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Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Baby Is Black! (1961)






















Starring:
  • Gordon Heath
  • Fran├žoise Giret
  • Aram Stephan
IMDB.com
The idea of "My Baby Is Black!" is wonderful and I hate to see it considered as an 'exploitation film'--which it clearly is since it is being distributed by Something Weird Video--a company that ONLY releases exploitation movies. It's also a noble film in many ways--too bad the end result is pretty crappy at times!

The film begins with a white woman in the hospital. She's giving birth and the baby is black--and so begins this French film. Then, the movie goes back in time to when this woman met the black man who fathered the child. Considering how nice he is and gentle, it's easy to see why she'd fall for the guy. However, they both know that their relationship is an uphill battle--even in a more liberal-minded France.

The idea of this film is very nice and parts of it are very good. Unfortunately, there is also a lot to dislike--part of which is due to horrible dubbing and part of it is due to very, very poor production values. As far as the dubbing goes, the actors all have very American accents--which doesn't make a lot of sense for the black man, as he's supposed to be from some country in the tropics. Also, all sound effects are missing--resulting in a strangely quiet film other than their dialog and lots of music (some of which is just weird--such as the extensive use of the harpsichord in this modern tale). As far as the bad production values go, the film looks like it was made by someone who envisioned themselves as the next French New Wave director--with lots of supposedly artsy shots that just look dumb. For example, when the couple talk (which they do INCESSANTLY--INCESSANTLY I say!!!), you see lots of irrelevant scenes (such as shots of their feet or a clock) or shots that are heavy-handedly symbolic (such as the pigeons cooing). And, at other times, the characters do a lot of goofy bohemian things that seem out of place (such as the topless lady--which made no sense at all). And often, you see the characters doing nothing in particular at all but you hear them talking and musing again and again--like the characters from "Last Year at Marienbad". It's a shame, as even with a small budget it SHOULD have been a lot better. Heck, the basic story idea is very good.

Overall, I'd give this one a 3. It gets a 9 for the story idea and a 1/2 for its technical merits! Too bad, as it could have been groundbreaking and thought-provoking.

1 comments:

Robby Joe said...

That must be shocking for both people after giving birth,,,,and they can do nothing in it....

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