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This is why people who make films hate Hollywood

There was a Black filmmaker wave that reached an apex in the 1990's. I was graduating film school and had things gone well, I would have been in it! But this article points out how it was a false wave because while these directors were praised, they were also not given the chance to make their movies and see what happens on the next film. It was always about making money and not the craft. That's a luxury for people like Alexander Payne. Who I like. I really like. I enjoy his films. Election, About Schmidt are some of my faves. But he got a chance to make a second film and build a career even when his first film didn't exactly send the cash registers into orbit.

So, just for comparison's sake:

Alexander Payne's debut was a clever film in 1996 called Citizen Ruth starring Laura Dern.

So check out that box office vs. that budget. That's definitely not a hit.

Comparatively, 1997's cult fave (at least for Black people) Love Jones had a budget of 10M and appears to at least to have broken even. Not a blockbuster, but why no more films from Theodore Witcher? This was a solid debut.

This is the disparity people talk about when you ask for more diversity and the cost of the complete lack of it. And also the reason why I can't watch anymore slave films. We are still alive! And we have interesting, nuanced lives that American cinema seems content to ignore. Thank God for the content behemoths like Amazon and Netflix and Hulu. TV isn't super diverse behind the camera but its so much better than film right now in terms of inclusive storytelling. Lucky I'm still around to finally catch my big break!


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