Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Black History Month Heroes - Zora in "House Party 2"

In the history of cinema, movies that garner a sequel enter a rarefied class of distinction of classification, for the artist merit or the profit margin of the first film was enough to green light a continuation of the story.

However, those film sagas that are worthy of a second sequel enter into a wing of movie history usually reserved for historic, cultural and paradigm shifting works of art. Back to the Future, The Matrix, The Godfather, Scream, Superman, Stars Wars IV - VI and I - III, Indiana Jones (the fourth film was but a bad dream), Die Hard and Terminator are films with countless fans and cinematic endeavors that have been the inspiration of many writers who have gone on to produce films and television shows of their own.

One trilogy stands above the rest, however, as the absolute zenith of movie production, script writing and character development all rolled into three films that someone the American Film Institute (AFI) failed to recall when they devised the list of 100 Best Films of All-Time.

House Party and the subsequent sequels that were launched from the original film in 1990 stand as the ultimate manifestation of movie making magic multiplied magnificently, mellifluously mismanaged and malevolently misplaced off the list of AFI top films.

House Party has been overlooked for far too long, as this trilogy helped the methodical march of rap music into the hearts and minds of white people everywhere, facilitating the greatest transfer of wealth from suburban white kids to ghetto-dwelling Black people's bank accounts.

Without white kids purchasing Black rappers cassettes and CDs, multimillionaire rappers wouldn't be possible.

Thus, House Party as the trilogy of supreme importance can't be overlooked. What exactly is the film about, to the uninitiated?:

House Party is a 1990 comedy film released by New Line Cinema. It stars Kid and Play of the popular hip hop duo Kid n' Play, and also stars Paul Anthony, Bow-Legged Lou, and B-Fine from Full Force, and Robin Harris (who died of a heart attack nine days after House Party was released). The film also starred the likes of past and future famous faces, such as Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, A.J. Johnson, Daryl "Chill" Mitchell and Gene "Groove" Allen (of Groove B. Chill), Kelly Jo Minter, John Witherspoon, with a cameo by funk legend George Clinton.

The film was written and directed by Reginald Hudlin, based on his Harvard University film school thesis. House Party debuted at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival in January, where it won two awards in the Dramatic category: the Filmmakers Trophy and the Excellence in Cinematography Award. The film grossed $26,385,627 in its run at the box office with its widest release being 700 theaters.

The lead roles were originally written for DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

The plot is quite interesting:
Young Kid has been invited to a party at his friend Play's house. But after a fight at school, Kid's father grounds him. None the less, Kid sneaks out when his father falls asleep. But Kid doesn't know that three of the thugs at school has decided to give him a lesson in behaviour...
Let SBPDL make an important here. The first House Party is actually quite funny. The sequels, despite the importance of the trilogy for helping eradicate Pre-Obama America, lack the originality and hilarity of the first film.

Fictional Black History Month, however, finds one character so over-the-top and profoundly militant in her demands of equality and an end to the Euro-centric world that created the very opportunities she denounces vehemently that we found it paramount to bring attention to her.

Played by the purported CoverGirl Queen Latifah, the character of Zora in House Party 2 is a dashiki-wearing feminist majoring in African studies. The film takes place at a university and the looming threat of the impending shutdown of the improperly named Ethnic Studies discipline leaves the Black students, led by the bellicose Zora, upset and in the mood to protest such an academic outrage of depriving minority students in education in fictional field of Blackness.

As the Black students gather to protest the absurd notion of cutting financially untenable courses and majors that would put the schools budget in the black, Zora goes into a full-fledged rant and then, decides to rap about the horror of ending (starting at the 9:02 mark of the video) ethnic studies that exist to merely perpetuate hatred of the majority population and find students capable of becoming professors at other college ethnic study programs.

A fictional Black History Month Hero we have in Zora, for Black people in real life find it more important to engage in silent sit-ins then resorting to improvised, extemporaneous raps that get across the point of Euro-centric evil:

Dressed in black with masks covering their mouths, students from the black community throughout the campus set out yesterday to address current racial tensions at UC Berkeley and throughout the UC system.

About 200 people participated in a silent demonstration at Sather Gate, which began at 11:30 a.m. At 2 p.m., the group moved to California Hall to deliver a letter to UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau-who was off campus-detailing incidents that occurred in the last 10 years in the campus community that they said are comparable to recent incidents at UC San Diego, where blacks have been targeted for mockery.

Movies give us the fantastical and fill us with hopeful images of what could be, but offer us a glimpse at what fictional Black History Month Heroes could be like in real life.

Stuff Black People Don't Like welcomes Zora from House Party 2 to the never ending festivities that are fictional Black History Month. Who would ever believe that one day the individual portraying Zora - Queen Latifah - would go on to become a CoverGirl model though, which does make SBPDL believe that anything is possible.

But seriously, if only one Zora existed in real-life, Black people could coerce white people to accept any demand that make. Any.

White people will willingly acquiesce to any demand made of them by Black students, lest they desire to be branded a bigot unconcerned with helping disadvantaged people. Reasonable, unreasonable, outlandish or farcical scarcely matter, as long as it is Black people protesting.

No comments: