Saturday, March 24, 2007

Not In The News Friday (NITNF)

NITNF will usually be a bit of trivia that I found interesting and thought you would like. It may be IR-related and it might not -- but should always be fun...or at least fascinating.

This week, first of all, is a little late, but also it's about the story that wasn't. Let me explain. I was seriously considering putting a YouTube video of a sneak peak at an upcoming independent film about a Blasian (Black and Asian) couple and what they go through to have a relationship...but I thought better of it because (A) it was a little too er, steamy in one scene and (B) something just didn't feel right. So, when I discussed it with my wife, she had an insight that I hadn't considered, which is what I want to write about this week.

There have been, for better or worse, a string of IR-themed movies and shows over the last 20 years or so: Jungle Fever, Mississipi Masala, Guess Who (the mediocre remake of the 1962 classic "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner"), Monster's Ball, Hitch and several others I'm sure I'm not remembering at the moment. Each has covered different aspects of interracial relationships. Some have been biased (Jungle Fever, anyone?), many have been what I'll call defeatist -- the writers clearly want interracial relationships to work but they ultimately don't think they will (Mississippi Masala), and it's reflected in their story, and some have been pretty positive (Hitch).

Ultimately, though, it's 2007 now. Haven't we moved beyond the viewing interracial relationships under a microscope, like they're such an anomaly that we can't possibly understand? Fortunately, I think some moviemakers "get it" and we've had a lot of interracial relationships as part of recent movies that don't make any mention of race and there's no tension/struggle caused because of it ("Hitch" was that way). I think that's truly the way to go, because that's the way it's becoming in reality.

I mentioned to my wife that the movie I was going to use the clip from had some stereotypical bigots and she reminded me, there really are people who still feel that way and act that it's not that far a stretch to see it in a film. But we (the viewing public) don't need our hands held and to be told how interracial relationships are good and racism is bad. We know these things and have our own opinions, whether we agree or disagree. It's time to just move on and have interracial relationships be shown relative to our (growing) number in the population (currently somewhere between 5% and 15% in the U.S., I believe, depending on what source you use -- it may be more, I don't know).

I wish I could say we've moved beyond that in terms of race representations in movies but Hollywood is still a bit mired in the quota system. Even so, at least actors don't really have to act stereotypical just to make it into a film like they did in the 1960s through the 1980s. For example, I loved "Sixteen Candles" (1984) but Gedde Watanabe was the epitome of the Asian stereotype -- an to make it worse, he was in an interracial romance with the "awkward tall, buxom white chick". And there was the whole "blaxploitation" era of the 1970s, etc.

There's obviously room for progress in film concerning interracial relationships but at least it's no longer being treated as a taboo like it once was. Little by little, things are improving and IRs are becoming more mainstream. It's very welcome and long overdue.

Best Wishes,

1 comment:

Halima said...

Hi there, i guess i am a fellow blogger on interracial relationships. My blog is totally Black female focussed though, because i believe they are the most marginalised on the dating scene. visit sometime!


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