Sunday, November 06, 2005

My favorite films... true classics to me...


Favorite films.. Posted by Picasa

Sunday night got me feeling mighty creative for some reason... I've been writing up a storm, creating great dialogue and direction between the characters I've been working on. I took a little break and decided to get in a workout but then as I was pumping iron I found myself thinking about various movies that I love. Films that standout in my mind constantly as classics and yet despite the critical acclaim they'd received when they were released these films where Hollywood is concerned seem to have disappeared... I can recall sitting in a theatre watching Love Jones and as the ending credits rolled, people applauded and shouted "thank you!!! Please make more films like that!!" Maybe Hollywood heard those cries and that person that pulls the strings instead pulled the plug... But over the years we've had some truly great black movies.. The kind of movies that could all be made and enjoyed in one single year... I found myself imagining my own little film festival.. One full day and night with free BBQ, seafood, salads and gallons of sweet tea to wash it all down... I'd show all these films you see in the picture... There's more that I've forgotten and that will come to me after I've written this but for the sake of time, these movies are what came to mind as soon as I asked myself the question "what are my most favorite black movies ever?" And also because I feel like I've got the bomb movie in the making, I think this fantasy film festival should conclude with the world premiere of My Life Is All I Have (The Movie) based on the book of the same name written by yours truly... *smile* Yo, checkout my list....

Aaron Loves Angela:
This is a movie for the most part not heard of because its old...lol.. It features Kevin Hooks Jr. and Irene Cara. It's old but this is a great love story... One of those forbidden love stories with a young black male who falls in love with a puerto rican girl from another neighborhood. It was forbidden back in the day. Seems strange compared to the way things are now, it wouldn't be such a big deal. Like imagine me and Rosario Dawson...whew... You wouldn't find that strange but it would probably knock my socks off! Ha!

Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman:
This is a powerful story and one that everyone should watch. I used to avoid watching it when I was younger because of the whole slavery thing that I didn't want to see but you know what? I bought the DVD last year while in Texas. I watched it on my laptop in the country. I was moved by this story in a way that was so cool because I felt like if I stepped outside the door, I'd be stepping back in time witnessing the life that Jane endured. As fast as the years go by is just how close we are to yesterday... It wasn't that long ago...

Menace To Society:
I saw this movie when it came out. I watched it and I loved it. It was a real escape for me sitting in a theatre on the corner of Beverly and Fairfax. I knew these characters very well and I'd heard that Tupac was supposed to be in this movie but to be honest, they had all the right people in this film, especially Larenz Tate who I wish could do another movie as O'Dog!

Belly:
I discovered this movie a few years ago on DVD. I dont know why I didn't see it when it came out. I guess I didn't really hear much about it but this was definitely an overlooked film by many. The acting by DMX and Nas was perfect for the roles they played. The narration by Nas was really cool.. The imagery and the power of this movie was right on point. I even loved the scene with Method Man wearing all yellow or that classic scene with that guy eating a banana. Just like all the movies on this list, I never get tired of watching this one again and again....

The Nephew:
This is another very overlooked movie... Probably not recognized as a "black" film per se but it really is an awesome movie with a lot of emotion in it... The cover says it stars Pierce Brosnan but to me the real star of this film is Hill Harper. He plays the son of an irish woman who passed away. He wishes to fulfill his mother's wish by taking her ashes to Ireland and spreading them on this hillside that she's so very fond of. Upon going there he meets her family and of course they're quite shocked to find that this young man is black.. The story has a lot going for it and is really something to cherish... You will cry at the end too..

Love & Basketball:
An all time favorite with one of my all time ladies that I would feen after for years and years to come.. I'm speaking of Sanaa Lathan... whew... This story is great.. I first saw it at a private screening with my good friend Kim Roseberry over on the Paramount lot. That was so cool and we were blown away by this movie. We watched it and when it was over we felt we'd seen something really special. Everything from the storyline to the music was so perfect.. I wanted to see more of this kind of love up on the screen and of course I wanted it in my own life too!! Neither came too quickly but that's a neverending story...

Love Jones:
Classic! Larenz Tate doing it again but on the romantic tip this time. Nia Long looking incredible and this movie sort of brought a little popularity to the whole poetry experience too... This was some beautiful black love eventhough I wanted to choke the male character(Darius) for trippin and acting like he didn't want to be with Nina... In real life that's a waste of time to me. Denying what you truly feel and letting time or possibly a blessing getaway from you... But, I guess for the sake of reaching that almost two hour time frame folks gotta be stupid in movies so they can get back together and have a delicious ending as portrayed in the final kissing scene in the rain... That's my kind of scene in real life or imagined...

Gridlock'd:
This to me is one of Tupac's best along with of course, Juice. Gridlock'd has Tupac acting in a totally different way. He seemed so comfortable in his skin and as this character. I loved this movie and the chemistry between the actors. It made me want to see more movies directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall...

