Friday, August 19, 2011
A Hovah for "The Help"
I'm not even going to give the obligatory "where I've been" preface to this entry. I'm just going to say that in order for me to come out of seeming retirement to post, I had to be pretty damned annoyed, and I am. Although I don't have anything nearly as smart to say about "The Help" as my best friend gayle, I do think the movie is fodder for a good ol' fashioned Sum-N-Saf List. Since Sum is famous, and I can't afford her rates, I guess it'll just be Saf-N-Saf.
Hope that's all right...
Saf-N-Saf (or Bitch-N-Eat): Reasons Why Black People Don't Need To Go See "The Help"
The bootleg came out Christmas of last year. You can easily borrow it from your baby-mama or auntie.
They're going to make it into a series on Lifetime next fall, starring Anika Noni Rose as the plucky maid who won't let her snotty white mistress (played by Taylor Swift in her television acting debut) get in the way of her joining SNCC and exhorting her fellow maids to vote. Just wait for it.
NOTE: Kimberly Elise will play her meek older sister who sells her out to her boss when he asks if that "gal" is "joining up with them troublemakers," and T.D. Jakes will play the pastor of her church.--which will get bombed in the cliffhanger finale of the first season.
Kathryn Stockett stole Aibileen's story like old girl was Little Richard.
There can only be one Ms. Sofia. Oprah was it. Sorry, Octavia Spencer.
And Tate Taylor: a black woman gnawing a chicken leg right up in a white woman's face?!? Really?!?
Seeing Cicely Tyson onscreen will automatically make you feel guilty about how little you appreciate the sacrifices of your ancestors.
The book was rejected by 60 literary agents. People that read for a living.
If you want to see a black maid in action, you can check into any big hotel in a major city and see dozens--who'd probably tell you anything you want to know for less than $9.50 plus tax.
The only really compelling "white" savior in any of the countless stories told of oppressed peoples is Moses. Burning bushes? Parting seas? Come on now.
And bridging from that--there's no CGI disasters or Pixar characters in "The Help." Or musical numbers. Or Tyler Perry cameos. I don't think.
The Boondocks lampoon will be so much funnier.
The actors may be black, but the box office goes to the producers.
If we stopped going to movies about blacks in the 1960s maybe someone would get inventive and make a movie about black people in the 2060s. With more of us than just Denzel. Please. God. We hope.
I haven't seen the movie, and I probably won't. At least not in the theater. I actually don't need any "help" swallowing how horrendously black people were treated in the past. It's the present that's fucking with me. All this nostalgic "Aren't you glad we're past that?" shit is ridiculous and far from entertaining. It's insulting.
That's not to say that "help" isn't needed, though.
I think Hollywood needs some "help"--coming up with inventive and truly inspiring storylines for black characters.
And understanding that black people are infinitely better equipped to tell their stories than white people.
And exploiting our desperation to see ourselves on screen is really only a post-post-modern extension of the oppression that is ostensibly being critiqued by movies like "The Help."
Posted by safire brown at 1:03 AM