Saturday, August 23, 2008

Black Female Actors and Sci-Fi/Fantasy films/movies

I was just reminded of something. John Scalzi has a blog on about the wonderful character Ellen Ripley, beautifully and expertly played by the gifted Sigourney Weaver; every single time. Despite each overall film. I am a fan of all, but let's be real, they weren't all spectacular. But her performance always was, even in the near debacle that was 4. Anyways, I won't rehash what John said 'cause he wrote it so well already. Read the entry (it's linked above). What I wish to say, being an intelligent Black Man AND a lover of SF, is I've always had a particular interest in any writers and actors, who looked like me and my ancestors. It's no secret that the hollywood machine has always put out rather onesided(WHITE) stories. Over the years I've grown on this planet and in this country I've seen the business grow as well, albeit much much much slower than me. Well I still remember the first time I saw a black female in a SF movie and I've loved her work ever since. The beautifully wonderful Angela Bassett: gifted, superb actor and hugely underrated and unappreciated by mainstream hollywood. The film was Critters 4. Absolutley not a good film. I'm already a smartass teenager at the time it comes out but just knowing she was in it I had to watch it. Angela makes that movie bearable, period. And over the years Angela's star has risen; better projects, more respect but also I noticed, she LIKED doing SF films because she kept doing them even though she didn't really have to. (Meaning despite the critically acclaimed successes of some SF films, ie.: Star Wars, Alien 1&2, Bladerunner SF was still looked at as rather infantile by the industry garnering very little respect. Therefore actors who did THOSE films were looked at as kind of lowly.) Yet despite gaining respect doing contemporary dramas, she still from time to time chose to tell a compelling story through SF, ie.: Vampire in Brooklyn, Strange Days, Contact(Wonderful film. Love her part too.), and the surprisingly good Supernova (small film but I really liked it.). And I love her for it. I really and truly hope I get to see her in another SF film before she retires from the game. That's one. I absolutely LOVED Sanaa Lathan in the first AvsP film. I know most people disliked that movie but I loved it, if for no other reason (I do have others) than the fact that she was the main protagonist and actually lived to the end, WITH the respect of the Predators! FUCK all of ya'll who don't get why that's so important AND cool. Plus she was also Blade's mom in the first Blade. And how FINE was she in that. Vastly underused in that film,though it is still the BEST in the series. Of course Jada in Demon Knight and the Matrix series along with Nona Gaye, who I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more in film. How supremely FINE was Nona in the second XXX. And yeah, I actually liked that movie. It had it's flaws but it was no worse than the first one, actually better. Anyone know of any other Black female actors in decent, semi-decent films feel free to let me know. Sometime later I'll do my blog about Black male actors. And also Black writers of SF (There aren't that many though thankfully more are popping up. I'm joining the ranks soon!)

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