Month’s ago as we were selecting films for next week’s New Voices in Black Cinema Festival here in Brooklyn, we were deluged by a number of relationship films.
We ended up selected many, each with their own distinctive voice. Wilkie Cornelius Jr’s feature debut Single Hills, is more about having the love of your life and losing them because of a stark fear of commitment, whereas Julian Renner’s The Three Way is more about topsy-turvy love and how a lie can spiral out of control, showing love, and the lack of it is a very tricky thing. Let’s Stay Together, a whimsical work-in-progress by Joshua Bee Alafia, aims to discover how Black relationship love and the Black family can be further cemented by a new Al Green album while Dui Jarrod’s feature Lesson Before Love (above) follows a quartet of 20-something singles as each of them search for why true love has eluded them while trying to find their own true selves along the way. All of these and others of varied genres play at the New Voices in Black Cinema Festival from Feburary 17-20. Tix are available at bam.org/NewVoicesinBlackCinema .
As we also chose Theodore Witcher’s Love Jones for our ‘New Black Classic’ of previously undeclared timeless Black films (last year we chose Chameleon Street), and it now being so close to Valentine’s Day, it got me thinking: What’s the most romantic scene ever in a Black movie?
Now we’re talking most romantic, not the sexiest. Could it be the passion between Lady Day and Louis McKay in Lady Sings The Blues? Or is it Darius and Nina’s first date in Love Jones? Could Marcus and Angela falling asleep to Star Trek and waking up in each other’s arms in Boomerang be the most romantic or is it Jason Lyric’s boat ride date in Jason’s Lyric? Can Orfeo playing the guitar to a resting Eurydice in Black Orpheus be the winner, or could a non-Black film be the clincher, like Danny Glover and Alfre Woodard’s post-date car scene in Grand Canyon?
For me a cable movie actually takes it: Ellis (Andre Braugher) taking care of a beaten Jean (Lynn Whitfield), a woman who’s always been horrible to him, in the Charles Fuller written/Robert Townsend segment of Love Songs.
What do you think SA readers – What is the most romantic scene ever in Black cinema?