Sometimes I Don’t Want To Be “Cultured”

I didn’t go to see Precious.

I won’t be going to see For Colored Girls.

I’ve read both of the works the movies are based on. But I had/have absolutely no desire to see either movie. I did go to the movies Friday night. I took in a fine piece of cinema called Due Date. My husband and I laughed our asses off. I glanced at my FB/Twitter timelines and saw many of my sorors and girlfriends were going to see For Colored Girls. To be honest, the thought never entered my mind.

I’d had a rough, stressful week at work and now I’m supposed to go to the movies to be MORE depressed by the time I walk out. Nah, I’ll pass. The two movies are viable stories that NEED to be told as part of the black cultural experience. I’ll never disagree with anyone on that. I absorb a lot of media, some silly and light hearted, some more informative and thought-provoking and some of it just plain old foolery. A lot of what I end up consuming is negative, especially towards black women. I just wasn’t up to it.

I have a pretty good life, I am blessed and I can’t relate to some of the stories portrayed in movies like Precious and For Colored Girls. So really, I don’t care to see it. That doesn’t mean I don’t know that it exists in real life. I get that a lot of people are living some difficult, hard lives. But I don’t feel like being all ‘cultured’ and getting in touch with my artsy side via that type of work.  I’d rather be challenged mentally in other ways that are esteeming to our culture.

But still I’m conflicted. I’m still trying to figure out why. Guilt, perhaps? I don’t know.

Did you go see Precious or For Colored Girls? If you didn’t, care to share why?

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23 thoughts on “Sometimes I Don’t Want To Be “Cultured”

  1. I am addicted to seeing movies with Black people in them. I HAVE to go.

  2. I haven’t seen either movie and am not sure that I will.

  3. Oh, geez. I saw Precious with Tony, and really, this is one of those stories that I just can’t stand. It’s not that I think we should never talk about the important subjects, it’s that when I go see a movie, I don’t want to leave the theater feeling like I was just raped myself, or that I would like to physically harm someone. Also, movies in which children are harmed cause me extreme physical and emotional pain to the point of holding my gut while bawling loudly in the theater and looking like a total freak. It’s not exactly date-night material.

  4. Thank you so much for saying this! For me, movies are escapism. I want to laugh and eat popcorn and candy have a good time….and don’t tell nobody BUT I LIKE the most of the medea movies!

    • Shoot, I forgot to answer the question!

      I read Precious and it was too depressing – some of it even made me queasy. I think we even have a copy of it around my house somewhere, but I’ve never watched it. I tend towards SciFi and dumb comedies so Du.e.Date. is what I’ll see instead of Fo.r Co.lore.d Gir.ls.

  5. I can relate to this post. We shall discuss via text. But don’t feel guilty for wanting to be mentally/intellectually challenged.

  6. I saw both. I haven’t read either book. I’ve seen the play several times and I always felt it was kinda over my head…maybe I was too young. The movie honestly cleared up somethings I didn’t understand in the play (I can tell what Tyler put in and what came from the play). I’m interested in reading the book now. I’ve never really been into poetry either. So since you’ve read both, I think you have a *right* not to see them because you know what its about. My *fake beef* is with people who’ve never seen the play and never heard of it before it was announced Tyler was turning it into a movie yet want to be so critical of it. My mother read Precious and she said the book was way worse. So uh yeah, don’t think I’ll be reading that.

    I don’t feel I have to relate to a story to enjoy it. If I were someone whose reality was being portrayed in those films (i.e. I’d been raped) I might not want to see them. I also feel like I have to see something just to get in on the discussions about it. I thought Precious and For Colored girls were great movies but I can’t watch again anytime soon I don’t think. I also loved Son of Sam, and I’ve only seen that bad boy ONCE! I love happy movies and not so happy ones.

  7. I understand your feelings. I saw Precious out of curiosity. It was better than I thought it would be. I’m not Interested in going to see For Colored Girls. When it came out I read parts of the book, but I’m not really interested in seeing the movie right now. Maybe I will change my mind in a year or two.

  8. saw Precious with friends. While it was depressing some of that stuff was hard for me to get with. I just couldn’t see it happening to me. I don’t know about Colored Girls. I have never read the books. I prefer comedies. Stupid and dumb, maybe some dry humor.

  9. I saw them both. And I totally get where you’re coming from. Had I not been in a good place, it would have been depressing for me as well.

  10. I’ve seen both movies and sadly, both touch on subjects that occur in our community. True, movies are for entertainment purposes, but they can also serve as an opportunity to inform people about what is going on in our world.

    The original choreopoem was written in 1975, yet we are STILL dealing with some of the same issues today; women being abused, mistreated, disrespected, disregarded; date rape, abortion, married men having sex with other men, drug abuse, mental health issues, dysfunctional romantic and family relationships, child abuse and child murder, the overwhelming number of Black women being infected with HIV/AIDS, etc.

    Yes, these issues are depressing and these movies may not be for everyone, but these issues need to be heard. If people were more outspoken and outted the nuts who continuously prey on women and children, things would get better. Out predators. Stop keeping their secrets.

    And us as women have to be more mindful of red flags and stop accepting any ol’ type of treatment just for the sake of having a man. Literally, our LIVES depend on it.

  11. Didn’t see Precious. Why torture myself with all that depressingness (new word alert!)? I go to the moview to be entertained and for me that generally means laughter and lightheartedness.

