As Hollywood in Blackface makes clear, all movies must have a quota of numinous negro characters that save the day. Super 8 is a movie that combines the best of The Goonies and E.T. : Extraterrestrial, a movie that basks in the whiteness of a 1979 small Ohio town as five white friends try and survive a massive alien on the lose after a Black military doctor crashed his truck – and somehow survived – into an Air Force train, letting an alien loose in the process.
Glynn Turman played Dr. Woodward, a Black military scientist who was sympathetic to the alien while it was in military custody and acts as the moral epicenter of the film until he meets a grisly fate at the hands of an insidious Air Force Colonel.
And that’s about the only Black character that has screen time in this film, a movie that John Hughes would have been proud of making.
In 2011, all movies must have a plethora of Black characters and those that fail to will be attacked as racist:
As the weekend draws nearer, sci-fi fans are salivating for the release of the new thriller, ‘Super 8.’ The movie, from writer/director JJ Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg, is about a group of kids in Littlefield, Ohio, who witness some out-of-this-world invasion while making homemade movies with an 8 mm camera. But rather than blow my little bit of movie money on the Spielberg/Abrams collaboration, I’m waiting for another film revolving around a similar premise, but with a cast of different looking characters.
‘Attack The Block’ (directed by Joe Cornish) also features a crew of young folks who witness an alien invasion, but the movie is set nowhere near the Midwest, much less in the United States. ‘Attack The Block’ takes place in a London ‘hood, and unlike the mostly white cast in ‘Super 8,’ the gang in ‘Attack The Block’ is led by the young black British actor, John Boyega (pictured above) and features other young Brits of color. When the film debuted at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, a ‘Hollywood Reporter’ article titled, ‘Why ‘Attack The Block’ Needs SXSW,’ said the chances of U.S. distribution hinged on its response at the Austin event.
“‘Super 8’ uses a cheat,” says Arturo Garcia, who is the Site Leader forRacialicious.com and also covers comic books and science fiction for the site. “It’s the old ‘Mad Men’ technique, what’s the one way to avoid a diverse cast? Set it before the civil rights era or don’t address the civil rights era.”
Actually, ‘Super 8’ is set in 1979 in a fictional Ohio city, but Garcia’s argument still sticks to a degree. He explained that the film implies that, “This Midwest town simply does not have a black population.” On the other hand, ‘Attack The Block,’ goes deep into a South London ghetto, thus making it essential that the area’s real life ethnic makeup be reflected in the cast.
No matter the setting, author Troy Cle says diverse movie casts can still be achieved. Cle’s teenage sci-fi series, ‘Marvelous World’, which is based on a young black protagonist named Louis Proof, has been dubbed ‘The Black Harry Potter’ by Trevor Baldwin, nephew of James Baldwin. “The ‘Matrix III’ was primarily made with black people,” says Cle. “To me, that was groundbreaking.”
But movies like ‘Matrix III’ are rare. Outside of Will Smith who has produced and starred in several sci-fi films including, ‘I Am Legend’ and ‘Independence Day,’ black characters in sci-fi films are seen as often as a blue moon. As Garcia says, “It’s been almost 50 years since we first saw ‘Star Trek’ with Uhura on the bridge and we’re still having these conversations. Clearly there’s work to be done.”
Super 8 is an unhealthy movie because it fails to saturate itself sufficiently in Blackness. Just as Thomas Jane is ‘too white’ for Headshot, Super 8is ‘too white’ for a 2011 world that has been conditioned to see Black actors in every movie and white characters in secondary roles.
That a bunch of white kids and a small town Ohio city in 1979 existed peacefully and happily without a Black presence is too much for Black people to take.
Super 8 was racist. Plus, every Black character died in the film. Super 8 is double racist.
Just like X-Men First Class and almost all comic book movies, Super 8 is disgustingly white and an anarchism in 2011.