Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Can Watch Movies All By Myself


Recently I was in a group of people my age, young African American professionals, and everyone seemed to be excited about the new Tyler Perry movie, I Can Do Bad All By Myself. Hmmm. . . I didn't say anything, but I wasn't excited at all. I will probably eventually see the movie on DVD, or my sister's bootlegged copy, but I am not a huge fan of Perry's movies or TV shows. I honestly had never even heard of Perry or Madea, until I moved back to Chattanooga and one of his plays came to town. I thought everyone was talking about Medea, and was trying to figure out when did so many Black folks get into Greek Tragedies. Feeling uneasy about Perry's productions is almost like being in the closet -- some people question your blackness if you're not a fan, but for me his productions are not challenging, or thought provoking AT ALL.

Anyway, I respect Perry for what he has been able to accomplish, and for the fact that he pursued his dream relentlessley until it was in his grasp.

Many people discuss his productions as worthwhile, because there are so "few black movies out there." But I can think of many. For example, what do you think about the movies on this list: 100 Best Black Movies Ever from the Hudlin Entertainment website?


1. “Do the Right Thing” (1989; directed by Spike Lee; with Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Spike Lee, Robin Harris)

2. “The Color Purple” (1985; Steven Spielberg; Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey)

3. “Claudine” (1974; John Berry; Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones)

4. “Malcolm X” (1992; Spike Lee; Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett)5. “Sounder” (1972; Martin Ritt; Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Kevin Hooks)

6. “Carmen Jones” (1954; Otto Preminger; Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll)

7. “Super Fly” (1972; Gordon Parks Jr.; Ron O’Neal, Carl Lee)

8. “Cooley High” (1975; Michael Schultz; Glynn Thurman, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Garrett Morris)

9. “Hoop Dreams” (1995; Steve James; William Gates, Arthur Agee)

10. “Coming to America” (1988; John Landis; Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones)

11. “Ray” (2005; Taylor Hackford; Jamie Foxx, Regina King)

12. “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” (1974; John Korty; Cicely Tyson)

13. “Bamboozled” (2000; Spike Lee; Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith)

14. “Cotton Comes to Harlem” (1970; Ossie Davis; Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St. Jacques)15.“Richard Pryor: Live in Concert” (1979; Jeff Margolis)

16. “Shaft” (1971; Gordon Parks; Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn)

17. “Dreamgirls” (2006; Bill Condon; Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson)

18. “Friday” (1995; F. Gary Gray; Ice Cube, Chris Tucker)

19. “Baby Boy” (2001; John Singleton; Tyrese Gibson, Taraji P. Henson, Snoop Dogg)

20. “A Raisin in the Sun” (1961; Daniel Petrie; Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee)

21. “The Five Heartbeats” (1991; Robert Townsend; Robert Townsend, Michael Wright, Leon)22. “Watermelon Man” (1970; Melvin Van Peebles; Godfrey Cambridge)

23. “City of God” (2002; Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund; Alexandre Rodrigues)

24. “Glory” (1989; Edward Zwick; Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Andre Braugher)

25. “Menace II Society” (1993; Allen and Albert Hughes; Tyrin Turner, Lorenz Tate, Jada Pinkett Smith)

26. “Tsotsi” (2005; Gavin Hood; Presley Chweneyagae, Terry Pheto)

27. “The Emperor Jones” (1933; Dudley Murphy; Paul Robeson)

28. “Eve’s Bayou” (1997; Kasi Lemmons; Samuel L. Jackson, Debbi Morgan, Vondie Curtis-Hall)29. “Lilies of the Field” (1963; Ralph Nelson; Sidney Poitier)

30. “Soul Food” (1997; George Tillman Jr.; Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Mekhi Phifer)

31. “Black Caesar” (1973; Larry Cohen; Fred Williamson, Gloria Hendry)

32. “Boyz N the Hood” (1991; John Singleton; Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube)33. “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986; Spike Lee; Tracy Camilla Johns, Spike Lee, Tommy Redmond Hicks)

34. “Island in the Sun” (1957; Robert Rossen; Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge)

35. “In the Heat of the Night” (1967; Norman Jewison; Sidney Poitier)

36. “Lady Sings the Blues” (1972; Sidney J. Furie; Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor)37. “When We Were Kings” (1996; Leon Gast; Muhammad Ali, George Foreman)

38. “Love & Basketball” (2000; Gina Prince-Bythewood; Omar Epps, Sanaa Lathan)

39. “What’s Love Got to Do With It” (1993; Brian Gibson; Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne)40. “The Mack” (1973; Michael Campus; Max Julien, Don Gordon, Richard Pryor)

41. “To Sleep With Anger” (1990; Charles Burnett; Danny Glover, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Mary Alice)42. “The Exile” (1931; Oscar Micheaux; Eunice Brooks, Stanley Morrell)

43. “Set It Off” (1997; F. Gary Gray; Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox)

44. “Sweet Sweetback …” (1971; Melvin Van Peebles; Melvin Van Peebles, Mario Van Peebles)45. “Waiting to Exhale” (1995; Forest Whitaker; Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine)

46. “Nothing But a Man” (1964; Michael Roemer; Ivan Dixon, Abbey Lincoln)

47. “Blade” (1998; Stephen Norrington; Wesley Snipes, N’Bushe Wright)

