Speaking of Universality – “PUSH”

If you want to know why the universality expecation is so troubling, check out this out. Lionsgate is the movie company charged with the “challenge” of marketing the Sundance Award-Winning film “PUSH”. Based on the novel by Sapphire,  it “centers on an illiterate and obese African-American teenager in 1980s Harlem who is pregnant with her father’s child — for the second time — and is also abused by her mother.”

And here are some choice quotes from the NYTimes about the challenge this subject matter poses:

As films like “The Great Debaters” and “Miracle at St. Anna” have shown, a release labeled a black film by the marketplace — and “Push” already has been — can be an incredibly tough sell to mainstream white audiences.

“Having Oprah and Tyler Perry out there pushing for this movie is a very big deal,” said Geoffrey Ammer, a theatrical marketing consultant who has worked at Sony Pictures, Walt Disney and Marvel. “The question becomes is there enough entertainment there to hook a broad audience,” he added. “Does it pull your heartstrings? Does it make you cry? Does it make you laugh? Their campaign will need to address that immediately.”


5 responses to “Speaking of Universality – “PUSH”

  1. Having read this book when it was first published and having had students perform it as prose interpretation and dramatic interpretation, I can assure anyone who can recognize pathos (like, I mean, you know, uh) from the few words of summary and introduction, the “campaign” to hook a “mainstream white audience” will like, I mean, golly gee, you know, uh be sufficient.
    What???????????? I never knew a “mainstream white audience” dictated which movie the movie-going audiences will “get” to see, but like, I mean, golly gee, you know, uh I am white, so I guess I need to let others start doing my thinking for me. STFU

  2. Not related directly to your post, but you would love Jericho Brown. I got to meet him and read his book (great!) AND he is hugely sweet.
    And, I finally added you to my blogroll – sorry it took so long! I am wishing you success in all things, so keep me updated with your news on jobs, publications, etc!

  3. I’m a big fan of Jericho Brown’s book Please. In fact, I mentioned him in the previous post.

    It’s good to hear from you, Jeannine. I’m sorry you won’t be in Chicago.

  4. Hey Saeed!

    I enjoyed reading your poems. Good job! Hope to cross paths in person, soon!


  5. Thanks DeLana. Let me know when the book comes out. You know, I’m going to give you a shout out.

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