Ray:
What can you say! Jamie Foxx's tour de force... An incredible film that was a visual and emotional journey to watch and experience... I loved this movie and have definitely watched it a few times since getting it on DVD. Amazing performance...

Set It Off:
I've probably watched this one a thousand times.. Being from LA I love seeing a movie that's set in familiar surroundings but more so than that, I love the chemistry between all four of these beautiful actresses. I also remember dating this young lady at the time who reminded me so much of the character played by Jada Pinkett. Her name was Belinda. I took her to see this movie when it came out and I can remember looking at how Blair Underwood and Jada Pinkett's character related to each other. I looked over at Belinda and smiled because I was experiencing the same thing with her... Two people from different worlds, living in the same city enjoying each other. But despite that and because of the differences, things couldn't remain... Oh...but back to the movie, it was the bomb... It was emotional and powerful... Performances were top notch!

Eve's Bayou:
This is a long overlooked classic movie that I remember going to see by myself in Westwood on the UCLA campus. The audience was basically all white and maybe a couple other black folks besides myself. I sat there wondering if this was gonna be some kind of artsy type of movie that I wouldn't enjoy but it turned out to be one of the most beautiful stories ever put to film... I was sucked in right away as they displayed the rich culture you'd find in Louisiana. I found it years later on my own as I visited what has now become like a second home to me. Eve's Bayou influenced even my style of writing as I so often like to capture the same emotion in the characters that I write or the same impact as the classic scene in this movie where Aunt Mozelle(Debbi Morgan) steps inside the mirror and watches her lover kill her husband. The gunshot echoed inside the theatre and practically everyone jumped because it was unexpected. The dialogue sucks you in to where you dont expect what eventually happens.... Excellent classic movie...

The Best Man:
This is one of my favorite movies here in a lighthearted sort of way... I remember watching this movie and trying to relate to the writer character. I know I'd never get into the kind of trouble he did on a couple levels. One is that, despite thinking that Nia Long is very lovely, I could never see myself trying to hook up with her when I got Sanaa Lathan lovin me in a bathtub with rose petals trying to get me to say those magic words... Whew.. I'd say them without much resistance and with a quickness! *smile* And another thing, as a writer I would never write characters that are based solely on one person. All of Harper's friends would've been made into one character. But alas, this is a movie and not real life so they gotta do what they do... The movie was great...

The Wood:
This movie was also great in a lighthearted sort of way and plus it starred pretty much the same folks from The Best Man. They started getting into that trend of using the same folks at this point but luckily this movie turned out to be very good.. I cant say I've watched it as much as the Best Man but nevertheless its a movie I enjoyed a lot...

Devil In A Blue Dress:
Oh yeah, this movie I loved a lot! Denzel and my man Don Cheadle playing the character of Mouse! *smile* This is a great movie and great story set in old time Los Angeles... I was hoping they'd do a sequel to it just so I could see the Mouse character be crazy on the screen again... I saw this movie in Hollywood at the Cinerama Dome which is now the Arclight Theatre. The experience was lovely because this round dome shaped theatre has great acoustics for movies.. I just remember having a blast watching this one...

Antwone Fisher Story:
This one made me cry... I loved this movie. I haven't watched it over and over yet because for some reason I never bought the DVD. I'll have to fix that soon but this story was so powerful to me, especially when Antwone goes to find his real family... It reminded me so much of recent family discoveries and recent dreams of just wanting to bring generations of family closer together. I had tears when Antwone was introduced to the elders of the family and they welcomed him... He also had a fine ass lady along side of him every step of the way and that's a beautiful, extraordinary thang to have love right beside you as you take your most important journey of discovering where you came from... That's life and love... powerful...

Well, that's my list of incredible movies aka flicks... My favorite all time ones and just as I mentioned, a few more would come to mind as I was making out this list and sharing my thoughts... I also forgot to mention such classics as Dead Presidents, Friday's, The Inkwell, Jason's Lyric and Rosewood.

And now that we've concluded this incredible film festival, we leave you with thoughts about a future classic black film... My Life Is All I Have... You will cry, you'll be on the edge of your seat, you'll be shocked, you'll fall in love, you'll feel sorry for the innocent and champion a thug... You'll be amazed by everything this young woman named Leesha Tyler goes through and yet in the end, you'll want to strangle her for making the kind of decisions she makes in order to satisfy her own selfish needs... She learns her lesson the hard way and in the end realizes that all she's left with is what she's made of her life... See you at the premiere... *smile*

2 comments:

The Humanity Critic said...

great list, love jones and gridlock'd are my joints.

Soul said...

Great list..
My fav of all time would have to be Eve's Bayou, reminds me of home.
Set it off is such an instant classic.. and love jones is imo one of the most romantic films ever.

I like what you are doing with images very nice indeed.
Be well.