I was on my favorite bus from New York to Boston..the LimoLiner. It's a pleasant way to take the bus and for comfort I would say better than Amtrack (definitely better food) but I digress... on my way back home they screened M.A.SH. My first thought was, there is a remake of M.A.S.H. I wasn't aware of? It turn out no, it was the original movie.
Then I was like, they are showing a movie made in the 60's??? Like..., why? Well, that question was never answered but screened the movie, they did.
In between the writing, travel plans and facebook , I viewed the movie mostly in silence. What I was struck by was just the absolute lack of color in that FILM! There was an Asian man who had an under 5 role, some women who I assumed were supposed to be Korean were workers in a brothel as part of prank with no lines, a pretty black woman an officer with maybe 5min of screen time , a random black man who had the most lines as he was a singing most of them and Fred Williamson lookin like a model speaking for less than 7min.
The movie was filled with the "irreverant white dudes" who bucked the system, outwitted authority with their sincere arrogance. There was alot of "tongue in cheek" humour where women served no other purpose but to be hysterical, supportive and sexual partners . It's a film that reflected the changing times but white heterosexual men were still the captain of the ship.
It was a wonderful reminder how things have definitely changed. That film represented a period of time when our prescence didnt matter at all, it was clearest example of demeaning tokenism.
Now with films like Moonlight, Birth of a Nation, and tv shows like Insecure and Being Mary Jane we are on the screen AND we are occupying the screen.
My appreciation and heart goes out to all those who had to wait around for 5 hours just to say lend their "otherness" to a scene, or have your body used as an symbol of illicit behavior.
M.A.S.H. is considered one of the masterpieces of modern film and will always be a part of the canon of cinematic history. It should also be seen as a marker of how far we have come from just being the melodic voice for the benefit of others.
An Actor/Director sharing her thoughts on creativity in this crazy metropolis, New Yawk Citay.