Author Topic: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation  (Read 9991 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2018, 05:30:45 pm »
BLACK PANTHER isn't just a movie, it's an event.

Those are very rare.  Like STAR WARS rare.

So for all the folks who will complain other black films, past present or future, don't get the same love as proof that black folks are not politically aware or some other complaint.  No comparisons are possible.

Black Panther is a property with 50 years of awareness and is part of the most successful movie franchise in cinema history.

It is singular. 

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2018, 05:55:09 pm »
Yeah you bring up something else

Black folks are horrible about "everything has to be about everything and everyone perfectly " syndrome.

Like this thread... cant be happy bout BO, gotta pull the "why didn't u support xyz"

Every black movie gotta have perfect females, perfect gays, perfect everything or its trash.

Happens with tchalla all tge time... cant just show strong black male... gotta fux gay doras, gotta have shuri, gotta help storm, blah blah blah

"Like this thread"

To whom are you referring to here?

Respectfully, I would find it rather bizarre to accuse me of not being satisfied with Black Panther or attempting to diminish its success in any way.

While every comic book fan was once a new fan and also in respect to Black Panther, I've been BOTH for several decades now. Seeing this movie have the success its having is the culmination of a childhood dream. I've never once set up a scenario where its a binary choice between Black Panther and Movie X but rather seek to find why this happened and in doing so how we can replicate it in the future.

Black Panther 2 will almost assuredly hit the same nexus point as it will be around the time of the Presidential re-election in terms of buildup and the subsequent payoff after the inauguration. The question is how many more blockbuster films, Black owned, produced and distributed can we make as successful in the meantime.

Offline MindofShadow

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Re: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2018, 07:13:04 pm »
Hidden Figures: 235mil on 25m budget

Get Out: 255mil on 5m budget

Girls Trip: 140mil on 28m budget

Blak Panther: all the money

All these movies have massive ROI. And this isnt including the FF franchise, jumanji, straight outta compton, and other franchises lead by POC that make money

Black (and white) people are sick of slave movies. Therr is more to black culture than slave sh*t.

And another thing, only half of the mcu movies have had 100m openings. 9/18

1. Hidden Figures- This film was pushed by The Hollywood mainstream in conjunction with schools and the Black church. There were literal buses set up for the movie as well as school screenings across the country. SANCTIONED

2. Get Out- The modern era Blair Witch Project. A great horror movie that captured the audience. There are some undertones about race and cultural appropriation but Peele was smart enough to leave it vague.

3. Girls Trip- Black people being funny and outlandish. Again, pushed by Hollywood as Black female empowerment and had all the requisite media outlets covered. SANCTIONED

As for the Marvel brand automatically equaling a $100 million dollar opening I readily accept the correction if I'm wrong. However, I think the consensus would be that the true MCU era as a Brand starts with Avengers. I will check how many Marvel films post The Avengers debut have failed to have $100 million dollar openings. Again, thanks for the correction.

7/13 if i counted right

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation
« Reply #33 on: February 21, 2018, 02:19:24 am »
http://www.comicbookmovie.com/black_panther/suicide-squad-star-will-smith-praises-black-panther-and-says-it-nearly-brought-him-to-tears-a158049

It's nice that Smith is showing love, but it just had me thinking, this could've been Smith a decade ago. Perhaps he's not up on comics, but if Smith had wanted to be John Stewart ten years ago, he would've been Green Lantern and while the gestalt wouldn't have been as high for Black Panther it still would've been huge.

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation
« Reply #34 on: February 21, 2018, 02:31:29 am »
BLACK PANTHER isn't just a movie, it's an event.

Those are very rare.  Like STAR WARS rare.

So for all the folks who will complain other black films, past present or future, don't get the same love as proof that black folks are not politically aware or some other complaint.  No comparisons are possible.

Black Panther is a property with 50 years of awareness and is part of the most successful movie franchise in cinema history.

It is singular.

No question that Black Panther is an event movie, but I do wonder why that is. There have been other attempted 'event' black films over the last several years (Dreamgirls, Red Tails (arguably), Precious, For Colored Girls (arguably), 12 Years a Slave, Selma, Birth of a Nation, The Best Man Holiday (to some extent), Moonlight, Girl's Trip (arguably) Hidden Figures, and Get Out).

