What Black Movies Can Do Better

At Ebony, Damon Young provides tips for black filmmakers who aspire to make movies that measure up to Coming to America and Love Jones.


At Ebony, Damon Young provides a list of tips for black filmmakers who aspire to make movies that measure up to Coming to America and Love Jones.

Anyway, instead of continuing to make the usual myopic and ambiguous remarks about the lack of "memorableness" synonymous with today’s Black films, I’ve decided to be a bit more proactive than usual and list a few of the many things that may need to happen for our movies to move us again.

1. Bring The Sexy Back

If the last decade or so is any indication, "Sexy" has become the Black movie’s boogieman, its most feared four-letter word as sex and anything having to do with it is usually regarded in one of two ways:

A)   A comedic device

B)  The evilest evil of all evils

Seriously, try to think of the last legitimately sexy scene present in a Black movie; any recent scene where the adult sensuality and positive spirit associated with sex was captured on screen. You can’t because, well, there just haven’t been any, and the latent asexual nature present in all of our movies today definitely contributes to their overall lack of resonance.

Also, "more sexy" doesn’t mean "more graphic sex." "Love Jones" is one of the sexiest movies ever made, and it only had one (relatively tame) sex scene.

2. Chill With The Church Scenes 

We all know that we love us some Christ, but does every. single. Black. movie. need to include five to seven perfunctory scenes in a (always) Baptist church? Do we always need for the main character to have a 10 minute long soul bearing heart-to-heart with her "to wise for this world" pastor? Do we really always need to see a man wall-sliding down a pew as he struggles to forgo his past and reconcile with God?

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