The Summer of Weird Black Movies

Of course, the summer with the most interesting looking movies is the summer where I have no expendable income to be going to the movies. #joblesscollegegrad

When Black Panther was out, I had a full time job and I proudly spent my money on a movie ticket on six separate occasions because I support black films. By black films, I mean films that feature black folks in front of the camera. Bonus points if they’re behind the camera too.

I was excited about Sorry to Bother You from the moment I saw the trailer on Tumblr. I even wrote about here. Since it’s come out, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it – not only from critics, but my own trusted sources from my favorite podcasts and people I follow on Twitter.

Blindspotting is another movie that looks particularly interesting that I also don’t have money to see. I’ve loved Daveed Diggs since I heard his voice on the Hamilton soundtrack my sophomore year of college and I love all his guest appearances on Blackish. I was really beginning to wonder when this man was going to start to get the recognition he deserves as a performer. The movie has been widely received by critics as a smart, funny, and insightful look at the phenomenon of gentrification in the Bay Area.

Daveed and his co-star, Rafael Casal, even got to chop it up, in depth, with Justin Simien on his new podcast, Don’t at Me with Justin Simien.

Sidebar: Justin’s podcast is everything.

They talk about everything from the journey of getting the movie made to who can say the n-word. Enthralling conversation.

No matter what though, I’m going to do everything in my power to see BlacKKKlansman. I love a Spike Lee joint and I love that he’s catching a second wind in his career. BlacKKKlansman looks like subversive genius. The basic premise is that this black guy infiltrates the KKK by pretending to be a white man.

Subversive genius.

The thing I love most about all of these is that they fly in the face of what most people would expect from a “black movie.” None of these films are Boyz in the Hood. None of these films are affiliated with Tyler Perry in any way. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of these, it’s just that these are the standard by which the success of black films have been measured. Hell, these movies aren’t even in the same vein of Black Panther. Perhaps we’re finally getting to a place where we can tolerate some deeper thinking on the nuance of “black experience” in this country. Perhaps Hollywood is coming to the realization that black sells and that black stories, in all their complexities, are worth telling on the silver screen and in grand scale.

I’m claiming a break through though. This broke-ness won’t last forever and when it finally subsides, I can dedicate some coin to the art. As much as I want to find a digital bootleg somewhere on the internet, my inner artist won’t let me because… karma.

 

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