Of these, as already noted, Get Out and Hidden Figures fared the best box office wise. Black Panther stands out as being part of the Marvel/Disney machine, a new addition to a (presently) unstoppable franchise. It also is not a historical movie (while wrapping itself in historical trappings/context) so there is the escapism element there as well, the fantasy aspects that allow people to set aside their historical dread and just 'enjoy' the film while at the same time feel they are supporting a positive depiction of black/African life and culture. I don't think the other 'event' black films allowed for that, all of them were either based in history or looked at current events, but in the case of "Precious", "For Colored Girls" (read the play, didn't see the film) "Moonlight" (didn't see this film, just heard about it) its a world steeped in black 'pathology' and social dysfunction.

Of even this list, the Best Man Holiday, Girl's Trip got far more support in part because they didn't deal with history. They showed blacks living well for the most part, not marked by race while comfortably being black without the racial tension or stark reminders of discrimination. This movies perhaps allowed black audiences to breathe a little bit, perhaps even to dream, and Black Panther does this on steroids. Of the historical films, Hidden Figures with its soft approach to Jim Crow also allowed some space to breathe. Jim Crow was overcome, according to the film, by the plucky determination and innovation of black women (which also fits with the promotion of feminism, 'Black Girl Magic', etc. that's currently in vogue in Hollywood right now).

12 Years a Slave, Nation, and Selma don't allow for much escapism, and so they were like 'castor oil' movies (a term I read and liked from the Shadow and Act website), and so at least Slave and Selma got some respect, but not a lot of enthusiasm. They were sold as 'important' movies that we 'need' to see. Last year's Detroit was billed the same way but no one went to see that. I don't think people like being told sometimes to go see something, especially if it's relating to slavery or segregation. Red Tails tried to split the difference, on one hand supposedly telling a (not the) story of the Tuskegee Airmen (a group of soldiers white society basically likes) while also doing an adventure story (with heroes who have nicknames that are short-hand for their personalities and a cartoonish scarred Nazi ace pilot villain). Despite the talented cast, and the push for the film, the story (which I didn't think was that bad) just didn't resonate enough with audiences.

Get Out also split the difference but in far superior fashion. The film took everyone by surprise, including me, and it wrapped its sharp racial commentary inside a horror-comedy film that softened it's blows. Peele's genius in having the racists be liberal whites declawed some white conservative ire while also not losing white liberal support. Whereas the dramas were more straight forward, Get Out covered some of the same issues but sideways. It was an innovative way to cover these topics.

While Panther does have a 50 year history I don't think the vast majority of black people (alone, not even counting other groups) who are ecstatic about this film know much at all about that. Many have never even heard of the character and I saw at least one review (albeit in a conservative magazine) that still thinks T'Challa is named after the Black Panther Party. I think this success comes from the heightened racial tensions, racial consciousness of the Black Lives Matter movement and others, the tumult of the Trump administration (and a need to react to it), along with the need for validation and representation. The funny and sad thing is there has long been representation, with Black Panther, but also beyond Black Panther and the vast majority of black folks who are going gaga over this film just haven't looked for it. Instead we have waited for it to be presented to us, and now that it is, and some of it is quite good or profound (Luke Cage, Black Lightning, and now Black Panther) we are happy that the mainstream society 'sees' us which we interpret as acknowledges us (respects our humanity), whereas to me they are just responding to what's going on in society and redirecting the energy to fit their aims. Doesn't mean these products aren't good, or that we shouldn't support them, but I have to keep in mind that their goals are not aligned necessarily with our hopes. (And to be fair, the same could be said from some black-created works that are mimicking mainstream works, but still at least there, the depiction of black people might be handled with a little more dignity and nuance, as is the case with Coogler's Black Panther).

Black Panther played right into our hopes and dreams, but also into our insecurities and dread and ambivalence about our own history and our own worth as human beings and I think that's why black audiences are going to this film in likely record numbers. And with white media/society abetting it, it's makes it even more acceptable to go.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 03:02:28 am by Emperorjones »

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2018, 08:29:08 am »
Some observations, not necessarily related...

Axioms: Art is not politics and commercial art has to compete in the marketplace.

Obviously, art can address political themes and BP does. But metaphor is probably the way to go if you want people to spend their money.

Marshall's domestic box office to date is $10M. And it's not a castor oil movie.

I did have a whiskey after Birth of a Nation.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2018, 08:38:51 am »
What is the appeal for American Black folk, in period pieces? No matter where in history you go you are gonna end up looking at past misery. Which is not fun.

Stuff like Dreamgirls would be the exception here.

Django was about as historical as a Lone Ranger TV show so that got a pass AND it's more of a revenge flick than anything else (just as Inglorious Basterds was a revenge flick with a overlay of period piece).

