a thousand words

Monday, February 2, 2015

Interstellar Civil Rights and the Gravity of Slaves: Another Conversation

This is the continuation of a real conversation with a friend (who still will not let me use their name) about cinema and the relative position of our people. As usual, the conversation may not have been this witty but it's how I remember it.

Again, we met at the Starbucks in No Ho.

FRIEND: I hate you.

GARY: For what? I haven't even made a condescending remark yet.

FRIEND: You messed up my brain.

GARY: You can't give me set ups like that. Too easy. So, what did I allegedly do now?

FRIEND: You made your evil analogy about the movie Gravity and 12 Years a slave and how black folk are stuck in some kind of cinematic time machine while everyone else gets to be fully human. blah, blah blah

GARY: I believe I actually made a temporal analogy to the future versus the past and--

FRIEND: Whatever.  I went to see Interstellar and they showed a trailer for Selma. 

GARY: Oh. Well, that would be more of the same, actually.

FRIEND: I know! I thought, shit, how many civil rights movies are we gonna do? And then I sat and watched three hours of white people traveling through the fifth goddamned dimension.

GARY: Well, good.

FRIEND: No, it's not. I couldn't enjoy the movie and now I'm feeling some kinda way about Selma.

GARY: See, how dangerous thinking is?

FRIEND: Black men are getting killed, police are getting away with murder, the President is being insulted, there's protest and I'm supposed to go sit and watch two hours of historical pain?

GARY: Maybe we need a lesson, to be reminded what this is all about.

FRIENDS: No, I don't. I know my history and it's humanity that's missing, the same humanity that we don't see in the movies.

GARY: What about Beyond The Lights and Top Five? They're both good movies they depict us fine and they are not historical pieces.

FRIEND: Not Oscar movies.

GARY: Man, you have come a long way. Look, just go see Selma. It's worth seeing.

FRIEND: I did see and it was good but where is our space movie? Where are we counted for in the future? No, something is wrong.

GARY: There was a black scientist in Interstellar.

FRIEND: They killed him and at the end of the movie, there were no black people in the fifth dimension future.

GARY: Well, I have nothing left to teach you, grasshopper.


GARY: Nevermind.