This has been an amazing ten months for Black cinematic culture. We had Beyoncé’s Lemonade in April 2016. Donald Glover’s Atlanta and Ava Duvernay’s Queen Sugar both premiered on September 6, 2016. Luke Cage’s entire season broke the Internet on September 30. Barry Jenkins’s Best Picture Oscar winning Moonlight dropped October 2016. So did Issa Rae’s Insecure. And then the wicked mind of Jordan Peele unleashed Get Out, this past weekend. There were other films, television shows, videos and the like, but damn. Look at this trajectory. It would be so easy to label this a Black Cinematic Renaissance, but I don’t think I want to be that optimistic.
This will be a collective review between Edward Hong and Josephine Chang. First, Edward provides a bite sized non-spoiler review for Jordan Peele’s Get Out while Josephine will go in deep to discuss the film in full detail. So for those wary of spoilers, you are safe!
Let’s say you’re a Martian. Let’s say you’ve been sent to Earth to study human society and culture. Let’s say you have a universal translator.
Let’s say you landed on Earth, randomly, a week or so ago in Brisbane, Australia, and followed the crowds to the Brisbane Writers Festival (culture! perfect!) just in time to hear Lionel Shriver’s keynote address about how cultural appropriation isn’t a thing and fiction writers get to have all the freedom. How is this going to sound to you?
Arrow fans, are you ready for next week’s episode, “Beyond Redemption,” directed by fan-favorite Lexi Alexander? Fortunately, the woman behind such films as Green Street and Punisher: War Zone — and one of the best follows on twitter — was kind enough to sit down with Keith to talk media representation, directing superheroes, and whether she should be a permanent guest host of Hard NOC Life.
UPDATE: The full conversation with Lexi is now available here.
HBO’s hit documentary series Project Greenlight has been a trending topic on twitter since its season debut featured Matt Damon “whitesplaining” diversity to producer Effie Brown. In an outtake from our forthcoming Hard NOC Life interview with Lexi Alexander, the Punisher: War Zone director explains how Brown’s experience on the show is indicative of how women of color are treated in the film industry and why Effie’s critics are just exposing their white privilege.
Say what you will about the film Bring It On, its commentary on cultural appropriation, racism, privilege, white supremacy, and the exploitation of black culture seems to be more relevant now than when the film was released 15 years ago.
Over the weekend Ain’t It Cool News revealed that the internet’s favorite hack director Brett Ratner is interested in remaking Enter the Dragon. At a screening of Rush Hour in Los Angeles, Ratner told the audience — almost in passing — that he is in the early stages of developing the movie and is looking for a martial artist to star. Now, before you start foaming at the mouth and cursing your keyboard, rest assured that this isn’t an official announcement that the movie is happening. For all we know, Ratner is just putting it out there with the hopes that Warner Brothers would give him the opportunity to do it — as blasphemous as it may be.
Of course, the internet is beside itself that a hack like Ratner would dare remake a classic like Enter the Dragon and is appropriately showing its disgust at the idea. Here’s the thing that no one’s seeming to be complaining about, though. Both of the names for the prospective lead that got tossed around in the original post are white. Buckle up, because some “reverse racism” is about to go down after the jump.
“Yeah I love Star Trek too,” Shahid said enthusiastically. “But what do you think about Riker?”
“Oh goooooodddd!” I groaned. “He’s such the epitome of white straight dude privilege. The way he walks around with his chest all puffed out, stroking that beard, taking up so much space.”
“Exactly! Even the way he sits, like a cowboy — he takes up so much space.”
I rolled my eyes. “I know. He is everything wrong with the world and with privilege in community organizing. It’s like where do you even begin to address it all?”
Shahid laughed. “It’d be easiest just to say say ‘Don’t Be Riker.’ Whatever you do, just don’t be Riker.”
I doubled over with laughter. “That’s so awesome! Someone should do a blog like that. Just post pictures of Riker doing straight white dude stuff, with a caption, ‘Don’t.’”
Shahid paused for a minute. “Yeah, yeah they should.”
Breaking Bad, the television juggernaut that has taken over the pop culture zeitgeist for the last several months, will be airing its series finale this Sunday night on AMC. If you don’t follow the show, hype surrounding the finale is hard to avoid. And even if you do watch the show, it’s seemingly impossible to be on the internet and not find yourself wrapped up in a recap (or five) or wasting away your productivity on an easter egg hunt for Walter White’s khakis in the desert. Basically, everyone in the world — and their neo-Nazi uncle — is talking about Breaking Bad. So the question is, why should The Nerds of Color?