Buff Blogcast – March 2010

The phrase ‘joined at the hip’ springs to mind immediately when it comes to the argument that winners at the Golden Globes then go on to double up at the Baftas before claiming the hat-trick at the Oscars…suffice to say that only 1 person achieved the hat-trick on a what turned out to be yet another watershed Oscars… 

70 years ago, Hattie McDaniel made history by becoming the 1st black actress to win an academy award for her role in ‘Gone With The Wind’ – 70 years on, and as predicted, Monique Imes Jackson collected her Oscar, to add to the Bafta and the Golden Globe she collected in January and February. It was widely expected that Mo’nique would win given the numerous other accolades she’s received for her critically acclaimed portrayal of dysfunctional lone parent Mary Jones in the film Precious. 12 months ago, the film was without a distributor (as was the case with Slumdog Millionaire) and it completes a remarkable triumph for the team behind the film which also collected an Oscar for best adapted screenplay – a shot in the arm for those who say that black people can’t write film scripts…

As it turned out, the marmite film Avatar, the biggest box-office film since records began, collected a hat-trick of Oscars for art direction, cinematography and visual effects. Again one is tempted to say that these were widely expected given the hype surrounding James Cameron’s masterpiece which ultimately lost out to Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker – a timely film given the political climate. What does it say though about award ceremonies that the biggest box-office film of all time is not recognised as best film? In another hollow irony, Sandra Bullock collected a Razzie for her role in the film All About Steve and 24 hours later, collected the Oscar for best actress in The Blind Side – yet to be released in the UK. 

Another film yet to be released in the UK is Sus, due to be released in time for the forthcoming general election. In Britain, the Sus law was the informal name for a stop and search law that permitted a police officer to act on suspicion or sus alone. Based on a true story, the film is set in 1979 and it’s election night. The stage is set for high drama, literally, as actor-cum-producer/director Clint Dyer takes the stage play of the same name and turns it into a gripping piece of cinema which speaks out against institutional racism and the depiction of a corrupt system that fails the very people it should protect – one to watch as they say…

Believe it or not there are 5 film festivals in the world with the name Buff in them. 2 of them are based in London. The Buffalo-san black and Asian short film festival is the brainchild of filmmaker Wade A Jacks, a man of northern roots with an eye for showcasing short film talent. One would like to think that Buff and Buffalo-san are neither joined at the hip or indeed duplicitous in meeting the expectations of audiences but rather further evidence of the plethora of choice that is available to filmmakers seeking that all-important exposure on the London scene.  

Currently Buffalo Sans is seeking submissions for its’ forthcoming short film festival, the 8th annual coming together of British and international films, filmmakers and assorted industry types looking to strike a deal…

OK that’s enough free advertising and hip references (well maybe 1 more) and Idris Elba is a man frequently name checked as not only hip, but buff aswell. Needless to say, the man is extremely talented – his latest offering Legacy was premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival last month. And whether it be Channel 5’s Family Affairs or the film One Love, our man Idris is one of the hardest working men in the business. Indeed, not only has Idris starred with Beyonce and produced music for her husband, he’s also a DJ and has been strongly tipped to be the 1st black James Bond  – the coup de grace for many industry observers as evidence that cinema is re-inventing the wheel and shouting it from the rooftops in terms of colour-blind casting. Other actors in the frame are reputed to be Freestyle’s Colin Salmon and Cat on a hot tin Roof’s Adrian Lester. The current incumbent, Daniel Craig is a fine representative of the UK’s most famous secret agent (aren’t secret agents supposed to be secret?) – it remains to be seen who will fill these famous shoes in the months and years ahead…    

Speaking of months ahead and this year’s British Urban Film Festival promises to be the buffest film event of the year. A film festival is only as good as the films which it screens which is where we take this opportunity to welcome film submissions for this year. For full details please visit www.britishurbanfilmfestival.co.uk

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2 thoughts on “Buff Blogcast – March 2010

  1. Emmanuel,

    I think the fact that Avatar lost out to the Hurt Locker (ignoring my synical inner voice screaming “they had to give it to a woman, they had to give to a woman, they’ve given Black People thier accolade, we need to redress the balance”) may be a sign that we’re actually recognising talent again.

    Mama Mia is the most succesful film that has ever screened in London. Does that make it worthy for consideration, certainly not

    The masses have no discerning eye, they consume and nothing more.

    They can be manipulated, duped and deceived into believiing that something is good and have no education to disprove otherwise.

    So, for once, I’d like to think we’re going back to the origins of Awards and measuring things on talent and not on the poor judgement of public opinion.

    And as for a Black Bond? Never!

    Ian Flemming’s James Bond, was a man caught in his time (Daniel Craig representing the character most accurately from the novels) and under no circumstances would he be Black.

    As proposterous as the stories get, there is, at their heart, a sense of realism. 

    A Black, Bond, would eradicate that entirely. 

    They’ve brought more and more Black actors to play subsidiary roles in the films of late, all the way up to and including the character of Felix Liter (Casino Royale).

    But that’s where we should draw the line.

    Create a Black character that encapsulates the essence of Bond and Bourne by all means. Something that makes sense, is updated to our current world view.

    But please, leave Bond in his mysoginistic, politically incorrect universe. 

    To use and abuse women; be a consumate alcoholic; have a licence to kill and to know the only place to buy a shirt in the UK is on Jermyn Street, in London. 

    A place no self respecting Black Man would be seen dead on.

    Yes, Bond is White, always has been and for the integrity of the art always will be.

    L&s

    Paul    

    Paul Atherton
    Managing Director / Producer
    Simple (TV) Productions
    07812 639121
    http://www.simpletvproductions.co.uk
    http://twitter.com/PaulAtherton

  2. There’s a feature film of this coming out as well I think. SUS in cinemas 7 May I think, at least it’s showing that for London.

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