Fantastic Mr. Brooklyn
Good article, Eric [Kohn] (“The Films That Ate Brooklyn,” Dec. 9-15). I need to read it again, but I don’t think it mentioned Quiet City. I think most of that movie takes place in Brooklyn (maybe the original version of this article did and maybe it got edited out). Also next year, look out for Brooklyn Fantastic, a comedy that I partially shot in Spring ’09 (rest of it to be filmed in Spring ’10). Pretty much, [it’s] a straightforward celebration of Brooklyn and making art/movies here and living here. Also, the new wave of “creative immigrants” (artists who move to Brooklyn) who are paying their own way are ending up in Bed-Stuy or, like myself, in Sunset Park (very nice neighborhood, still cheap, great park nearby).
Now that The Princess and the Frog has been released in more theaters, we’ve received more informed comments regarding Armond White’s review of the Disney film (“Bait and Switch,” Nov. 27-Dec. 1), such as this one: “As a proud black woman with three kids, I denounce this review. My kids and I adored this movie. “Sadly, it’s people like Mr.White that do nothing but whine and pretend that their opinions speak for the rest of the African- American community. I assure all who read this that his opinion does not reflect those of the community. In fact, it is of my opinion that people like Mr. White do more harm than they could ever possibly imagine. I simply wish he would just go away. And thank you Disney for a wonderful film that I was so proud to view with my beautiful children.”
Hush Yo’ Mouth
Another anonymous responder added this to the black princess debate: “Now, I write this comment as a black woman who grew up in the South, who knows New Orleans like the back of my hand, who married and honeymooned with my untanned husband there: This review is bull. This is a cartoon for children, not Disney’s manifesto about racial relations. I can tell that this review knows nothing about the history of New Orleans and wants to paint the history of the entire U.S. onto it. First of all, there were free people of color in N.O. since before the War of 1812, there was no ‘fantasy’ to the portrayal of Lotte and Tiana’s friendship.
“My best friend was the hard-working white girl, while I was the pampered princess, whose Daddy cajoled me and also taught me to work harder with my head and to listen to my heart. I identified with this movie because I thought that it managed to show that sometimes you get the story wrong. I know that liberals want to bemoan the plight of the black people in this country.That’s crap… My father, who grew up in Jim Crow Mississippi, was a man who told me that the only person who could hold me back was me, and that is what this movie shows children of all races… And might I add a question? What is authentically black? All black people aren’t alike, just like all white, Asian, Native- American, Indian people aren’t just alike. Your review is both racist [and] ignorant.You don’t know anything about the culture of New Orleans, and you certainly don’t know anything about being a woman of color, so how about you just ‘Hush UP!’”
Green With Envy
“Is Armond White going through menopause, or something?” writes another concerned reader. “He’s very moody: First he hates black people, and now he’s trying to defend them. There is NOTHING racially insensitive about this harmless kids’ movie! Disney’s never had a black princess before, and I say it’s about damn time that they do! I’m really looking foward to this movie, especially now that Armond’s given it a bad (and very unprofessional) ‘review.’ Just like in his Pixar reviews, Armond fails to see the beauty in Disney’s (and Pixar’s) animated films; I have no respect for this man.”
Envy is a Sin
Our envy is so transparent that one reader let us know: “I was looking for the next Joel Osteen event in New York and came across this outdated article (“A Night of Hope With a Crackerjack Jesus,” May 20-26, 2009). Please don’t be jealous of someone else’s blessings. I saw nothing in your writing that rings true. Please do not be quick to stereotype all Christians: some dress differently; some like rock; some like the fire-andbrimstone-style of preaching. Can you get my drift? Your article is full of hate and envy. You went to the event to mock, but I bet you now have conflicting views about the purpose of your life. Before you judge, at least get your facts straight. I would rather spend my money on a Joel Osteen event than throw my money away on expensive season tickets to see a bunch of overpaid athletes— or drown my sorrows in a pint of beer! I bet you cry like a baby when your team loses.”
Shut It Down
“I read the article [about Suze Orman] at least a week after it was published in the NYPress (“What the Hay?” Dec. 2-8). I just wish to state to the editors that it was on target.You ought to have more articles that are as intelligently written as this one.”