|"Ray" - the story of the music and life of Ray Charles is another tour de
force in American Musicals. The girls are there and doing what musical girls do
. . . only they are singing and God, . . . do they sing.
When I left the theater I wanted to marry one of these mutherfuckers and pay
another twenty years of child support and do "quality time" visits.
Jamie Fox playing Ray Charles was genius.
I deeply enjoy movies that match my conception and feel for who I think, or
imagine myself to think, the African American people are/our and the nuances of
language and body language. This is so because this is who I happen to be,
but the movie moves on the basis of its own weight.
This a good movie.
This a hellva of a movie.
For reasons I cannot adequately explain, I have an aversion to cinema that
portrays my conception of me as a buffoon and fail to accurately portray who I
have always thought I was and the way I see my face. When you do not look
"right" to yourself, there is going to be social problems and everybody in "Ray"
looked real good.
The entire cast is unbelievable and the cast is worth taking note of. If I
say one name other than Jamie, then I have to say all of the names and the
credits are rather long . . . and the movie is long on good. Then that Jamie Fox,
did the fox trot and pulled far ahead of the crowd, without leaving the crowd.
Mr. Fox big heart is legendary in the "underground" and a generation of
musician's and artists have slowly but surely accepted his invitation to come to
his home and record their music for free. This is a guy whose career began as a
comedian - a funny man verbalizing our hopes and dreams and revealing the
inner soul of us we sometimes forget about and at other times refuse to look at.
If comedy is timing "Ray" is on time and Mr. Fox is on the dime.
Fox did everything but tap danced and I personally believe out of respect for
Gregory Hines he will leave that alone.
Fox portrayal of the blind Ray Charles leaves the real Ray Charles dignity
intact and reveals a vulnerability we all possess as the human stain, smeared on
the musical sheet of human history.
"Ray" was good because Ray Charles was good and we remember the man. Any
mutherfucker in American that did not mentally and emotionally die at birth can
remember something in their life - if they are over 50 years old, that has Ray
Charles singing in the back ground.
Ray Charles is bigger than what I can write about. I have never really liked
the song "Georgia on my Mind" because it makes it to difficult for me to live
everyday and deny the feeling. "Georgia on my Mind" weakens me in a way that I
am not comfortable with and makes me think about my grandfather's mother, who
was a strong women on a large plantation outside of Augusta Georgia.
"Georgia on my Mind" reduces me to tears and an emotional longing that is
insatiable. I cussed Fox . . . because man you did not have to reveal that. When
it hurts that bad . . . you do not even supposed to speak it and there it was.
Presented by a so called "funny man" and the joke is on all of us.
Damn this was a good movie.
I do remember some of the more memorial legal cases of the real Ray Charles.
Like the time when it is alleged he committed statutory rape - sex with a
minor, and he told the Judge, "She felt over the legal age to me, your honor -
Judge." Or the time when he was alleged to have cocaine and charged with cocaine
possession and told the Judge, "I have never seen any cocaine in my house."
You have to see this movie to feel what Ray saw.
Wait a minute . . .
You have to feel the movie to see what Ray felt and saw, but have to do this
as an individual that possess the eyes Ray lost and feel a moment that changed
Jamie Fox did his homework, which means conquering the form of cinematic
presentations and trying to match this with his individual conception of the
American peoples and his personal conception of all of the above.
This was not a science fiction movie when the mind can roam and invent forms
of life and logic.
It gets tricky.
The visual presentation of Ray's nightmare dreams that haunted him for a
lifetime, is interestingly devoid of what many would call the Jim Crow nightmare
of American society and what others - whose voice and vision is now being
heard, is called "mother's son."
You have to know something about Curtis Mayfield to know about this in music
and something about American history to know about "mother's son" and being
"sorry." Sorry is a material category and "cultural" description of a black male
that has been broken by his mother to conform to the standards of Jim Crow.
When you are "sorry" you have been bent and your personality shaped in a way
that you continue and serve the slave master and what he thinks and what you
think he thinks.
This is a movie with layers.
Ok . . . shooting these scenes and conceiving of how to convey the blind into
the visual and make you personally understand and experience it . . . is
another set of credits to all the people that made "Ray" possible.
I fucked around and cried over a couple of scenes and was glad the wife and I
did the first showing so that a mass audience would not perceive a weakening
in my communist, militant, revolutionary armor.
Ray is a bridge - THE bridge, that completes my personal history and carries
me into the Motown Sound and then "Rap" or rather the electronic form of rap.
OK . . . there are bridges and there are bridges. Some bridges small and
some are large. The way you see the bridge dependent on where you are going,
which automatically mean you come from somewhere and Ray saw going in a different
See . . . they banned Ray Charles for life in Georgia in around 1961 because
he refused to play for a segregated audience. Jim Crow and segregation did not
mean that blacks and whites could not listen to the same music under one
roof. It meant that once you were under the same roof . . . you could never get
the best seats in the house, had to be seated last and then ended up in the
cheap seats no matter what the largeness of your money.
Ray is two hours long and I would have looked at this movie for four hours if
they had an intermission and allowed one to use the bathroom.
My question to Jamie Fox is if he will underwrite a movie on Marvin . . .
Marvin Gaye, that combines the social in a way to create a mass conception of why
"What's Goring On" altered America? Then we have never paid our due respect
to Marvin's "I Want You" album.
"Ray" is way over the flat movies about American music.
"Ray" got soul and dimensions you will feel.