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Posts Tagged ‘Sydney Poitier’

In 2005, with America on the throes of being engulfed in its own xenophobia, something remarkable happened. Director Paul Haggis witnessed an act of racism at a local pub that would change the landscape of blaxpoitation films forever. A Chinese kid was caught jabbing his arm and asked politely to leave the premises. Despite his protests that “the heroin was (r) leal mellow”, the bartender, a white man, insisted that he should leave without a fuss.

Haggis, unwillingly to let such blatant racial discrimination slide, smashed a beer bottle over the bartender’s head and ran out to the streets, covering his face with his palms and sobbing. “Why, God, Why,” by-standers heard him scream. “It’s been over two decades since Beastie Boys released their seminal Licensed to Ill album…an album, which I thought cross-pollinated hip hop and punk rock in an effort to bring races together….Oh God, Why!!” he mumbled on, apparently. After wiping the snot off his face, it struck him like something lighting quick. He realized how he felt when confronted by acts of discrimination. Paul Haggis wanted to smash racist fucks.

smashSet in fictional suburbia, Smash follows the lives of random people who randomly have inane encounters with each other and randomly share random facts about how NOT random life actually is. Starring Denzel Washington as black dude #1, Morgan Freeman as older black dude #2 and John Woo, making his on-screen debut, as irrelevant Chinese dude # 11, the film broke racial barriers as much as it did box office collections. In fact, it even broke Bruce Willis’ face for no apparent reason. The film, however, was not without controversy as many questioned the rationale behind casting a cardboard cutout of Sydney Poitier as older black dude #1…considering that Mr Poitier was still alive. But with the complete support of Hollywood and NCAAP, Smash was released promptly and within three months, became one of the year’s biggest grossers and its director Paul Haggis was no longer referred to as that Canadian-American moron who co-created Walker, Texas Ranger (which he did, by the way).

bhaskar-awards1The Bhaskar Awards proudly features the critically acclaimed Smash for smashing misconceptions about how tear-eyed, melodramatic, redundant and sentimental bullshit will no longer be tolerated by the masses.

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