48. “Devil in a Blue Dress” (1995; Carl Franklin; Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle)

49. “Sonkofa” (1993; Haile Gerima; Kofi Ghanaba)

50. “Love Jones” (1997; Theodore Witcher; Nia Long, Lorenz Tate, Isaiah Washington)

51. “A Rage in Harlem” (1991; Bill Duke; Forest Whitaker, Gregory Hines)

52. “A Soldier’s Story” (1984; Norman Jewison; Howard E. Rollins Jr., Adolph Caesar, Denzel Washington)

53. “Dead Presidents” (1995; Albert and Allen Hughes; Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris Tucker)54. “Hollywood Shuffle” (1987; Robert Townsend; Robert Townsend, Anne-Marie Johnson, Keenen Ivory Wayans)

55. “Car Wash” (1976; Michael Schultz; Richard Pryor, Bill Duke, Franklin Ajaye)

56. “The Learning Tree” (1969; Gordon Parks; Kyle Johnson, Alex Clarke, Estelle Evans)

57. “Stormy Weather” (1943; Andrew L. Stone; Bill Robinson, Lena Horne)

58. “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” (1988; Keenen Ivory Wayans; Keenen Ivory Wayans, Jim Brown, Bernie Casey)

59. “Cabin in the Sky” (1943; Vincente Minnelli; Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong)

60. “Wattstax” (1973; Mel Stuart; Isaac Hayes, Richard Pryor, Albert King)

61. “Rosewood” (1997; John Singleton; Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Esther Rolle)

62. “To Sir, With Love” (1967; James Clavell; Sidney Poitier)

63. “New Jack City” (1991; Mario Van Peebles: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T)

64. “House Party” (1990; Reginald Hudlin; Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin, Robin Harris)65. “The Green Pastures” (1936; Marc Connelly and William Keighley; Eddie “Rochester ” Anderson, Rex Ingram)

66. “Hotel Rwanda” (2004; Terry George; Don Cheadle, Sophie Okenedo)

67. “Home of the Brave” (1949; Mark Robson; James Edwards)

68. “Lean on Me” (1989; John G. Avildsen; Morgan Freeman, Robert Guillaume)

69. “Hallelujah!” (1929; King Vidor; Daniel L. Haynes, Nina Mae McKinney)

70. “The River Niger” (1976; Krishna Shah; Cicley Tyson, James Earl Jones, Lou Gossett Jr.)

71. “Purple Rain” (1984; Albert Magnoli; Prince, Morris Day, Apollonia Kotero)

72. “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” (1999; Martha Coolidge; Halle Berry)

73. “Krush Groove” (1985; Michael Schultz; Blair Underwood, Sheila E.)

74. “Coffy” (1973; Jack Hill; Pam Grier)

75. “Sugar Cane Alley” (1983; Euzhan Palcy; Garry Cadenat)

76.“When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Parts” (2006; Spike Lee; Ray Nagin, Terence Blanchard, Harry Belafonte)

77. “Cornbread, Earl and Me” (1975; Joe Manduke; Jamal Wilkes, Moses Gunn, Laurence Fishburne)

78. “Juice” (1992; Ernest R. Dickerson; Tupac Shakur, Omar Epps, Queen Latifah)

79. “Uptown Saturday Night” (1974; Sidney Poitier; Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte)80. “Jungle Fever” (1991; Spike Lee; Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee)81. “Killer of Sheep” (1977; Charles Burnett; Henry G. Sanders)

82. “The Cool World” (1963; Shirley Clarke; Rony Clayton)

83. “Buck and the Preacher” (1972; Sidney Poitier; Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte)

84. “Putney Swope” (1969; Robert Downey Sr.; Arnold Johnson)

85. “Paris is Burning” (1991; Jennie Livingston; Paris Dupree)

86. “The Harder They Come” (1973; Perry Henzell; Jimmy Cliff)

87. “Daughters of the Dust” (1991; Julie Dash; Cora Lee Day, Alva Rogers)

88. “The Spook Who Sat by the Door” (1973; Ivan Dixon; Lawrence Cook)

89. “CSA: The Confederate States of America” (2004; Kevin Willmott; William Willmott)

90. “Fresh” (1994; Boaz Yakin; Sean Nelson, Giancarlo Esposito, Samuel L. Jackson)

91. “Miracle in Harlem” (1948; Jack Kemp: Stepin Fetchit, Sheila Guyse)

92. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967; Stanley Kramer; Sidney Poitier, Beah Richards)

93. “Hustle & Flow” (2005; Craig Brewer; Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Anthony Anderson)

94. “Cry Freedom” (1987; Richard Attenborough; Denzel Washington)

95. “Akeelah and the Bee” (2006; Doug Atchison; Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett)

96. “Wild Style” (1982; Charlie Ahearn; Fab Five Freddy, Grandmaster Flash)

97. “Aaron Loves Angela” (1975; Gordon Parks Jr.; Kevin Hooks, Irene Cara)

98. “Sparkle” (1976; Sam O’Steen; Phillip Michael Thomas, Irene Cara, Lonette McKee )

99. “Undercover Brother” (2002; Malcolm D. Lee; Eddie Griffin, Dave Chappelle, Billy Dee Williams)

100. “Imitation of Life” (1959; Douglas Sirk; Mahalia Jackson)

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