Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

PODCAST - # 45: Reintroducing Ourselves To Tyler Perry; Helping Ourselves By Creating A Black-Owned Prod/Dist Studio

Podcast #45

TRT: 60 Minutes

Episode Notes: Tambay's new zen-like approach to Tyler Perry and his movies; and renewed discussion on helping ourselves in the industry, instead of looking to Hollywood for assistance, by combining our ideas and resources.

Listen below, or subscribe and download for FREE via iTunes. Just open up iTunes on your computer and search for "Obenson Report" in the iTunes store, where you will also find archives of previous shows.



  1. The Sujewa said...

    Re: Woody Allen & Af-Am actors: Melinda, Melinda features an African-American actor in a lead role. There are probably others (other Allen flicks that do so - dude's made like 30+ features - I personally do not know anyone who'se seen all of them :).

    But true, by & large there is a huge lack of af-am talent on screen in woody allen flicks. On the other hand, dude was born like, you know, in the pre-integration era (like in the 1930's i think) & raised in the 40's & 50's - & he seems to use a lot of personal experience in a lot of his movies (i think), so he's got some legit excuses for not having a lot of Af-Am characters in a lot of his early - pre-1980's let's say - flicks (he probably did not have a lot of black friends when growing up). But now the US is much more integrated than ever (as far as I can tell), so there is no great reason not to have af-am actors in his movies - maybe he just doesn't have any black friends that he really wants to put in movies - who knows.

    Anyway, Woody Allen is kind of the past - no reason ANY person in the US w/ a job & talent & drive can't make a movie these days & put whoever they want in it. Distribution of course is another story :)

    - Sujewa

  2. The Wendilicious Wonder said...

    Minor point of correction regarding the beginning of Sujewa's comment: Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was in "Melinda Melinda," is not African-American. He's not American. He's British. British of Nigerian descent, actually... Nigerian British if we really want to follow the American use of overly precise (though not necessarily accurate) labels. But, for the purposes of description, why not just use the simple label "Black?"

    I've heard Naomi Campbell described as African-American too... Now, see, to me, THAT is political correctness gone mad! There are more black people outside of America than within it, and we don't suddenly become American when we become successful.

    To other matters, I left a comment on some other blog about Angela Basset's comment about the lack of black people in Woody Allen's "Vicky Christina Barcelona." It's been about 10 years since I went to Barcelona but, it has to be said, there weren't a whole load of black folk walking around. Things may have changed dramatically since but, at the time, every time my friend and I saw black people, we'd stop in amazement, forgetting that we were probably causing the same sensation from others.

    As it turns out, we were like mini-celebrities... Everyone assumed we were American (we're of similar background to Mr Ejiofor) and we were treated like royalty in a jazz club because everyone there seemed to assume we were singers...! From America...! On the plus side, the owner of the club took us under his wing and took us out over the weekend.

    But for a white filmmaker to have black people in a movie for the sake of having a black person in a movie is pretty condescending, to be honest. Have a black person in a movie because they're the best actor for a role, or because the story calls for it - any other reason is somewhat dubious.

    Speaking for myself, I certainly don't add white people/characters in my scripts just so I can include white people in them. If they don't feature, they don't feature. End of.

  3. The Sujewa said...

    That's ture, CE is British, so yeah, Black as opposed to Af-Am would be a better/more accurate description in that case.

    Re: multi-ethnic casting - anyone can play anything (except, you know, someone who plays Malcolm X or some historically significant figure probably should be of the same ethnic group as the original person - but even there I have to say probably).

    Re: "But for a white filmmaker to have black people in a movie for the sake of having a black person in a movie is pretty condescending, to be honest. Have a black person in a movie because they're the best actor for a role, or because the story calls for it - any other reason is somewhat dubious."

    At the end of the day, I'd like to see a world where actors from all different backgrounds get work - regardless of who is making the movie. The differences between various groups are not very significant - mostly they are just intellectual differences (ideas) confused as significant/real/physical/mental differences - or are just political differences - so, aside from historical accuracy as mentioned above, any good actor should be able to play any fictional character of the same gender - I think. Anyway, that's how I go about it when I cast my movies - when there is a choice.
    Sometimes due to budget, circumstance (filming in a certain location, w/ in a limited time frame) choices are limited. But Date Number One had a multi-ethnic cast (w/ a budget under $10K), Indie Film Blogger Road Trip same (i think that one cost around $3K - $5K to make), and the new one - the flick about Brooklyn (untitled, in production now, under $5K or so budget) - also has a multi-ethnic cast. Will have DNO & IFBRT on DVD later this month for anyone who wants to check 'em out.

    - S

  4. SolShine7 said...

    I listened to the podcast and I'm glad you've decided to cut Tyler Perry some slack. :)

  5. The Obenson Report said...

    Solshine - yeah, like I said, I'm all "zen" now when it comes to Mr Perry :o)

  6. Camille Acey said...

    Ha ha. I had a film professor called Thor Anderson who used to make a very similar speech about being open to being addressed as "The Thunder God", so that made me smirk.

    This is my first time listening to your podcast. I am, alas, in Slovenia otherwise I would LOVE to help you. I hope you get an outpouring of help. I think my friend Zoe wanted to work on a podcast, maybe I could send her your way....

  7. Camille Acey said...

    Also, it seems like it took a really long time for you to actually start talking about film (I think it was 10 minutes). It'd be great if you could post show notes with times and topics so people could skip over to the parts they want to listen to.

    Also, please speak a little slower. I am a native English speaker but it was still hard to catch everything you said.

    Don't take any of this as insults. I really like your blog (as I mentioned) and I think your podcast has a lot of potential.

  8. The Obenson Report said...

    Thanks Camille. Feedback is good. I'll include show notes with the next recording and remember to speak slower.

    Inquiring minds want to know what you're doing in Slovenia...


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