woman is in a strip club in the first place, but it happens. I hate that "Gregory" (via synopsis) is the one who is constantly talking her off the pole---wish she would have come to that conclusion herself. I hate that she is abused repeatedly by "wild animals" wearing deathly hallows imprinted 'kerchiefs. I hate that it takes one of them to remind her of her worth, "who refuses to let her die" and reminds her that "her daughter needs her". I hate that at no point it seems via synopsis and trailer that SHE is in charge of herself. I dislike the victimization of it all and could on and on but I will stop. With that said, I'm glad the actors got a chance to work and hopefully 'build upon' their craft. I'm glad that the filmmaker was able to do the same. Good luck to them.

  • Tamara | January 17, 2012 9:33 PM

    Thank you REEL CHICK. I'll refrain further judgement until I can view the feature :)

  • Reel Chick | January 13, 2012 12:17 PM

    I think you should wait to see the movie because that is not what its about at all. I understand where you are coming from, really but I worked on this movie and I would not support it if this was the case. Awesome story and nothing low budget about the production. All of the actors did great and the ending is the best!

  • Mike | January 11, 2012 8:25 AMReply

    Ya'll just a bunch of bougie negros that can't appreciate the stripper game. HATERS with college degrees.

  • Ken | April 29, 2012 10:37 PM

    Why the tomfoolery?

  • Batare | January 11, 2012 7:17 AMReply

    I understand that you don't what to encourage censorship, Sergio, and it was smart that you threw it to the comments, but maybe there should be some special group that these kinds of films can go in like the "I don't know about this, what do you think" group. Just to forewarn people about the disaster at the title. I know there are some great writers out there who have more stories, not just about strippers and drug dealers. I believe Shadow and Act is a great center for those writers who have great stories but don't get recognized. I'm not excited about this movie of course I seen many trailers on here like it. Sure we can't write something like Juno, because its already been done and a pregnant black girl with smart remarks isn't going to be seen as witty and inventive but difficult with a stank attitude, but I know there are writers out there that have witty humor in their scripts or have stories about real life that don't involve rape, kidnapping and robbery. You've proven yourself a great referee Sergio, but this is where I throw in the towel. Peace, Love and Harmony.

  • artbizzy | January 11, 2012 5:58 AMReply

    my people, my people...other than that, speechless.

  • Jay | January 11, 2012 3:59 AMReply

    "On the very night that Cream has decided to quit dancing, the strip club is robbed by a group of wild animals…"

    Waitaminute… wild animals can rob? And they rob a STRIP CLUB?!

  • Donnie Leapheart | January 11, 2012 1:45 AMReply

    All I wanna know is why Sergio (purposely) not only bold underlined the S&A description but also misspelled certain words both times. Methinks these were a "copy & paste" from the initial email he received. LOL.

  • Donnie Leapheart | January 11, 2012 11:16 AM

    I was actually referring to "wesbite" and "cnema"...not "premier."

  • sergio | January 11, 2012 8:32 AM

    The word is correct, "premier" not premiere which are two different things.

  • Ray | January 11, 2012 1:27 AMReply

    Ok I know I'm going to sound like a hypocrite for some of the things I said about Toddlers the other day, but I have no interest in this. We all know that rape, kidnapping, stripping and stuff goes on, but this just doesn't look good.

  • CareyCarey | January 11, 2012 12:52 AMReply

    *LOL* Nawl Darkan, I am going to pass on this one. In fact NICOLE made it further than me. I mean, when I read Sergio's setup I was done. I knew something awful was around the corner. So somebody will have to tell me what I missed?

  • LeonRaymond | January 11, 2012 12:48 AMReply

    Take my word for it, this will sell so many units , and their audience is the same audience that wants to see the reality TV SERIES about Drug dealer wives and that audience that thrives on the grimy lower , sordid ghetto world. I could never even sit down to write a screen play like this and I consider myself an awesome writer supreme, but this plays to that audience and that audience is huge and real , they made STATE PROPERTY huge DVD hit . So I see it coming and I know this film will deeply defended.

  • Darkan | January 11, 2012 1:11 AM

    Yes LeonRaymond, unfortunately I have to agree. It's more than likely going to be a weed smoking, Hennessy watching with Tyrone and em ghetto classic. SMDH.

  • Nicole | January 11, 2012 12:17 AMReply

    No need to watch the trailer and lose anymore brain cells since that was accomplished by reading the synopsis. SMH

    Something told me to stop reading at "Cream..."

  • Darkan | January 11, 2012 12:05 AMReply

    I have no words... Watched it twice and I am still speechless. I'm just waiting to hear the comments from everyone especially the "At least they got it done." crowd and the "We gotta give every filmmaker a chance to grow." pundits. *Grabs popcorn and a front row seat while waiting for Carey Carey and regulars to light the fireworks*

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