To many ideas have languished in storyboards, notepads, MS Word and E-mail messages for far too long and deserve to the see the light of day with their immediate inclusion in the official canon of SBPDL. Prior to this return to old form, a reader posed an interesting question to us recently that deserves serious thought: what movies would Stuff Black People Don't Like recommend to the world?
Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) once had a promotion entitled Movies for Guys who like Movies. These films might not qualify for Turner Classic Movies (TCM) but they represent cinematic masterpieces in their own right, dispensing pleasure to the viewer for the cheesy dialogue, intense action and most importantly, simplicity that they offer.
People seek entertainment to immerse themselves in imaginary world's - however brief this visit might be - that don't exist, living vicariously through actors immortalized through the power of videography.
So to answer this query, we ask the readers of SBPDL to post the films they believe warrant consideration in the list of Movies for Guys (and Gals) who like SBPDL.
These films cannot have been discussed during Black History Month's look at Fictional Black History Characters from cinema. Try and consider movies made only in the past 30 years, as Black Run America's (BRA) dominance over American life wasn't pervasive in film until the mid-1980s.
For some reason, the role of avuncular numinous magical Black person became a common role for the Black actor.
Anything made before the mid-1980s didn't include an out-of-place Black character, cast for the sake of including a token Black person representing the highest levels of moral perfection, erudition and sophistication.
These films must be devoid of That Old Black Magic, a repudiation of the tired movie cliche of the magical Black character who provides sage guidance, advice and direction to an obviously moronic and inherently dimwitted populace incapable of sane judgment without that mystical Nubian influence.
A breakdown of the powers attributable to this Black mystic includes:
- He or she is a person of color, typically black, often Native American, in a story about predominantly white characters.
- He or she seems to have nothing better to do than help the white protagonist, who is often a stranger to the Magical Negro at first.
- He or she disappears, dies, or sacrifices something of great value after or while helping the white protagonist.
- He or she is uneducated, mentally handicapped, at a low position in life, or all of the above.
- He or she is wise, patient, and spiritually in touch. Closer to the earth, one might say. He or she often literally has magical powers.
No, these films must be the Stuff that Black People Don't Like, following the trail blazed by 300, Lord of the Rings trilogy, the end of Knowing, Christian Bale roles and a plethora of others that fail to comply with the rules of cinema ascribed by BRA.
Films that would require immediate inclusion into this list include:
- Mystery, Alaska: watch the movie and you'll understand immediately the world Sarah Palin comes from as hockey, sex, infidelity, loyalty, pride and - most importantly - a sense of community are to be found without remorse or apology.
- Mr. Destiny: imagine a world where Marcus Garvey was successful in convincing Black people to return to Africa and you'll understand the universe that this movie operates in, as only one Black character is visible in the entire film. A small town where every citizen works for a sports manufacturing company, Jim Belushi plays Larry Burrows who believes his life would have been better had he not struck out in the high school championship.
- Big Fish: few words could properly describe this movie, but it is a visual homage to Pre-Obama America. The bond of father and son has never been more beautifully and powerfully filmed and we dare you to try and hold back the tears during the last few minutes of the movie.
- The Phantom: a forgotten super-hero film that was made just a few years before that genre saved Hollywood. The tale of a multi-generational war on evil, Kit Walker is played by Billy Zane and the movie ends with the promise of a sequel that never materalized.
- Highlander and Highlander Endgame: movies that would make Senator Jim Webb smile, glorifying an asthestic and way of life that Lord of the Dance even fails to accomplish. The world of 16th century Scotland reminds one of James Baldwin's view of Europe.
- Invincible: why make a movie about a white guy who succeeds at making an NFL team?
- Star Wars Episode IV : not a lot of diversity a long time ago and in a galaxy far, far away, was there?
We invite you to post your favorite films (find clips from YouTube) that deserve consideration for the list of ultimate SBPDL films. What movies do you enjoy watching that run counter to the prevailing zeitgeist that require magical Black characters to save the day?