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Friday, January 28, 2011

Why There are No Black Nominees at the 2011 Oscars

This year there were no African-American Academy Award nominees.

There’s a reason for that.

There were no good performances by African-American Actors in 2010.

There were no good movies by African-American filmmakers in 2010.

It’s an all-White Academy Awards for the first time in ten years. And that’s Black America’s fault.

African-Americans have been spoiled by years of good performances and years of Oscar Nominations. Many Blacks in Hollywood took their position for granted and didn't bring their best to the table this year.

Sorry, but an Oscar nomination is a privelege and an honor. It's not a right. There is no minority quota slot for any Academy Award category. Academy Award nominations are EARNED, not handed out for just making a movie or starring in one.

The quality of Black cinema has been CRAP over the past decade. Poor screenwriting, inept direction, and bad acting are all hallmarks of most Black films nowadays. Not to mention poor editing and cinematography. Do Black Filmmakers know how to frame a damn shot? Do they know how to transition between two scenes properly? Do they know how to set up a series of film sequences to make them flow into a cohesive film? Do they know how to infuse artistry into their cinematic vision and give moviegoers a unique experience? Do they know how to write a tight screenplay with well-developed multidimensional characters? Do they even CARE?

Look at this year’s pitiful offerings made by Black filmmakers or producers this year: Why Did I Get Married Too? Death at a Funeral? Our Family Wedding? Lottery Ticket? Just Wright? For Colored Girls? Frankie & Alice? These are supposed to be Oscar worthy films?

I don’t think so.

None of these films are even in the league of Black Classics like Do the Right Thing, or Boyz N The Hood Malcolm X, or What’s Love Got to Do With It. They’re not even in a league with good films like Antwone Fisher, The Longshots, Pride, and The Great Debaters.

Seriously, the only noteworthy films for the whole year I can think of featuring African-Americans were Book of Eli and Night Catches Us. And even they had their flaws.

An Oscar quality film is supposed to be the best. This means a film that is so cinematically well crafted it flows from first frame to last. The story is on par with the classic literature of a great novel. It’s a movie with themes and messages that transcend time and appeal to universal truths about the human condition. It’s unique, distinct and something special.

What was unique about Why Did I Get Married Too, Death at a Funeral,  Our Family Wedding, Lottery Ticket, Frankie and Alice, Just Wright Book of Eli, For Colored Girls or Night Catches Us? I can’t say any of these films were as visually unique or distinct as The Great Debaters or any of Spike Lee’s films. I can honestly say none of them featured stories that spoke to the human condition the way Do The Right Thing or Malcolm X did.

Yeah, Hollywood is racist, sexist, homophobic and insensitive. But I can’t use that as an excuse for the lack of Black nominations this time. A lot of Black filmmakers have been following Tyler Perry and and Lee Daniels and half-assing it for a couple of years now and they’re just reaping the rewards for their own laziness.

How seriously are people supposed to take Black cinema when there are THREE films featuring FIVE Black men in dresses this year? And a movie about BLACK MAIDS in JIM CROW AMERICA?

If this is our BEST for 2011, then Black America better get prepared for another year of all-white Oscar Nominees.

Plain and simple Black Filmmakers are gonna have to GET IT TOGETHER. If Black Filmmakers, Black actors and Black Directors want to earn critical acclaim, they’re gonna have to improve the quality of their films. This means writing tighter well-crafted screenplays featuring unique stories. Actors doing more self-examination before taking a part; digging deeper and doing more research on roles. Directors having a vision for a film before shooting starts. Cinematographers learning how to frame a shot. Music that sets a proper mood. Film Editors learning how to cut a film so the sequences transition properly and it flows as a cohesive story. Everyone is going to have to come together and work as a TEAM so the finished film will be the best it can be.

If Black actors and Black filmmakers want to work towards winning an Oscar they’re gonna have to STEP IT UP. BECAUSE THE BEST THEY OFFERED LAST YEAR JUST WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH.


I know i said a return to articles are was gonna be delayed for a while but I had to post this as I was feeling very passionate about this subject.

But there's Big News still coming on Monday!

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