Saturday, October 15, 2005

More moovies, baby

With a group of friends I went to see The Gospel last weekend. The audience for this late Friday screening largely consisted of two church groups, and we were the dwarfish ones. But that's OK.

So was the movie. Of course, I'm being generous. I really, unfortunately, did not expect a lot out of the movie. It delivered. Now, I first heard of the movie through my East Coast rep, Timi (who has a very intriguing post out now, of which I'll only refer to the first couple - relevant - sentences, but I'll link to here), who promptly reviewed the movie. To borrow from Bart aping Flanders, Timi says the movie "Suck-diddly-ucked." She is right in assessing that this movie is a churchy movie and does not deliver the titular good news.

Alas, very few people understand that the term gospel refers to the good news of the way, truth and life of Jesus Christ and not just to a particular type of music and cultural expression. To even get into that now... I can't just yet. I will soon, though. I might as well explain what I'm all about sometime, eh?

I didn't know anything about the filmmakers until I read the review in the Onion (yes, the news is fake, but the reviews are real, if not extraordinary). Apparently, the writer / director for this seemingly Christian movie also wrote and directed some African American sexploitation movies with the title Trois. I've seen the covers on my visits to Blockbuster. And it has nothing to do with the Count learning French. Interesting, indeed. Apparently, he's a low-rent R. Kelly of movies. Well, at least without the whole child-molestation thing. Hopefully.

The LookingCloser blog is having a little discussion on the difference of acceptance between "White Christian" movies and "Black Christian" movies. I'm debating whether or not I want to jump into that argument. But don't let that stop you. Argue here or there. It's so much fun.


  1. I'd have to see the movie myself to make any judgments even though everyone seems to dislike it. There aren't a lot of great films coming out by African-Americans and it's sad. I think I'll stop watching movies by African-American filmmakers for now until Adam Tillman Young comes out with his first full length movie. :-P

  2. I made the comment elsewhere that I think this film is being praised by white conservative critics in order to perpetuate a stereotype...

    i maybe wrong, but I can't see any white politically-minded evangelist panning this film. It doesn't matter WHAT those jigaboos do in the AUTOMATICALLY represents the black church (a-la-Tyler Perry) and it's automatically. OK...

  3. so fresh,

    it's a ghetto thing, though, no? not that 'black' or 'christian' movies are necessarily ghetto - or bootleg or inferior or whatever. it's just that the industry hasn't exactly been open to movies by or about either types of characters.

    'blaxploitation' gained acceptance largely because african americans (not all, obviously) were able to see faces like theirs on the screen. sometimes the images even approximated black culture and / or experiences. sometimes, they were just good movies.

    since then, black filmmakers have had to do the hollywood shuffle just to get a piece of the action. so the options have been severely limited, despite the few spike lee's or antawn fuqua's.

    look at the show 'girlfriends'. i'm neither black nor a female, but i think that's a primo sitcom. but it's relegated to upn, right alongside the abysmal 'parkers.'


    thank you. i knew i couldn't be the only urban christian who dreads tyler perry.

    but i don't see white christians celebrating r. kelly's 'gospel' records.

  4. True on the R. Kelly....
    That's a whole 'nother can of collard greens...

    I also wanted to talk about Trois. First of all, I think it's HILARIOUS that the only way I know about it is also from "not-looking" at the cover in blockbuster. Count me the last man to say that a filmmaker has to produce the same thing all the time, but even I think that having those two films under the same belt is a little suspect. One's going to have to be similar to the other.

  5. ok, did anybody else find kelly's "3-way phone prayer" song disturbing on so many levels?

    we actually did a performance of it in my church. under my watch. i hated it. i hated having to tell them why we shouldn't. i hated having to tell them that r. kelly's full of bull crap and all that. i was proved right. but people don't wanna hear that. still.

    but puddlegums, i don't know what elements might be shared. the sexuality of "the Gospel" was quite tame and almost chaste, unlike the near extacies happening in the song. but it was probably due to having real gospel artists (f. hammond, k. franklin, m. manuzzi, etc.) intimately involved in the making of the film, whereas robert would consult mary j.

  6. I think R Kelly's "3 Wall Call" is disturbing...then again, I think R. Kelly himself is a bit disturbing. lol

    I agree with both on you on this topic...moreso leaning to Adam's perspective.

    Is it just me or does it appear as if church folk in general (white and black) make it out as if it's a christians obligation to support these kinds of movies...just think about the response to "The Passion" ...I thought the church response to that was rather disturbing in itself. Other movies such as "Left Behind"...remember they released that on video before releasing it in the theaters? lol...what a brainiac move there huh? Then you have "The Gospels" and The Tyler Perry films. It's almost as if this stuff is forced on us.

    IM PROTESTING!! I want a truly sincere inconspicuously "Christian" film that will ever so subtly break down the true meaning of the gospel. Until then, I will not be seeing anymore Church movies.


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