African American Films: The Value of the Proper Imagery and the Message
The quote “a image is worth a thousand phrases” is especially correct in African American films and their relevance in the improvement of African Americans, males in specific. The imagery portrayed in movies today has considerably influenced how African Americans perceive themselves and how they are viewed by the world about them.
“African American movies have often had a key influence on how we as Black people see ourselves, our circumstances, struggles and survival,” feedback Marquis Smalls, an award-winning screenwriter and director. “Films during history have portrayed us in ways that have been in a selection of situations ranging from ‘real’ to stereotypical, enlightening to progressive, and, in several respects, has manufactured us see ourselves in a lot of diverse methods – each positive and damaging.”
However, individuals in Hollywood’s decision producing positions seldom see the economic prospective of urban movies that showcase the good and progressive facets of African American lifestyle, which are frequently viewed as unsalable attributes and “not what folks will get tickets to see.”
African Americans are usually cast as side kicks or the comic fall guys to mainstream actors who are cast to “carry the film.” The roles of African American males, regardless of Oscars won by Sidney Poitier, Louis Gossett Jr. Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx are nonetheless mainly stereotypical and/or 1 dimensional.
“This is why African American movies created and directed by us are nevertheless relevant these days and into the potential. With enhanced and more affordable technology, much more filmmakers can create visual representations of African American culture that only a few have been able to generate in the past,” adds Smalls, who is an independent producer and CEO of New York primarily based HomeGrown Productions. “Though the quality of most ‘new’ films is far more experimental than specialist, the use of the Web and abundance of film festivals throughout the planet will let films and filmmakers who would have by no means observed the light of day in the past, now acquire recognition, awards, accolades, and in numerous cases, monetary compensation for their work.”
How will this transformation take place in an market that nonetheless maintains an “old boy network” that continues to shun the development and growth of constructive and uplifting African American films that can stand on their own merits?
“The impact of these films released by independents or established studios will stay the exact same as it constantly has been except if some African American filmmakers choose to push the envelope in new, substantial, innovative and imaginative techniques following in the footsteps of pioneers and trendsetters such as Oscar Micheaux, Melvin Van Peebles, Gordon Parks, Spike Lee, John Singleton, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Neema Barnette, Tyler Perry and several other folks that have burst on the scene and developed movements behind their films,” notes Smalls. “The impact that movies have had on me as an African American male is that it produced me want to get ownership of my personal image, to compose, direct and create films. I’m inspired by the accomplishments of the aforementioned filmmakers, but also by the chance to develop new and fresh representations of ‘us’ whilst inspiring other people to reflect, think about, and adjust the misinformed views of our individuals globally. That is my mission. To be the subsequent game changer and visionary to make a variation in not only African American movies, but to also improve American movie historical past and bring light to all of our greatness all through the world.”