Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Goodbye February




It’s difficult to really put my finger on what black history month means to me now. At my age, is it supposed to mean anything? As yet another February sprints by, I question where black history month fits in our society. It’s almost as if it’s just something to say but not regarded with any importance. If you’re not in Jr. High school or below, where a change in curriculum occurs, then black history month isn’t quite the trending topic, so to speak, but merely just a whisper in the background during the shortest month of the year, February. We’re immersed in a culture defined by speed. In which, you’re left behind during moments of reflection, what happened 30 minutes prior is “history,” and no ones work is appreciated until #RIP is placed in front of your name. Seriously, what does black history month represent to a self proclaimed post-racial generation? Where the accomplishments of historical figures are no longer associated with color of skin but maybe more so with being American, where someone is from, or even simply just zodiac signs. Honestly, that doesn’t bother me as much as you may be assuming it does. Technically, i’m a member of the post-blackness generation due to my not having to be as thoroughly equipped defensively in society growing up, as say, my mother and father might have had to be during segration, integration, and blantant racism. I’m the biggest supporter of “can we all get along.” But, still I feel close enough to the harsh times, being a generation away, that reminiscing and learning about what great things people accomplished during amazingly less privileged times is something I look forward to. I think you should too. There’s way too much watching the throne and not enough remembering who attempted to get there first but got denied due to reasons that we’ll never experience. My intention here isn’t to be preachy but merely to point out how often times we’re, including myself, easily distracted. It's scary to think that we’re maybe one generation away from never mentioning some historical figures ever again and possibly even closer to doing away with black history month all together. Let’s be more focused, so I’ll children will have the opportunity to be as inspired by our past as they are unknowingly affected by it.

Goodbye February.

My loving respects to a few great black writers with whom I love and admire… A big Shout Out to Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, Martin Luther King, Jr., Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, bell hooks, Amiri Baraka, and my favorite, James Baldwin. I love you all!

Peace.
-MaDBlacK

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

10 Films From Sundance 2012 That I Can't Wait To See!!

Yes folks, once again I’m tortured knowing that all the films that I’ve been most recently reading about, as a result of the Sundance Film Festival, will be inaccessible for only God knows how long to the general population. So for the time being, I forced to live in the purgatory of amazing reviews about amazing debuted films with amazing synopsizes that I can’t see. It’s a horrible way to live. But I guess I do it to myself. For the past few years it has been a goal of mine to be at Sundance. For obvious reasons of course. One, I’m a film buff. It’s where I belong. And two, the festival is right around my birthday (Jan 15th), so what better gift to give myself, right? Hopefully 2013 will be my year.

Following is a list of the 10 films that I seem to be most interested in seeing, for various reasons. My man 50 Grand, Spike lee, is back reprising his role from Do the Right Thing role, Mookie, in his new film. He makes it clear that this is no sequel, but also that he’s back to his roots with this one. Ava DuVernay wins best drama directing award for her new film Middle of Nowhere, which is huge for women and black folk I suppose. I thought her last film; I will follow, was great, and am becoming a huge fan of hers’. She’s a Hip Hop head too! But, the big winner at the festival, Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is apparently undeniably amazing is what I’m most curious and excited about. Those are probably the big three for me but the rest look just as amazing. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: The synopsizes under each title are not my words. They are either from IMDB or something Google produced.

Beasts of the Southern Wild



Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in "the Bathtub," a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink's tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he's no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack and temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink's health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.

Red Hook Summer



When his mom deposits him at the Red Hook housing project in Brooklyn to spend the summer with the grandfather he’s never met, young Flik may as well have landed on Mars. Fresh from his cushy life in Atlanta, he’s bored and friendless, and his strict grandfather, Enoch, a firebrand preacher, is bent on getting him to accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior. Only Chazz, the feisty girl from church, provides a diversion from the drudgery. As hot summer simmers and Sunday mornings brim with Enoch’s operatic sermons, things turn anything but dull as people’s conflicting agendas collide.
Playfully ironic, heightened, yet grounded, Spike Lee’s bold new movie returns him to his roots, where lovable, larger-than-life characters form the tinderbox of a tight-knit community. A story about the coexistence of altruism and corruption, Red Hook Summer toys with expectations, seducing us with the promise of moral and spiritual transcendence. Spike is back in the ’hood.

