POC I'm Watching: Golden Brooks
When I stumbled across The Inheritance (2011), I was so glad to see that the eternally fabulous Golden Brooks was still doing her thing.
For those who really find watching a film with black people uncomfortable, the inclusion of the white couple, with their cracks about black people, snow and barbecue, should help smooth things over for you. But if that is what you need to survive the film, I am not sure what it says about you.
~ gavin6942, a reviewer by way of IMDB
And then...I saw.
This film had a wonderful premise and a gripping opening sequence. After that, I don't know what the hell happened, but writer & directer Robert O'Hara sure has some explaining to do. Because after the opening sequence, this film wasn't even worth screencapping. And I have feeling it won so many "Black" awards simply because the annoying white couple gets taken out in the first fifteen minutes (though the man doesn't exactly die), and from then on, the entire cast is Black. But to Moi, where HollyWTF is concerned, having a predominantly to all-POC main cast is merely the first step. In this country, a film should not get a gold star just for that.
Reportedly, whoever did the marketing was "concerned" about having so many Negroes in the film that the movie poster was designed to be "racially ambiguous" so [white] people wouldn't dismiss it out of hand. Behold the resulting train wreck:
So let me get this straight. You've got a horror movie whose admittedly clever premise stems from the slavery era here in America...but you want to make [white] audience members "comfortable" enough to watch it.
Not gonna happen.
If you ask me, aggressive marketing and hype are the enemies of art, because they demand that in order to achieve maximum sales, artists must compromise the integrity of their creations. If they're a musician, they've got slap on some auto-tune and a generic techno beat to get anywhere in the modern world. If they're a filmmaker, they've got to focus on special effects, rather than characterization and dialogue. And if they're a writer, they've got to water down their own story so that folks with low tolerance will want to take a sip. My theory for this movie's failure, if you haven't already guessed, is that O'Hara made the error of aiming for a "universal narrative." Once again, ladies and gents, I maintain that there is no such narrative.
For pygmy's sake, say what you really want to say. Find your target audience and give them what they want. Having a dedicated cult following of a 1000 fans is much better than having 100,000 angry customers who want their time and money back, not to mention the what-the-fuck-were-you-thinking reviews which inevitably follow. I mean, duh...if you try to please everybody, you won't please anybody.
And there was no excuse for this level of disappointment either. The Inheritance appeared to have a decent budget, respectable production, and cast members to die for, including the pretty-eyed, delectable DB Woodside and the great, riveting Keith David...not to mention he-needs-to-have-sex-with-me-right-the-hell-now actor Lanre Idewu (Lawd hammercy).
Last, but most assuredly not least, this film was rife with colorism, very superficial gay rights activism, and the all-black cast sounded like all-white folks dipped in chocolate. I have never heard Golden sound this nasally before, nor come off this sissified. All the women where noticeably lighter than the men - even Golden Brooks was noticeably lightened. Lilly (Rochelle Aytes), the lesbian, was the lightest and brightest and most femme of the crop*. Considered a virgin by occult standards, despite being a grown-ass woman in a relationship, she's one of the first to die. We never see her with her girlfriend, and her homosexuality is only referenced twice and for less than five seconds. And by the way she "dances" at the beginning of the movie, you can tell her eye-candyness is clearly intended for a male audience's benefit. *rolls eyes*
Needless to say, The Inheritance is a fail in the Land of Moi. *shakes head* I rented it from Netflix and now I want my money back.
*I'm only pointing out how femme she is because while watching this film, I got the sense that her homosexuality was a last minute rewrite, as though O'Hara were attempting to be creative and clever somehow. Why couldn't Golden Brooks be the bad-ass, unlightened lesbian heroine who whoops evil's ass? Why did the only gay character have to die?