    Not that hyped about going to see Colored Girls either. I try to stay away from movies of writings I’ve read. I’m nearly always disappointed. I’ll probably catch this one on disc.

  12. Precious got me depressed in a way that I had never been depressed before. I could have totally done without the movie. I am really on the fence with FCG for that same reason.

  13. I didn’t and won’t see “Precious.” I’m good. I will see “For Colored Girls” because my book club read the poems and we’re going to see the movie as a group. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t be going.

  14. I hear you. I share your sentiment on not exposing myself to a lot of dark stuff and calling it recreation. I saw “Precious” and will see “For Colored Girls” with my fam while I’m home for Turkey Day. Part of my reason for seeing these films may be guilt, but primarily it’s because I fear if they don’t get a decent turnout, the establishment will assume we only want to see the other types of films featuring predominantly black casts and I can’t relate to those either since my granny doesn’t cuss, nor does she carry a pistol. Maybe it’s a lesser of two evils thing.

  15. I wanted to see it this weekend and have my dollars counted.
    I usually avoid all opening weekends.

    We will go later and our dollars will have to count towards the overall
    totals.

    I have not seen Precious.

    I don’t take movies/entertainment personally. I heard Precious
    was very depressing and I have skipped it. I have heard For Colored Girls
    is very good so I will go. I don’t consume entertainment
    to relate. Its an escape into existence of others.

    Its the same reason I read blogs. I am not looking
    for me online. I like to see what others have going on.

  16. I saw both.

    Yes, they are depressing. I love Shange’s play and I couldn’t wait to see how it would be portrayed on screen. I wanted to be in that play. I can relate to some of the women in the play/movie/choreopoem. If not because of something that has happened to me, because of something that happened to a family member.

    I also like to support black cinema – decent black cinema.

    But I understand not wanting to see it.

  17. I saw both and I must say, both were very depressing.So I can definitely see where you are coming from. It is hard to leave the theater feeling any other way. However,I was impressed with the acting abilities presented in both movies. Gabby Sidibe was amazing to be a novice actress in my opinion. And the ensemble of black actresses in Colored Girls was great to see. I think I appreciated that more than anything. Phylicia Rashad & Kimberly Elise & Loretta Devine, and Anika Noni Rose did the best to me. I have to be honest & tell you that I didn’t recommend that my mother see either one of these movies when she asked me about them. She just doesn’t deal well with this type of subject matter & I know it, so I told her to pass on both. It is not worth the emotional drain.

  18. I co-sign with this post 100%. I have no desire to see For Colored Girls. Zip, zero, nada. I didn’t enjoy The Color Purple or Waiting to Exhale either. I like women with high morals and self esteem. I’m not really interested in the down trotten. It is what it is. There’s a simpler audience who might really NEED to see this movie, but it will just depress me and have me pissed at the women for allowing themselves to go thru the bs. I’m the movie is out there for those who need it, but… ‘taint my cup of tea.

  19. I have seen both. Precious, I wanted to see what the hype was about. For Colored Girls, I had never read the book or seen the play so I wanted to see it. You mentioned that you couldn’t relate to any of the characters. Or maybe you didn’t say it that way, but that’s what I gathered. I was thnking about this after the movie and was going to tweet the question “Can you relate to any of the characters in the story line?” Personally, I can say definitely. No i’ve never lived in a walkup. Never been raped, abused, etc. Have I taken a man back over and over? Yep. Have I had significant issues with my mom probably b/c she saw too much of herslef in me? Yep. Have I had issues with my sister? Yep. Yeah, it was depressing. But I love to watch and read things that cause me to reflect. Everything in life isn’t rosey. Some of the world is so hard to stomach, but that doesn’t mean I can tuck myself away b/c it’s not in my personal space. I don’t think you are not of the culture or anything of the like b/c you chose not to go see a movie. Everybody has preferences of what they want to see or do, so nothing wrong with that.

  20. Zero desire to see either movie!

    For Colored girls doesn’t even seem relevant in this day and age. That whole “being black is a metaphysical state…blah blah blah” Is it really that bad, yo?

    Movies are expensive and life is hard enough. I’m not paying $10 to go be sad. I need laughs and action!

  21. I’m so right there with you on this. I have\had no desire to go see either at the theater and only watched ‘Precious’ because (1) it was free online and (2) I was bored on a Saturday night. When I finally watched, I laughed during scenes that weren’t meant to be funny. Just imagine how well that would have went over in the theater. Damn my dark sense of humor.

    Anyway, I won’t be going to see ‘For Colored Girls’ either. It never appealed to me. Whenever I saw the trailer, it always felt like a big black cloud of doom was looming over my head. Who wants to pay good money to feel like that? Not me.

  22. I didn’t see Precious. Me and my bestest got into a heated debate about my not wanting to see it. We were at my parents house and it got so heated that my Mom came in the kitchen and blasted us for “speaking that way to each other”! LMAO.. Grown women got put in our place by my Mommy. Anyway, I didn’t like the subject matter, I see/hear enough about that daily on TV and in print. I did not feel like sitting through 2 hours of that on the giant screen. I have a volitile personality and movies like that just make me feel angry.

    I will go to see Colored Girls. I read the book decades ago, enjoyed it, but I’ve forgotten most of it. Tyler Perry doesn’t bother me like he seems to bother alot of my FB and blog friends, so I really wanted to make sure he got his opening weekend numbers. I just got really busy on Saturday and Sunday and forgot to go.

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