The Oscar-nominated filmmaker told a Los Angeles Film Festival audience that “negritude” can be commercially viable and also teased details about Snowfall, his in-the-works Showtime series about cocaine.
John Singleton, who received two Oscar nominations for Boyz N the Hood and is currently working on a Tupac Shakur biopic, spoke at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Saturday about diversity. “Don’t be afraid to be black,” he told a predominantly black, packed audience at a session moderated by film critic Elvis Mitchell at the Conga Room in downtown L.A., according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Singleton urged the audience to be true to themselves because, after all, black films have a proven track record of standing toe to toe with “mainstream” films with a predominantly white cast. “Everyone’s gonna copy our s–t anyway. I made the blackest Fast and Furious, I made Paul Walker say ‘cuz’ in the movie. I elevated it,” Singleton said, according to the site. “You can’t front that [black films] don’t make money. I haven’t lost anybody money. People said, ‘12 Years a Slave,’ I don’t want to feel bad, oh, that’s a hard sell—$178 million, so what the f–k is commercial, you know?’”
Singleton criticized black actors too reluctant to take on out-of-the-box or violent roles in films. “They tuck their balls up under their ass to be accepted, you know what I mean?”
Mitchell chimed in, “I know exactly what you mean.”
Singleton added, “A lot of people were afraid to take that Jamie Foxx part in Django Unchained, but it’s Quentin’s most profitable move, $425 million. It has negritude in it,” the Hollywood Reporter notes.
He explained that music critic Stanley Crouch introduced him to the concept of “negritude,” a literary and ideological movement developed by black francophone intellectuals and artists who influenced the Harlem Renaissance.
Executives “want directors they can control,” Mitchell said.
Source: The Root | ERIN C.J. ROBERTSON