Posts Tagged ‘When the Levees Broke’

MADEA

I was sent a link to an article on theFreshXpress.com bearing the title, Tyler Perry is destroying Black America,  (<~~~~~ check it out) and after reading and agreeing with the content of the piece, I began tapping away at the keyboard, entering my comment at the bottom of the page. I wrote about a paragraph, then, EUREKA!!! Why not use my own space to regurgitate my disdain for the writer/director/producer/actor/seeker/destroyer, that is Tyler Perry…pardon my transgressions. The writer basically stated that Tyler Perry’s plays, movies, and television shows “are walking, talking, dancing, jigging stereotypes“.  A truer statement has never been spoken.

 I myself have never been a fist pumping Tyler Perry fan, but have enjoyed an occasional laugh at the mockery that is Madea. Tyler Perry got his start writing and directing plays on the formerly known, Chitlin’ Circuit, which is “a string of performance venues throughout the eastern and southern United States that were safe and acceptable for African American musicians, comedians, and other entertainers to perform at during the age of racial segregation in the United States ” which is where a huge part of his fan base came in. The thing about his material, and why a lot of black people are drawn to it, is it’s relatable nature. They see themselves on the stage, or someone they know, they see a situation they went through before, or are currently battling through, and are drawn into a world that they know so well. Beyond the relatability of the plays, TV shows and films, they fail to see that they are all further perpetuations of the stereotypes we have been fighting to overcome. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that he is the face of the first African American-owned studio in “Hollywood”,(even though it’s in Atlanta, Georgia)  and he produces, writes, and directs movies as well as television shows, but at what expense? We are ready to jump up and fight a non-black when they mention fried chicken and black people in the same sentence, but we sit and laugh at Madea, the modern day Mammy

Having mentioned the fact that Tyler is the owner of a his own studio, that gives him absolute control of what comes out of there. Now, what gets into the theaters is a different story. Movies like The Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea’s Family Reunion, Why did I Get Married, etc. are funded and released without the blink of an eye. But more thought provoking, “controversial”, as some would call them, films like; When the Levees Broke, and Miracle at St. Anna, had to be funded by Spike Lee, and distributers outside of the country.

Perry’s style of producing shows and movies has been proven to be one of the most cost and time effective in “Hollywood”, but, if he put just a little more effort and money into his projects, the result would be a better product. I know, I know, the name of the game in “Hollywood” is make the movie for the cheapest amount possible so the profit will be maximized, but come on Tyler. The writing in most of your productions is elementary, and predictable and the characters are not at all believable, which I think is he result of the poor writing, mixed in with the lack of skill from the talent. Tyler should focus more on being the head of a studio, rather than writing and acting in all his projects. Just put your name on it as you have in the past and we’ll know it’s yours. Spare us from Madea, please, and just because someone was on a classic African American 80’s TV show when she was five, doesn’t mean that she has any talent nowadays.

 

PEACE…

The most socially conscious, thought provoking, and with one of his more recent documentaries, effectively daring, director of our times may be going back for a second round in the Gulf Coast.  Spike Lee says he may revist, not only New Orleans, but other areas still devestated by Hurricane Katrina.  “I’m going to go back…because it’s not over.  What the press is not really talking about is the mental state — suicide, self-medication,” he said. “It’s horrible.” “When the Levees Broke” was extremely poignant as it put on display the events that lead up to, what happened during the course of, and the after effects of the massive flood. The pictures of floating corpses, others lying on the street, bloated from the water that had been absorbed by their bodies, the huge X’s on the exterior of homes, that symbolized the date searched, hazardous materials that may be inside and a BODY COUNT, all came together to seriously touch those who viewed it. Hopefully, Mr. Lee will go back for a second time and expose the lack of governmental support, the mental anguish that resulted from the tragedy and bring another effective documentary revealing the real deal of what’s going on now in the affected areas.