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About JamesHill

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  1. JamesHill

    Episode 78: BOYZ N THE HOOD

    As a 17-year old black boy, seeing Boyz N the Hood for the first time was a pretty big deal for me -- very impactful. But recent viewings have revealed it to be a preachy, melodrama with a few good performances (you're right Devin). However, what was missing from the podcast was the fact that black audiences in the mid-late 80s CRAVED this kind of one-to-one representational movie that clearly spoke the frustrations of the community (you're right Amy). Combined with the rise of hip-hop, we felt like we finally had the national bull horn we needed so that's why Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Boyz, etc. were less concerned with subtlety and more concerned with clearly enunciating the things we had all been talking about with each other for years. That said, I don't want to knock Boyz all the way down because some of the on-the-nose moments actually rang true. I can't tell you how many times I've heard speeches about what "we need to do in the black community" that Furious Styles was clearly an avatar for. Last thought, it just occurred to me that "Friday" is a better version of "Boyz N the Hood." It hits on the random nature of violence in South Central while creating compelling characters who are just living their lives (hilariously). Of course, there is the third act "guns make you a punk" complete with a "deep speech" but I think my theory holds true. Anyway, great show. If you are looking to do more black films, please do 'love jones' -- it was the odd, boho antidote to hood films that I think still holds up today.