Spread the love

Forrest, J. Andrew World, Conan Neutron, and Kristina Oakes talk to Zach B. Marsh about Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction.

Rounding out February, Cord Jefferson, like Celine Song of #pastlives, is a first time writer-director which seems to be a big thing this year.. although.. unlike Celine Song whose movie is semi-autobiographical #americanfiction is based on the book #erasure! They are both up for Best Picture #oscars #oscars2024 #jeffreywright #sterlingkbrown #academyawards

Sharp, witty, wry, insightful and deeply hilarious. Jeffrey Wright, who has been a very capable “that guy” supporting actor, has the sardonic role of a lifetime here. Magnetic, yet flawed, cynical but talented aspiring curmudgeon author. Trying to write great works ™, while the world is trying to celebrate the stupid. 

Jeffrey Wright is the perfect person to have starred in this 

The look of absolute disgust he gives Isa Rae’s Sintara Golden when she starts reading from “We’s Lives in Da Ghetto” and the look of “this is what hell is like” when the (mostly white) audience starts clapping is fucking incredible. 

Hilarious movie, which I think can be summed up in the line “I mean, my life is a disaster.. but not in the way you’d think reading this shit”

Jeffery Wright plays “Monk” a Black Author and College Professor who just wants to write these literary works about mythology that are boring and nobody wants to buy… they want that BLACK shit. 

Monk insists he “doesn’t believe in race” and he comes from a whole family of doctors, in fact he’s the one non-medical doctor, Monk’s Family is fucked up.. but not for racialized reasons. For classic Upper Middle Class Reasons.

Monk’s brother and sister, played by Sterling K. Brown and Tracee Ellis Ross, are both going through expensive ass divorces.. and Cliff’s divorce happened after he was caught having an affair with another man.

On top of that, Monk’s mother is beginning to show signs of Alzheimers and his Father, who committed suicide before this, is not around to care for her. 

Monk’s career has stalled out, nobody wants to publish his books, while authors writing shit like “We’s Lives in Da Ghetto” are getting attention, praise, and critical acclaim. This disgusts our friend Monk to his very core.

You know where this is going right??? Long-term care for an Alzheimers Parent is expensive… only Black Books are selling… 

What does Monk do? He writes some lowest common denominator stuff as an object lesson and low grade dickery and it hits! Big!
that goes wrong writes ‘My Pafology’ which he later just calls “Fuck” as a Black Novel under the name Stagg R Leigh.. who he pretends is a wanted fugitive

It is, of course, a Best Seller… as American Culture is stupid.

The novel American Fiction is based on, Erasure, was published in 2001 and was a send-up of 1990s Black Literature including Push.. the novel that spurred Precious, a YIKES movie. 

In 2024, (I guess here 2023,) it’s more of the focus on Police Brutality.. as a disproportionate fixation.. and our idea of Black Identity as being intrinsically linked to Criminality and the need to rid ourselves of the burden of historical injustice.. White Guilt.. that is ripe for satirizing.

American Fiction is Cord Jefferson’s first screenplay and directorial debut.

The satire here is deep and multilayered, targeting the publishing industry (but entertainment as a whole really), and how white liberals engage with “black stories”, but it is also VERY. FUNNY. And the idea of genius and nuance having to be sublimated for the desires of the masses will always be appealing to us.

Some of the satire, is of course, a bit heavy-handed.. but largely I think it’s great.

This is one part family drama and one part social critique.And stronger movie because it is doing both of those things and they balance. When it bites, it bites deep… and when it is sweet it isn’t treacle. 
The fact that this is a directorial debut is a mindblower, so self assured and worthwhile. I hope it doesn’t get lost in a very busy and worthwhile year. 

Over the next month and a half, we are going to be covering the #oscars movies leading up to our Oscar Night Livestream!! #academyawards #oscars2024 We now have a discord: https://discord.gg/S8f8Vd3ZYh

Conan Neutron has music available from Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends and could use music sales now more than ever.. https://neutronfriends.bandcamp.com OR if you want to become a Protonic Reversal patron: patreon.com/protonicreversal

We are also now going to be sponsored by Yebiga, a Traditional Balkan Rakija, Serbian Plum Brandy. Go to Yebiga.com to see where it’s available near you. #americanfiction #cordjefferson #jeffreywright #sterlingkbrown #oscars2024