Monday, January 18, 2010

How a Discussion about the "Death at a Funeral" remake reminded me that we still have a ways to go...

Today is Martin Luther King Day and you don't need me to tell you that to echo King's final speech--we have not quite reached the mountaintop yet. Still, I will tell you about an interesting Facebook convo I had about the uselessness of the Chris Rock-produced remake of the British movie "Death at a Funeral." (Previews for the original and the remake are below.)

When someone complained that this was unnecessary and "why can't black people see the original movie?"

(Now, I, a black person who lives in America, did see the British film and I really didn't find it all that funny, so I doubt I'd see the remake.)

In addition to mentioning that, I also pointed out--
1) all of the actors playing major roles in the movie are not black (in fact, one--Peter Dinklage--plays the same exact role in the new version that he played in the original
2) the remake is for American audiences, not just for the black people who live in America.

The response was that if they wanted to appeal to America in general, why not have a mixed cast?

It is the same old story-in order to appear non-threatening and not turn off certain audiences, we need to be inclusive. At the same time, no one thinks to include us. I don't even remember one token person of color being in the original film, but I had no complaints. Yet, if someone of color wants to produce a film and give roles to more than a few people of color, they run the risk of alienating folks who are only used to seeing themselves dominate.

Death at a Funeral 2007

Death at a Funeral 2010


The Pifer's said...

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upfromsumdirt said...

i saw the original movie and thought it was okay. not good enough that it deserved a remake... i'm glad to see black actors ply their trade, but i watch the trailer and see 'which way is up' redux (minus, maybe, the more colorful dialog) ...

plus, martin lawrence is in it.

richard pryor turned his corner;
but i'm jaded... i admit to expecting too much.