Frankly among many of the ladies I know, the antipathy to period pieces started between the time that The Color Purple came out and Daughters of the Dust.

Which shouldn't surprise anybody come to think of it.     

Offline Battle

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Re: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2018, 09:39:18 am »
What is the appeal for American Black folk, in period pieces? No matter where in history you go you are gonna end up looking at past misery. Which is not fun.


Welcome back!  :)
The appeal depends greatly upon the storyteller.

American Black folk's contribution to this country no matter how miniscule or monumental has always been paramount.

The misery you're describing is just another form of drama...  much like grief.  I mean, just observe the teen outrage that is  occurring in Tallahassee, Florida as I type this.

If you were a storyteller, how would you tell and/or dramatize that scene?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 05:15:09 pm by Battle »

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2018, 09:53:11 am »
What is the appeal for American Black folk, in period pieces? No matter where in history you go you are gonna end up looking at past misery. Which is not fun.
Reminds me of that Louis C.K. joke. Black people can't f*ck with a time machine. 

Here's a piece by Shuan King that expresses some of the appeal of BP to me.
https://blackamericaweb.com/2018/02/20/shaun-king-what-did-black-panther-do

Quote
But let me close by talking about the movie. Nothing like it has ever been done before. Not just with a Black superhero, but with several Black superheroes. Black Panther had a whole cast of beautiful Black brilliance. Black scientists. Black Presidents. The style. The technology. The color.

But itís even deeper than that. There is a movement we call Afro-Futurism, where we imagine a Black way of life free of white supremacy and bigotry. Black Panther, I think, is the first blockbuster film centered in Afro-Futurism, where the writers, and directors, and makeup and wardrobe team imagined a beautiful, thriving Black Africa without colonialism.

Wakanda showed us our families in one piece. No war on drugs. No mass incarceration. No KKK. No lynching. No racial profiling. No police brutality.

In this world, Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin get to grow up. Sandra Bland and Erica Garner are still alive. Itís an alternate parallel universe where we win and we rule.

Our traditions and culture have not been destroyed. We have beautiful rituals and rites of passage.

And even though itís 2018, and weíre all getting old, nothing like this has ever been done before. I found myself fighting back tears several times throughout the film and moments that I donít think were even supposed to be emotional. It was just so damn beautiful.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Battle

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Re: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2018, 10:34:34 am »


Quote
And even though itís 2018, and weíre all getting old, nothing like this has ever been done before. I found myself fighting back tears several times throughout the film and moments that I donít think were even supposed to be emotional. It was just so damn beautiful.





I gotta go see this movie!  :)




ADDENDUM:  As this teen/parents protest in Florida unfolds, John Singleton's 'Higher Learning' immediately comes to mind. 'Higher Learning' told a very similar story.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 02:53:47 pm by Battle »

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Black Panther and The Birth Of A Nation
« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2018, 04:54:44 pm »
Some observations, not necessarily related...

Axioms: Art is not politics and commercial art has to compete in the marketplace.

Obviously, art can address political themes and BP does. But metaphor is probably the way to go if you want people to spend their money.

Marshall's domestic box office to date is $10M. And it's not a castor oil movie.

I did have a whiskey after Birth of a Nation.

I think it's debatable if Marshall was a castor oil film. I assume many black viewers perceived it to be and stayed away. I saw the film and I've also bought it. It was a film that tackled racism in a court case style and in a case that reminded me of Native Son. And it portrayed Thurgood Marshall as a two-fisted, swaggering, crusading lawyer who faced discrimination but was never beaten down by it. And the film did a nice job of linking what Marshall faced some 60-70 years ago with ongoing struggles.

But there is a reluctance, really a refusal, to watch a lot of Civil Rights era films (at the box office at least). There's psychic trauma there but also I think there is a fear of that anger, a willful ignorance is bliss attitude that I don't think is beneficial in the long-run.

As for the Louis C.K. joke that's also looking at a sliver of black history, not the whole. There could be movies based in history before slavery and colonialism. Stories about the great African empires. There could be historical/fantasy epics like the book series Shades of Memnon. There could be stories about the Moors, the Haitian Revolution, the Maroons, and the Seminole Wars, just to name a few. Not every history film has to be one where blacks are beaten down and/or are beaten down and stay down. I think the way history is taught or brought to us in many of this films is designed to make you not want to read or explore history.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 05:00:06 pm by Emperorjones »