Sunday, November 21, 2010

Danzel Washington

I don’t remember the first Danzel Washington movie I have seen. Perhaps it was Crimson Tide. It was a big film in 1995. Before that I had read about him, regarding his work in Malcolm X. I fell in love with him in Philadelphia. He was so gorgeous, so smart, so sure of himself, and with such empathy. I found him to be the most handsome man I have ever seen. I still think he is one of the most handsome men I have ever seen.

In the recent years, there have been a lot of African American actors finding mainstream success, Will Smith, for example, or Jamie Foxx. But, I think, after Sidney Poitier, Danzel Washington is the only African-American actor who represents not only an individuality, but also a sense of community. He is the representative of his race. He is the proud flagbearer of his community.

If you look at this career, every role he plays has a purpose, and every role he plays lays bare the politics of race in America some way or other, overtly in films like Glory, Malcolm X, and covertly in, well almost all his picture. Some of his movies may not be up to the mark, like Déjà Vu, but not a single picture he stars in is flippant. He has always stared in films which are either thrillers or biopics. If you consider this, almost half of his films are biopics, or films inspired by real events. Even his directorial ventures, Antowne Fisher and The Great Debeters, are inspired by real event.

This speaks volumes about the integrity of the man.

Danzel Washington Filmography:

1981 Carbon Copy
1984 Soldier's Story, A
1987 Cry Freedom
1989 Mighty Quinn
1989 For Queen and Country
1989 Glory
1990 Heart Condition
1990 Mo' Better Blues
1991 Ricochet
1992 Mississippi Masala
1992 Malcolm X
1993 Much Ado About Nothing
1993 Pelican Brief
1993 Philadelphia
1995 Crimson Tide
1995 Virtuosity
1995 Devil in a Blue Dress
1996 Courage Under Fire
1996 Preacher's Wife
1998 Fallen
1998 He Got Game
1998 Siege
1999 Bone Collector, The
1999 Hurricane
2000 Remember the Titans
2000 Loretta Claiborne Story
2001 Training Day
2002 John Q
2002 Antwone Fisher
2003 Out of Time
2004 Man on Fire
2004 Manchurian Candidate
2006 Inside Man
2006 Déjà Vu
2007 American Gangster
2007 Great Debaters, The
2009 Taking of Pelham 123, The
2010 Book of Eli, The
2010 Unstoppable
2012 The Matarese Circle

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