The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

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Luke M
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#26 Post by Luke M » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:57 pm

Black Hat wrote: I can imagine the forum frowns on discussions of this ilk as if topics of morality, the moral responsibility of filmmakers, producers, performers etc, etc. somehow exists in a vacuum outside of the work. The problem with this view is society often times takes its social cues from art as well as the artists themselves. To pretend it doesn't is to me being actively complicit. Past that to intellectual wrestle with these issues is an important exercise. New York Magazine had a good discussion about Parker and his film.
It is disappointing discussions of this kind are often frowned upon or altogether dismissed. I understand wanting to keep the topic focused on the film(s) themselves but I can't see the harm of a discussion in a separate thread.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#27 Post by domino harvey » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:02 pm

I'm pretty sure it's a veiled allusion to the charges against Polanski and Allen being generally off limits here, as no one has stopped discussion on this particular topic yet, nor should there be a thread split since it is right now directly tied to this film's distribution and reception. Mods of course reserve the right to correct course or call for a stop if needed

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#28 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:03 pm

I wish I could comment, but I've yet to look into this story that closely. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the two issues here are really 1) should talk of the film and the filmmaker's past (or alleged) wrongdoing be inseparable? and 2) is this man actually guilty of a crime he was not convicted for?

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Black Hat
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#29 Post by Black Hat » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:31 pm

Knives to be clear the least of the problems is him continuing to work with his friend post conviction. The biggest problem is what's in the courtroom transcripts.

DH not a veiled allusion at all as I certainly have shown over time I'm unafraid to voice an opinion. It was an impression based upon being around here as a lurker or active poster for years.

HTS - Yes and in my view on your second point, based on the available evidence, Parker was guilty.

To be clear on another point I'm not even sure what the proper course of action is with someone like Parker, Allen, Polanski or Cosby is? Where is that line? How do we as an audience place it?

I know for me, perhaps shamefully, my views on Polanski & Allen have not changed, but they certainly have with Cosby. I grew up with Cliff Huxtable and it's now next to impossible to watch that show.

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knives
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#30 Post by knives » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:34 pm

Black Hat wrote:Knives to be clear the least of the problems is him continuing to work with his friend post conviction. The biggest problem is what's in the courtroom transcripts.
Well, what is the problem and how is that illustrated by the transcripts.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#31 Post by matrixschmatrix » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:43 pm

So, the reason Parker was found not guilty was not that he did not admittedly have sex with an unconscious woman on the same night and under the same circumstances as Celestin, but because he and the woman had a prior sexual relationship. Please do not try to cast this as a witch hunt against him- he very clearly got off because of a terrible and fucked up idea of what does and does not comprise rape, not because there is any possibility he did not do it.

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swo17
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#32 Post by swo17 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:33 am

I can't envision any scenario in which this conversation ends constructively.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#33 Post by domino harvey » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:48 am

The main reason we don't talk about the Polanski or Allen charges is because everyone else on the Internet feels the need to chime in on every article, review, and post about them with easy jokes and moralistic chiding. We don't need that here. When you see a new post about an Allen film here, you shouldn't be dreading what easy joke someone's made about a personal life they've misheard or judged.

When I said people should be free to talk about the charges related to this film, I wasn't inviting a discussion of artistic license in the face of personal failings or audience opinions on these things. There is literally an entire internet out there that would love to hear your armchair legal take on this and other hot topics. It is unquestionably of note right now to follow how Fox Searchlight maneuvers this mine field and track their response and the responses of others. Like it or not, the director was found not guilty in a court of law. And like it or not, his fellow writer was found guilty. They may still have made a film of great power and artistry. They may have made a middling piece of awards bait. They may have made garbage. And maybe for you, it doesn't matter what they made, you're against it out of hand due to the past personal histories of the filmmaker or filmmakers. If that last one describes you, you shouldn't post in this thread, because you're not giving the film a fair shake-- and that's totally your right. But we don't need to hear it.