An Oversimplification of her Beauty



You’ve just arrived home after a bad day. You’re broke and lonely, even though you live in the biggest and busiest city in America. You do, however, have one cause for mild optimism: you seem to have captured the attention of an intriguing young lady. You’ve rushed home to clean your apartment before she comes over. In your haste, you see that you’ve missed a call. There’s a voice mail; she tells you that she won’t be seeing you tonight.

With arresting insight, vulnerability, and a delightful sense of humor, Terence Nance’s explosively creative debut feature, AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY, documents the relationship between Terence and a lovely young woman (Namik Minter) as it teeters on the divide between platonic and romantic. Utilizing a tapestry of live action and various styles of animation, Terence explores the fantasies, emotions, and memories that race through his mind during a singular moment in time.

Room 237



A subjective documentary that explores the numerous theories about the hidden meanings within Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining (1980). The film may be over 30 years old but it continues to inspire debate, speculation, and mystery. Five very different points of view are illuminated through voice over, film clips, animation and dramatic reenactments. Together they'll draw the audience into a new maze, one with endless detours and dead ends, many ways in, but no way out.

Simon Killer



A recent college graduate goes to Paris after breaking up with his girlfriend of five years. His life should be open-ended and full of promise, but he can’t shake his feelings of loss. Being a stranger in a strange land only aggravates his situation. When he falls in love with a young mysterious prostitute, a fateful journey begins, though we soon learn that Simon is the one with deeper secrets.

The Surrogate



A man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest.

Arbitrage



A troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help

The Words



A struggling writer (Bradley Cooper) finds a manuscript for a sprawling novel, and passes it off as his own. The novel is universally acclaimed as a masterpiece, but soon, an old man (Jeremy Irons) shows up to claim the manuscript as his own.

Middle of Nowhere



A drama that follows a woman who changes her life in order to contend with her husband's 8-year prison sentence.

2 Days in New York



Marion (Delpy) has broken up with Jack (Two Days in Paris) and now lives in New York with their child. But when her family decides to come visit her, she's unaware that the different cultural background held by her new American boyfriend Mingus (Rock), her eccentric father, and her sister Rose who decided to bring her ex-boyfriend along for the trip, added to her upcoming photo exhibition, will make up for an explosive mix

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Le Professeur des femmes: Bukowski and Moody




Of all I love, women sit amongst the highest objects on that totem pole. Beautiful, interesting, caring, and there are a lot of other adjectives that make them up in a manner that shits on what any MAC cosmetic possibly could. I love them a lot. I want to make sure I’m not misunderstood here though, I’m looking for my Delilah but I’m no Samson. In that, I’m incapable of being seduced to a point where I divulge the keys to my demise, but have made plenty of horrible decisions in respect to them. I’m also not Brandon, Michael Fassbender’s character in Steve McQueen’s recent release Shame, dealing with a sexual addiction of enormous proportions and unable to control my need to constantly be “in” a woman, so to speak. But, whether blatant mistreatment, falling for the guise of a pretty face and phat “assets”, choice, or straight up indecisiveness, what’s obvious is that I’m still single. I’m not going to lie; this is a lifestyle that I enjoy, but to be fair, only at times. I’m definitely aware of its benefits, some of which I don’t look forward to relieving and consider also that something within me may not be able to ever let some of these freedoms go. I also realize that this wouldn’t be an ideal situation for me. I’ve never envisioned a future of mine that didn’t consist of the partnership of a wife and the raising of children (Yes, multiple). But unfortunately, my life up to this point hasn’t led me in that direction. So, my question to myself is how should I feel about this?

