Friday, June 01, 2007
Terrence Howard - "Hustle & Flow" To "Pride"
Actor Terrence Howard has put forth yet another memorable performance in his latest film, "Pride". (http://www.pridefilm.com/site.php).
The film depicts the real life story of Jim Ellis, a swimming coach who overcame racism of early 70's era Philadelphia to guide a rag tag bunch of inner city kids to a swimming title.
I couldn't help but wonder if Mr. Howard took this role as some form of redemption to counteract the image that was put forth in the movie "Hustle & Flow". The film, and more especially the accompanying soundtrack was not a bright spot in the depiction of African-Americans in multimedia. Where as in the movie "Pride" Mr. Howard played a Black man who pursued his dreams that had long been denied to him as a youth through a new crop of Black children who faced similar racism and persevered, the character in "Hustle & Flow" via the now infamous tune "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" allowed an assortment of backup singers and record producers to ride on his train on the backs of ignorant portrayals of Black life in the gutter. Yes it was an entertaining movie but the content did nothing more than pile onto the large collection of Blackplotation films that make use of hip hop themes.
Sadly a comparison of the box office takes between the two films indicate which of the two films the Black community prefers. Where as the movie "Pride" which has been out since March has thus far only raked in $7M, "Hustle & Flow" has lapped this figure 3 times with a take of $22.2 M. As we complain about the entertainment executives who "greenlight" the film and movie projects marketed to Black people it appears that our community is not doing its part in "voting" with our dollars to provide feedback indicative of our preferences in content.