Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Understanding "Love Jones"**



Last night a group of my friends, who were slightly older than I, began to talk about the movie "Love Jones" staring Nia Long and Larenz Tate. What struck me as interesting about the conversation was not their love for the movie, which I also love, but the ways in which it shaped their ideas about life when they first viewed it. It made me want to examine briefly in writing why, in their words as well as my own, it had the effect on them that it did.

I think large part of what made "Love Jones" so popular for that age group was that it not only portrayed a love story but that it portrayed a life style that hadn't been depicted in films prior to that time. It was a movie about two young "upwardly mobile" black folks, one a photographer the other a poet, who were part of a bohemian movement that included jazz, spoken word, art, and the renewal of wearing natural hair. One friend referred to as an artistic renaissance, which once he said it struck me as the perfect description of the young artistic movement taking place today. It affected them because it said "something else is possible" especially in their young age. They didn't have to be hard or straight out of Compton. They didn't have to be violent. They didn't have to be older to fall in love. They didn't have to be the clowns. It was also the reason that so many of the movies that followed were made including Soul Food, Brown Sugar, The Wood, Inkwell, Best Man and Love and Basketball.

Everyone I know, older than 27 and younger than 35 feels exactly the same way in regards to "Love Jones."

When I saw it finally, I was in college the black bohemian lifestyle that was popularized by the film was already a reality and not just as a small niche of culture. It affected me but not as something that gave me that same feeling of possibility but films influence over black cinema and popular culture at the time might have been responsible the culture that allowed me to experience art and entertainment the way I did and still continue to do. It was revolutionary for its time period.

So I'm excited for our Love Jones movie night, because I think that seeing it again from that perspective will be like seeing it anew.
**links and editing to follow

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3 Comments:

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Ajana said...

This blog brings tears to my eyes. It's everything I was thinking and feeling last night..yet so eloquently stated. Marcia you did an amazing job ! This is a great piece of work here.

Love Jones - my favorite movie of all time. It changed my life and gave me hope. All of those feelings just came rushing back to my heart. Oh teeny books how I love you!

 
At 3:46 PM, Anonymous PJ said...

I came upon this website during a search for the movie Love Jones. I have to admit that everything you said is a replica of my emotions about the film. It's nice to know that this film touched people in the same ways it touched me. Thank you for your comments about this movie. You are right on target.

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger mh said...

thank you pj!

 

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