So, this thread is not for holding public trials-- again, it is not hard to find other places on the Internet for that-- for these filmmakers, or others.

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movielocke
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#34 Post by movielocke » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:27 am

Black Hat wrote:
movielocke wrote:im extremely liberal but I find this entire media narrative incredibly disturbing. being found not guilty of rape in a court of law proves guilt, apparently.
You're also smart enough to know sexual assault cases are the most difficult to prosecute. It's not the media 'convicting' him, have you read the court transcripts? The other man involved was convicted while he got off along with what happened to her, Parker continuing to work with him post conviction is what's disturbing. Parker's statement on the matter was terrible.

I can imagine the forum frowns on discussions of this ilk as if topics of morality, the moral responsibility of filmmakers, producers, performers etc, etc. somehow exists in a vacuum outside of the work. The problem with this view is society often times takes its social cues from art as well as the artists themselves. To pretend it doesn't is to me being actively complicit. Past that to intellectual wrestle with these issues is an important exercise. New York Magazine had a good discussion about Parker and his film.
thank you, I wasn't aware the transcripts are available, I read the Polanski transcripts and will read these as well.

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mfunk9786
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#35 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:39 pm

Hey, I think the Polanski and Allen situations should be fair game for discussion too, so I'm probably the wrong person to ask. It doesn't hurt anyone to have a reasonable, adult, even difficult discussion about something relevant to cinema here - and this thread certainly doesn't seem substantially headed in the wrong direction even considering established precedents.

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Black Hat
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#36 Post by Black Hat » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:36 pm

mfunk - Nice to see us in agreement here.

Knives - The transcripts are readily available for you to read (his phone tapped conversation with the victim is a good place to start). In this regard I'd agree with DH that this aspect of it doesn't have to be rehashed here.

DH - I understand where you're coming from and you're right when you say there's an entire internet to have these discussions. Personally however, I'm not an active member of any other forum and the reason I'm barely active here is because I find the level of discussion, insights offered by other posters to be of the highest standard. I don't come here so much to offer my own thoughts as much as I do to learn from everyone else - even posters I often find myself at loggerheads with. The topic of reconciling the art from the artist's personal flaws is a complicated one. An issue I'm sure members of this forum have valuable opinions on, thus to border this area off limits out of fear the conversation would devolve into 'easy jokes' and 'moralistic chiding' seems to not be giving this community the credit it deserves.

Luke - Stephen Fry made a very interesting documentary about wrestling between his Judaism and love of Wagner.

As for the latest on Parker his Tiff press conference has been cancelled. A few of his friends from Penn State (half of whom now work for him at his foundation) along with Al Sharpton have come out in support.

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TMDaines
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#37 Post by TMDaines » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:35 am

The primary review on IMDb:

Image

Does IMDb not censor for hate speech?

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Kirkinson
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#38 Post by Kirkinson » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:51 am

That's not even the worst one on there - that prize goes to the review titled, "More anti-white trash from the Jews," which I don't feel like quoting any more of. And it's not even from a troll account.

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Ribs
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#39 Post by Ribs » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:27 pm

Having just gotten back from seeing this with a 95% black audience, I feel very confident that this will probably make a TON of money, and that probably supersedes its Awards Season/#OscarsSoWhite/Nate Parker narratives. This very likely could be the movie that shows Hollywood definitively that they can greenlight serious prestige movies from relatively unknown POC directors and, if they really try, audiences will turn out for those too.

Or not, I guess. It's really not that great, but the crowd just adored it, and I can't imagine it doing poorly commercially with the buzz that's been brewing (in part BECAUSE of the Parker controversy).


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domino harvey
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#41 Post by domino harvey » Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:35 pm

When you see it, you will throw bricks at shills

Zot!
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#42 Post by Zot! » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:00 pm

The film or that tweet?

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Altair
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#43 Post by Altair » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:24 pm

I'm trying to work out if that's tasteless or clever.

