Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership of any photographic material used unless otherwise noted. This blog is intended for purposes of film criticism, commentary, and humor.
I am the Wild West Samurai, a film critic.
This is my blog featuring my reviews of films with majority casts of color (i.e. not white people), stretching from today to the days of silent cinema 100 years ago.
Okay, first of all, why is it always torches and pitchforks? I mean… we have flashlights and assault rifles, you know.
Fair enough. Second, talking about race? Um… that horse has been out the fucking barn door for a long time now.
Shut up, Census Form. No one pays attention to you the other nine years.
Third, I know how this looks. Let me explain.
I was just having a typical, quiet, completely uneventful day at the Dr. Cloud C. Lander Institute for
the Criminally Insane Unwell Persons, sipping on my empty cup of matcha tea, when I was kidnapped in my sleep. While I’m no stranger to being kidnapped, this time, my parents, siblings, hospital staff, and Theresa Harrington (fuck her, especially) were not the culprits behind this recent abduction.
No, when I came to, I found myself bound to a chair in a room with my pants around my ankles, a red-hot cheese grater-like machine sizzling under my testicles, and an eleven-foot-tall alien staring at me.
And this creature’s demands were that I explain my species’ obsession with race and ethnicity to it, or else it would (and I quote) “remove my ability to procreate.” Don’t ask me why it wants me to do this. It hasn’t explained its motivations to me as of yet, and I’ve just been kidnapped by an alien threatening to incinerate my balls! Am I REALLY going to argue with it?!
Needless to say, figuring out how to explain all this was a task and a half. So, since I was a film critic before my stay at the
asylum hospital, I figured it’d be best if I explained the best way I know how: By writing film reviews. If anyone would like to help me compile a list or offer suggestions, be my guests.
Before I start, here are the ground rules:
- It has to be an American film, meaning there must be at least one American production company involved. Since the social reality of race varies from country to country (Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda, ethnic Japanese and burakumin in Japan) and since I’m American, things are just simpler this way. Write what you know.
- The listed cast has to be a majority non-white. This does beg the question of how I make that call at times. For example, actor Vin Diesel is half-black, but the guy looks as white as the wifebeaters he wears. So… I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
- There has to be an actor or actress of color in the lead role. This should avoid the Dances With Wolves or The Last Samurai problem where the cast is still largely non-white but with a white guy in the lead role.
Don’t like the rules? Too bad. You’re not the ones faced with the uncomfortable prospect of castration by an extraterrestrial.
I may also dedicate certain months to more specific subjects, like Broadway musicals or TV shows featuring large casts of color. I don’t know. Anything to get out of this pickle.
Without further ado, I’ll start with a review of The Homesteader, a 1919 silent film that is believed to be the first film in existence with an African-American cast and crew. It was directed by Oscar Micheaux, the first successful black director. It starred Evelyn Preer, the first celebrity black actress, in her debut performance. And it’s-
Well, this is awkward. Can’t well review a film I can’t watch. For those reading, you can view the synopsis of the film here, but apart from that… ummm… yep.
Shit, give me a minute! I’m not Scheherezade.
…… You’re an alien. How do you know the context for “tick tock” sounds?
Anywho, uhhh… for my first review, ummm…
Coming up on December 8th, 2016:
John Singleton’s 1991 film Boyz N The Hood.