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Black Film Is Not a Genre 



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Episode complete credited cast:
Simon Frederick ... Self - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Debbie Allen ... Self - Actress, Dancer, Choreographer, Director, and Producer
Reggie Rock Bythewood ... Self - Director, Writer, Actor, and Producer
Ruth E. Carter ... Self - Costume Designer
Ashley Clark Ashley Clark ... Self - Film Journalist and Critic
Ernest R. Dickerson ... Self - Director and Cinematographer (as Ernest Dickerson)
Carmen Ejogo ... Self - Actress
Destiny Ekaragha Destiny Ekaragha ... Self - Director
Laurence Fishburne ... Self - Actor, Playwright, Producer, Screenwriter, and Director
Nelson George ... Self - Author, Journalist, Critic, Director, and Producer
Whoopi Goldberg ... Self - Actress, Comedienne, and Author
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Self - Actor
Taylor Hackford ... Self - Director
David Harewood ... Self - Actor (as David Harewood MBE)
Lil Rel Howery ... Self - Actor and Comedian


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Black Film Is Not a Genre
12 May 2019 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

This documentary episode was repeated as a tribute to director John Singleton.

It features an extended interview with him. Singleton spoke how he was influenced by Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing.

After Singleton watched the movie he started to write Boyz n the Hood. Even then Columbia were unhappy with Cuba Gooding jr taking the lead role. He seemed a little too black with a broad nose.

The film's success bought Singleton two Oscar nominations. Several of the stars from the film went onto greater success. Laurence Fishburne appeared in the Matrix films, Cuba Gooding won an Oscar for best supporting Oscar.

However this episode also showed how black filmmakers and black actors were viewed for so long as genre actors. This had lot to do with the success of Blaxploitation in the 1970s. Black movies were seen as a genre, not romance or action or drama.

It took actors like Eddie Murphy and more importantly Denzel Washington to go mainstream. One actor discusses how Washington requested his agent to go for any script rejected by Harrison Ford. It meant that he appeared in movies such as Philadelphia in parts not specifically written for a black actor.

The documentary ironically suggests that black films have entered the mainstream thanks to a genre comic book adaptation of Black Panther. I am not sure, although there are more diverse filmmakers about these days this could easily be another fad. If other black films do not make money at the box office, then finance will dry up. It should be noted that Singleton did not direct many movies despite his early promise and in the years before he died he ended up doing television.

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Release Date:

5 February 2020 (USA) See more »

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