Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

"The Human Contract" Trailer - Jada's Debut Arrives!

In February, I posted an entry about a little known film (you can read that post HERE) called The Human Contract, Jada Pinkett Smith's auteur debut - yup, she wrote the screenplay and directed the film which stars lots of white people :o)

Of course, I'm teasing (well, not entirely); in my February post, I lamented as follows, "With so few roles available for black performers in this business, and thus a diminutive number of films with blacks in starring performances, supporting, or even in thankless roles, or as extras, I would expect (or maybe hope) that any black filmmaker, especially those who are lucky enough to be in positions to attract the financial and human resources necessary to produce films, to almost always want to make films that showcase the varied lives of black people... at least initially."

The Human Contract stars Jason Clarke and Paz Vega, and tells the story of a relationship between a repressed advertising exec and a reckless woman... a successful corporate type harboring a deep, dark secret befriends a free-spirited stranger who encourages him to ditch his stuffy lifestyle and live life in reckless abandon. The film also stars Ted Danson, although Idris Alba and Jada have supporting roles in the pic, which still is without a distributor, and thus a release date - although I'm sure it will soon have both!

A question I asked in my February post (and still wonder today) was, "why couldn't Jada have instead had herself and Idris in the starring roles, with Jason Clarke and Paz Vega in the supporting roles? It doesn't seem like there's anything about the story that makes race relevant for any of the characters in the story..."

Anywho... I'm guessing we'll know more about the film, and maybe even get responses to my comments and answers to my question as more is revealed in time!

Here's the brand spanking new trailer, which, by the way, was produced by Will Smith. It has a straight-to-video kind of feel to me. Thoughts?:


  1. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...

    Hmm... I'd watch it. It wouldn't be a 'must see' but with a cinema pass that means I can watch as many movies as I want for just £14.99 a month, I'd probably go and see it. Or if I missed it in the cinema (assuming it has theatrical release - which I think it will), then I might add it to my DVD rental list. I think it's trying very hard NOT to be a straight to video flick though.

    And in answer to your question,

    "why couldn't Jada have instead had herself and Idris in the starring roles, with Jason Clarke and Paz Vega in the supporting roles? It doesn't seem like there's anything about the story that makes race relevant for any of the characters in the story..."

    I reckon with hubby's support and backing, she's ready to launch her career as a director and wants to be taken seriously. Yes, you read correctly, I said seriously!

    But she's probably aware that most people still just see her as the Wife of Will Smith, as though that were her job, and sometime actress. She also realises, though, that that can open doors for her as said husband is no box offic slouch. However, as a female director, she'll probalby only get offered chick-flicks, and as a black female director... Ouch.


    Then again, Will surely has enough money to finance a few small budget affairs without having to raise the finance from others, so why not do some more 'colourful' things? Well, if hubby's forumula for success is anything to go by, it's all about getting wide market appeal - as wide and mainstream as possible, but with just enough frisson to keep it from being Disneyfied... oh, and not using your own money unless you really, really have to.

    So I guess that means introducing the black faces (already known black faces) in small doses (supporting roles) to see what the market will bear... and then the odd all-black pet project from time to time with a feel-good message of perseverence and upliftment but, again, with a littl bit of chutzpah (I think she's a chutzpah kinda gal), something that can be pushed to global, not just black, audiences.

    That's what I think, anyway. Gradual world domination.

    Psst. The Pinket-Smiths are comming...!


  2. The Obenson Report said...

    I'd see it as well, if only to see how well Jada handled the entire project - from writing to directing.

    BUT I should say, before someone else jabs me about it, that, regardless of everything I said in the post, she should be commended for seeing the entire process through to the end, especially in the current climate that simply doesn't encourage black female filmmakers. Yes, it's nice that she has Will's backing, but at least she's using her resources to produce something, regardless of what I feel about it. She'll be one to watch as I'm guessing she'll continue her work behind the camera. All I can hope is that she's reading my blog and will take my advice when she's putting together her next project :o)

  3. Invisible Woman said...


  4. Invisible Woman said...

    By the way--"from writer-director Jada Pinkett"?

    That girl has balls the size of the Empire State Building---gotta give it to her--she is no joke! lol

  5. The Obenson Report said...

    @ I.W. - I see you're catching up on all my entries :o) Better late than never! But I guess you won't be seeing Human Contract then...

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