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Black Is Beautiful But This Film Is Ugly,
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This review is from: Coonskin (DVD)
It's with little irony that "Song of the South" hasn't been available for public viewing in this country since 1986 yet this travesty is. Animator Ralph Bakshi cut his teeth with Paul Terry and Terrytoons but gained personal fame with commercial animated porn i.e. "Fritz the Cat". In a word this film is an abomination. It's a visual and aural assault to the senses. The images are ugly to the extreme and the narrative is incoherent. It purports to be a modern response to Joel Chandler Harris and Walt Disney but only reinforces what consummate artists those gentlemen were. The Seventies were a watershed time for African-Americans in cinema. This film makes a mockery of the positive inroads that Blacks made in the medium. There is a distinction between blaxploitation and exploitation and this garbage falls in the latter category.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 17, 2012 3:19:21 PM PDT
Go check your facts, partner. Fritz The Cat, might of had his name attached to it, but he didn't make that film. Bakshi was actually disgusted w/ how the film came out. I give this dvd 5 stars, on the fact that when this came out, nobody was pushin the envelope like R. Bakshi. The images are bright and beautiful, it's just a shame, your unable too see this for what it is, and thats a Movie. A cartoon movie at that. You have your opinion, and I have mine.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2012 8:08:45 AM PDT
Herman Perdue says:
Actually it was Robert Crumb who hated Fritz. Ralph thought it was fine.
Posted on Sep 11, 2012 12:58:13 PM PDT
Isaac Baranoff says:
FRITZ THE CAT IS NOT PORN! It's a comedy, and it's very tame in regard to sex. There's more offensive portrayals of sex in 'The Simpsons' and 'Harold and Kumar'.
Posted on Nov 17, 2012 11:12:12 PM PST
J. herrin says:
Arghh, where to start? First off, as others have mentioned, Fritz the Cat is FAR from porn. I'm guessing that you have either A) never seen Fritz The Cat, or B) never seen porn. Fritz received the X rating because it was a cartoon with drug humor & some sexually suggestive material. Even the so-called "orgy" scene in the bathtub is tame & was nothing more than a set-up for a punchline, as opposed to anything remotely graphic. Please also keep in mind that an X rating in the 1970s meant "no one under 16 years of age admitted", which means that the current NC-17 rating that some films receive is actually a stricter rating than X was. Second, movies like A Clockwork Orange & even Midnight Cowboy were X-rated in the 70s. Both of those have been re-rated. Fritz too has been dropped down to an R now, which is very far from being a porno last time I checked. I have literally seen racier PG-13 movies. If Fritz were released today, it may not even get an R.
As for Coonskin, I am sorry to hear that your perception of the film meant that the film was exploitative, especially considering how many people ended up standing behind the film when it was released, after the "controversial" opening that was protested by a handful of people who hadn't even seen the film. Even the NAACP, as well as many black stars of the time such as Richard Pryor, Barry White, Sidney Poirtier & others stood up for the film as being the opposite of the "exploitative garbage" that you claim it to be. There is a whole generation of actors & rappers who cite the film as one of the most important influences for their work today as well.
I see the film as an extension of the themes in Song Of The South, as did Bakshi. I have even spoken with him directly about what his intention was, & told him how I perceived the film, which jived 100% with what his vision was. Yes, the images are "ugly" as you pointed out, but so was the reality of the times it was made during. The film was meant to provoke; to make the viewer uncomfortable so they were forced to confront the images shown instead of just mindlessly passing time. Movies may be entertainment first to most people, but some times they have greater importance as well. As a child of the 70s, I saw the bubbling racial tension first-hand, & I personally believe that Coonskin was a positive step in making people confront their own inherent prejudices, breaking down walls, opening the dialogue up between people, & in the end making them see just how like each other we all are. Most people have the same general goals in life, want the same freedoms that everyone else is entitled to, & would like to be treated as equals. Coonskin empowered those who didn't have a voice or were oppressed, flipped the script, & made THEM the masters of their own destinies, despite what "society" said about them at the time. If Harris & Disney were gentlemen, then Bakshi was the foul mouthed heel that screamed his message from the top of the highest buildings, & I for one heard it loud & clear. My only hope is that you re-evaluate the movie & try to see it from a different perspective. To me it is just as important & relevant today as it was when it was released. The only "travesty" is that it has taken this long for the film to finally receive a proper release.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2013 10:29:53 PM PST
Seymour Gams says:
Umm Crumb didn't like the film... unless you are talking about Fritz the Cat 2 because Bakshi had nothing to do with that film.
Posted on Dec 11, 2013 8:55:38 AM PST
Hmmm... And here I thought BLAXploitation was the same as EXploitation... but with mostly black actors instead of white actors.
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