“Don't wait for the good woman. She doesn't exist” – Charles Bukowski

That’s quite the perspective, right? The aforementioned quote is by one of my favorite writers, Charles Bukowski, whom is in possession of an opinion about women that I, in some cases, slightly relate to and admire. He’s responsible for a Novel called Women (I’ll let you ponder on what it’s about), that I find myself reading in its entirety on an annual basis. Like tax season, it never fails. But, before you side-eye me in the manner that most women side-eye men at the beginnings of saying something distasteful about their species, let me say that I do not agree with this statement (Though…at…times…. SMH!!). I’m often the biggest basher of the act of generalizing, and to give this quote any validity would be doing just that. In the same way that I have absolutely no respect for Steve Harvey’s book, Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man, for generalizing the actions of men. So I’ll refrain from doing that. This quote does bring about questions of settling down or at least having the ability to actually recognize what a “good woman”, as Bukowski so inefficiently worded, is for me. So what does Bukowski mean here? What is the good woman? My mother is a good woman. But contrary to the popular belief that all men are looking for their mothers in women, I’m not. I also have female friends that are good woman, but again, not for me. I suspect “the good woman that doesn’t exist” refers to who I’ve currently been looking for. If that’s the case then it might be true, because she’s not here. In a previous post I’ve discussed my fear of actually settling for whom I spend the rest of my life with. No one deserves that. I’ve also spoken about being fine with just being a baby-daddy and not a husband… as a means to an end. No, I’m not one yet, but I refuse to allow anything to prevent my becoming a father one day. “THE Good Woman” isn’t required, just “a good woman,” right?   

"I have been treated better than I should have been---not by life in general nor by the machinery of things but by women." – Charles Bukowski

I’ve had the pleasure to deal with some great women, and am thankful for that. Some of which situations I can’t put a finger on why things didn’t work out. Quite possibly because of me and my supposed lack of exerted effort towards making it work. Quite possibly because of them and for reasons that just seem so unclear to me now. Things start off cool, some confusion in the middle, next thing she’s packed up, moved, and residing in Atlanta. The ones that get away!!! But, with the assistance of hindsight, I see that I am to be at fault for a lot of shit, a fact that I would’ve argued before. Sometimes I wonder what it is about me that’s able to pull some women in as close as I do, and at times, effortlessly and, as harsh as it sounds, without care. “Atlanta Girl” believes I do what I do because I’m spoiled by women. I’d hate to misquote her, but something to the effect that I present what women want, they fall for it, then I, in a hunter-like manner, take advantage of them (Sorry Atlanta Girl if this is not accurate). I respect that theory, though not true, and also see this as Atlanta Girls way of insinuating something negative about the quality of previous and other girls in my life. Atlanta girl was one of the good ones though, and still is.         

“It’s my purgatory, really... Dinner, drinks, whatever. I’m never really all that interested, but I find myself telling her how beautiful she is anyway. ‘Cause it’s true, all women are, in one way or another. You know, there’s always something about every damn one of you, it’s a smile, a curve, a secret. You ladies really are the most amazing creatures, my life’s work. But then there’s the morning after, a hangover, and the realization that I’m not quite as available as I thought I was the night before. And then she’s gone, and I’m haunted by yet another road not taken.” – Hank Moody (David Duchovny’s character in Californication)

PREACH!!!! My god I love that quote… Nuff said

I feel as though I’m a direct descendent of Mr. Bukowski and Mr. Moody (even though he’s fictional) --One of the Sons of Passion. It’s never my intention to hurt anyone, nor have I ever been in love. I long for a deep and loving relationship but get more comfortable on a daily basis knowing that it may never happen. I’m neither a lost cause nor an overnight project but something has to change. Women, Women, Women… How I love you so.

Charles Bukowski (August 16, 1920 - March 9, 1994)... R.I.P.

Peace                                              
-MaDBlacK