6 Of The Best Black Directors Working Today
Black directors are sometimes in a difficult situation because they're not just expected to make great films, but they're also sometimes looked at as spokespersons for their race. If they make movies that cast blacks in a bad light, they're criticized as letting down their race. Sometimes, however, all they want to do is make good movies. Hopefully, we'll reach a point where we judge these black films by the content of their characters, and not by the director's skin color.
Lee Daniels is most famous for directing the film "Precious," which was nominated for six Academy Awards. One of these nominations was for Best Director. He's also directed "Shadowboxer" and "The Paperboy." Additionally, he has produced such films as "Monster's Ball," "The Woodsman," and "Tennessee." To call him a good director is to undermine how influential he has been in Hollywood over the last ten years.
A funny thing happened to Antoine Fuqua on his way to mastering electrical engineering, en route to learning to fly jets in the military. He started to direct music videos for such high profile artists as Prince and Toni Braxton. He is most famous for his work on the acclaimed film "Training Day." His editing style as a director is what has helped set him apart from other people in the field.
The Hughes Brothers
Brothers Albert and Allen Hughes are unstoppable directors, producers and screen writers. They're best known for many times violent films, such as "Menace II Society," "The Book of Eli," and "From Hell." They also got some of their first breaks directing music videos for artists like Tupac Shakur and Tone Loc. They were only twenty years old when they made "Menace II Society" for just $3.5 million, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
John Singleton has begun to transition beyond just black-centric films. He directed the Oscar-nominated and hard-hitting "Boys n the Hood" in 1991, but he also directed "2 Fast 2 Furious" in 2003. And yes, Singleton has also directed music videos. It was he who directed Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time" video.
Tyler Perry made Madea famous. He's turned her into a franchise. While he's made his money with some pretty lowbrow movies, he was also a producer on "Precious." And did you know he once acted in "Star Trek?" He's a bit of a lightening rod in the African American community, where he's been criticized by Spike Lee, yet defended by Oprah Winfrey.
Spike Lee is the cream of the crop when it comes to black directors. If he isn't sitting court side at beloved Knicks basketball games, he's making "Do The Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever," as well as other great films that challenge his audience. He's not afraid to take on the tough topics. He's one that notices the elephant in the room, and then rides that huge beast all around the room.