right on the heels of Tambay’s piece about black inequality in films today (below)
came this report this morning in The Wrap (HERE) that states that, out of the 39 major
summer releases scheduled to be released between May and August, over 90% were directed or co-directed
by white men.
The exceptions that were made by black directors were: Think Like Man Too by Tim Story coming
out in June, and the high school football movie, When the Game Stands Tall, directed by Thomas Carter, which I admittedly had never heard of before, coming
out in late August.
exceptions were Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which was co directed by Latino
American director Robert Rodriquez
and Frank Miller, and Jupiter Ascending, which was directed by
the brother and sister team of Andy
and Lana Wachowski – the only woman on the list.
However, the Wrap
list does not include Belle, which Fox Searchlight is releasing this May, which
was, of course, directed by a black woman, Amma
Sante. But as the article says, “major studios are not giving minorities —
let alone women, a majority of the population — many chances to make the big
budgeted movies they obsess over.“
again, what is new about this? They could have said the same thing last summer as
well, and the summer before that, and the summer before that, and so on. Question
is, what can be done about it?
And to play devil’s advocate here for a second, let’s ask, whose fault it is really? Do we need
yet another black rom-com directed by another black director? Black directors have to expand their horizons,
even starting small if necessary, doing
smaller budgeted sci-fi movies, before moving up to the bigger stuff. Did Tim Story really have to do another Think
Like A Man film? No matter how you feel about them, don’t forget he has directed
two Fantastic Four movies. Why didn’t
he do something else, completely different, and let some young promising black director
(male or female) looking for a big break direct Think Like A Man Too while he produced it?
again, on the other hand, Captain America: The Winter Solider
was directed by Anthony and Joe
Russo, who were most known for creating the cult favorite TV sit-com Arrested Development, and who had absolutely
nothing on their resume to even suggest that they were the right persons to
direct the film.
Yet Marvel was
secure enough with them to entrust such a huge $170 million budget movie in
their hands. And it turned out pretty well for them, justifying their decision. But there wasn’t a black director who could
have been picked for the job? Who would you have picked?
And to ask yet
another question, is it because of racism or because too few black directors are
still behind the eight ball, learning how to “play the game in Hollywood”? And
is that because the powers that be don’t want them, don’t know them, or is it that they keep
changing the rules to their advantage?
questions, so little time. If you think I have the answers, you’re sadly
mistaken. So please weigh in and tell us what you think.