Monday, January 09, 2006

Views on the Heat

After reading Framing Blackness i was really interested in how Sydney Poitier's character was portrayed. I found that I many of the things mentioned in the book were portrayed by Poitier's character. For example, i thought the film was showing that Poitier was weak in comparison to his cop companions. It starts off with him being silently led away without the quick revealing of him being a police officer (which is also a tool that Eddie Murphy used in Bev. Hills Cop), instead of being the confident officer, and even offers to pay for the phone call to his chief after the police's blunder had been discovered. Later Virgil tries to lighten the mood by laughing when the chief threatens to whip him, and trying to relate that to his father? I'm not so sure that african americans in that time would actually laugh at a comment like that and relate it to a family member. Instead i feel that they should be offended and perhaps relate it to the oppression that whites present. With the film opening with Ray Charles i thought that Virgil would be a little bit stronger. There was definitely no romantic interest for him as Framing Blackness also references, but i feel that would have been misplaced in this film, like the character didn't have time. Also, the way that Virgil just kept on wanting to help the white cops, even though they didn't want help and his life kept getting threatened.

On the other hand, in reference to when this film was produced, i thought it was very primitive and a good influencial film. It showed that there was a real problem with the white supremacy, and that this was recognized by white womanhood, when the new widow showed that there was a "problem" in that town. For the film to be a hit even when it showed a black man being smarter than a white man, and for the white cop to defend him, was a great depiction for african americans, giving him respect. He even makes more money than the white cop, and is determined an expert in contrast to a plain cop. However Heroes in Hard Times may determine that this proves the fear that white male cops think the minorities and others are going to take over and are putting them down. Many different things were expressed, but some should be saved in suspense for tomorrow.


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