Black horror films and such

I haven’t watched the movie “Eve’s Bayou” in years. When I did, I was not particularly moved by anything as I was this time around. It is a well-done movie, and kudos to Kasi for doin’ her thang. The actors were gave solid performances, especially the young Jurnee Smollett (now Smollett-Bell). Just terrific! Every performer brought their acting chops. Sam Jackson, of course, was brilliant. His character was not necessarily a bad man, but one with a vice that caused heartache to his family and soon to a man of another family. I saw no evil character in the picture, just folks acting on impulse at certain times, doing things which they ought not do.
“Tales from the Hood” was another movie I saw years ago. Again, I was young, and the movie didn’t leave any impression on me the way it has this time around. The first vignette, where the white cops beat on the councilman, is hard to watch. I hated to see it. Hated to feel it. And I couldn’t stand that the black cop who never looked up from the computer because he was too busy checking out who the man was. The imbecile! That brother was lost long before he ever joined the force. Easily persuaded. He was punished for not being proactive when the time came. I wish a lot of these brothers on the force in real life would be more proactive. Instead of commenting at their dinner tables and speaking behind closed doors—stand in front of the door. Get on the rooftop and make your statement of what you know is unjust, even if these incidents did not happen in your city. Don’t come out later defending the police, talking about “Yeah, police get a bad rap.” They have black police associations across America. Why don’t they say something? Ah, because who wants to call out their “own”? Who wants to receive the backlash from their own for calling out their own? Ah! But isn’t it this way with everything, and everybody? Who calls out their own? Who actually speaks against a group they’re a part of and still remain in the group? The whole thang is foul. The whole thang. It brings me to a concept for a film I came up with a few years ago. I plan to execute this concept for my final project in Prof. Due’s class. Stay tuned, I pray thee.

My movie project and Peele

I’m in between ideas as far as my final project. I wrote a 10-page screenplay this summer that can be considered a thriller/horror but I’m not sure if I want to film that one or one of two other ideas. I appreciate moments like these, which happen often. I generally hear people say they don’t know what to do, what to write, what to come up with. But I’m in a different crowd. Perhaps due to my enthusiasm—which I have generally about writing and creating a film—I can come up with stories easily. But I have always been able to do that. Although the question you may ask is: Are my ideas good ones?

Well, that is to be seen, or read. The bottom line is I’m excited about the making of a horror film for this class (this writer/director/professor in particular) and the feeling cannot be extinguished. But I’m a cool kind of excited. Poised. Bubbling on the inside.

The visit from Jordan Peele this week was an important one. Firstly, I’m proud of the brotha for getting a nine-figure deal with Universal Pictures. Fresh. I’m proud of him for simply writing the outline for “Get Out” and pitching it, and for him sharing with me how it got made into a movie, and how, as he wrote it, he realized no one could direct it but him. Even though he was a first-time director, it did not deter him. The task would not deter me either. When I asked him how he pitched it and how long it took before it got picked up, he gave more than a simple answer: He gave the backstory, which I, as an aspiring filmmaker, appreciated.

He mentioned there were many No’s and nasty emails that came his way during his pitching season. Many studios did not get what he was doing or wanting to do or did not give a damn because they didn’t like the idea, period. But lo and behold, he won Best Original Screenplay for it. I wonder how those people feel about their nasty comments after his accolades. Perhaps they’re used to making mistakes like that and get over things quickly. Perhaps someone who handled his script was fired after rejecting or bashing it. Don’t know, but I wonder.

I remember going to the movie theater and seeing the trailer for “Get Out.” After it was over, the crowd went wild. Their response was amazing to me because I’d never seen a preview of a movie receive a response so anticipatory. They got it. And a Black man gave it. Right-on with the right-on.