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tenia
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#44 Post by tenia » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:23 am

Altair wrote:I'm trying to work out if that's tasteless or clever.
Both and none at the same time ? I think it's just totally out of the subject, but maybe US citizen will find the movie and the presidential campaign to have more things in common than I know of.

connor
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#45 Post by connor » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:32 pm

Curious to see this. But the stuff against the director is only gonna amp up. He apparently has, uh, curious (i.e. fucked up & homophobic) ideas about the need to preserve black masculinity against Teh Gaes in Hollywood or something.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#46 Post by domino harvey » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:59 pm

Image

Well now

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whaleallright
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#47 Post by whaleallright » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:48 am

you could skip this movie and listen to Sterling A. Brown read his beautiful, stirring, sad poem about history and memory, "Remembering Nat Turner":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-NGsLDrRTY" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#48 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:53 am

This is the frontrunner for the most disappointing film of the year for me, given the ecstatic Sundance response and the ripe potential of the Nat Turner story. Nate Parker's direction and script are wildly inconsistent: occasionally delivering a powerful image or compelling scene with grace or complexity, sometimes head-slappingly wrong-headed or tone deaf, but more often than not somewhere in the non-premium TV movie to direct-to-video range of mediocrity.

The score does the film no favors, swelling and straining in the most on-the-nose fashion to create rather than complement drama, rarely to the film's benefit and occasionally undercutting scenes that could have been more powerful without it. Much of the cinematography, especially in those moments that weren't conceived as "wow" visuals, is conventional and outright boringly staged, and those moments of visual flair (like the slow pull from a close-up of a butterfly to a wide shot of a group of hanged slaves, set to "Blood on the Leaves") often seem to have been pulled from another film.

The script is disappointingly cliched and unsubtle and the worst implications of the comparisons of this film to Braveheart are unfortunately on the mark; in particular, the imposition on the film of a conventionally evil and omnipresent villain - Jackie Earle Haley does everything but twirl a handlebar mustache while afflicting Turner at every stage of his life - is eye-rolling at every turn.

Perhaps the film's biggest failing is giving Parker's Turner little more than the most easy and conventional of motivations for his turn from a slave preacher who is more comfortable and complicit in the vile institution than most to a righteous avenger willing to risk his life, his familes' lives, and those of many other slaves to slaughter as many slaveowners as he is able. What could have been a compelling psychological arc is reduced to Turner being swayed by exposure to slaveowners more cruel than his own and the eventual victimization of himself and his family, the latter of which is irritating less because of its historical inaccuracy than because it at least partially makes Turner's rebellion one of personal revenge, rather than one of principle, divine inspiration, or anything more interesting than the cliche of avenging the violation of one's angelic wife. Hints of elements that could add shading and complexity to Turner's story are underdeveloped and underserved by Parker's script and performance, and most other characters and major events suffer a similar fate.

Ultimately, this is a deeply frustrating film that had a chance to tell an important story well and largely misses the mark. When it comes to films dealing with this subject matter, The Birth of a Nation doesn't come close to 12 Years a Slave, either as a film or as an examination of one of the most malignant evils in American history and the people caught up in it.

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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#49 Post by dda1996a » Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:54 am

I always doubted that this will be half as great as 12. I think this film getting an ovation at Sundance of all places before the film even played, and conaidering how close it was to last year's oscars and the whole Oscar so white debacle doesn't surprise me regarding the reception it got there. I haven't seen it but from what I read I think this got more positive (and then negative) reception because of everything surrounding the film, and not the film itself. i. e the name, recent oscars and general animosity towards the black population in the US (and police brutality) and then Parker's pasta no his recent behavior

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Re: The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)

#50 Post by djproject » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:01 am

From the looks of it, it appears to be 1) an effort to counteract one shallow depiction of history made more than a hundred years ago with another shallow depiction of history and 2) a reminder of what 12 Years a Slave did right. (I can share my thoughts about that one in the appropriate thread if so prompted and desired.)

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