Denzel Walking

Not long ago I noticed a poster for the dvd release of Out of Time. At first sight though I thought it was for Man on Fire for which I had seen the video a couple of days before. I was stunned for a second, thinking the new Denzel video was straight to video but then realised the poster was just similar and I had mixed up the two. As I kept walking I remembered that the one for Training Day was also in the same “vein”. Here they are, am I crazy?


Mathieu January 12, 2004

Des fois je me demande si Mr. Denzel va un jours fair un film ou il n’y à pas un seul coup de fusil de tiré!

C’est ça l’appotéose de la virilité… toujours être capable de trouver un excuse héorique de tirer! C’est pas un mauvais acteur, mais je trouve qu’il ne choisi pas des rôles très différents les un des autres.

On pourrais appeller ça comment… un acteur monogamme? monorole? monographique?

Patrick January 12, 2004

Je pense que le terme que tu recherche c’est unidimentionnel. À première vue je serais daccord avec toi mais…

1. Fait le tour des acteurs et trouve moi-en 3-4 qui ne font pas toujours le même rôle? Et/ou des rôles différents mais qu’ils jouent de la même façon. Ex: Al Pacino pourtant reconnu comme un très bon acteur, toujours la même affaire.

2. Même si c’est vrai pour tous les acteurs qu’ils peuvent être “typecast” j’ai l’impression que c’est encore pire pour les acteurs et actrices noir(e)s. Y’en a de très bon et pourtant ils font toujours les mêmes rôles ou leur carrière finie en queue de poisson. Denzel pourrait faire tous les rôles de Mel Gibson (sauf Braveheart et Patriot mettons) ou Russel Crowe (sauf Beautiful Mind) et pourtant je suis certain qu’ils ne se font pas offrir les même rôles.

TheDon January 13, 2004

It’s sometimes in an actor’s contract to be photographed a certain way or that they have some control over what images get used on a poster, which may explain the similarities.

On the topic of Denzel’s choice of films and characters, it might be worth considering (as Patrick mentioned) the challenges of being a black actor in Hollywood. It certainly does have an effect on the kinds of roles you get offered. But I’m just guessing. There was The Pelican Brief with Julia Roberts and I don’t believe he fired a gun or had a weapon. Then he was a lawyer in Philadelphia co-starring Antonio Banderas and Tom Hanks and he wasn’t violent or “squeezing a trigger” in that either. Prior to that he was on a soap opera, I think as a doctor, though I could only speculate whether he was violent or not.

I’m still floored that the only way Hollywood was ready to re-address feudal Japan and Samurais was to place a white actor (Tom Cruise) and give him the lead in the Last Samurai. Would it have been so hard to film from a script *about* Japanese people?! How about Cold Mountain? Here’s a film set during the Civil War of America, in the South and all the characters are white. In a few very brief moments the plight of black slaves was touched on, but they end up being shot as they step out of the camera’s range. It’s ridiculous to think that a film whose concept is about characters on the pro-slavery side of the civil war and their love is deemed a worthy story to tell.

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