TODAY

Wednesday, September 3

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


A/C
« The Lover Serves Up Timeless Conundrums at A Red Orchid Theatre These (Art) Moments »

Film Thu Jul 12 2012

Charles S. Dutton & The Obama Effect

DUTTON1.jpg

In 2008, the fervor surrounding then-Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign reached epic levels; from grassroots stumping to "A-list" celebrity fundraisers, many people dove in, headfirst, some might argue, to be part of history in the making. With the 2012 election season upon us, for some, the fiery passion has seemingly waned, leaving many to wonder if the flames can be re-ignited this time out.

The Obama Effect, a feature film opening in theaters tomorrow, highlights the energy many felt during the 2008 election, including one man's obsessive journey with helping to get Obama elected. The film stars veteran stage and screen actor Charles S. Dutton, who was in Chicago yesterday to discuss the film.

Dutton, known for his work in Aliens 3, Secret Window and the critically-acclaimed television show, "Roc," and who also wrote and directed The Obama Effect, greeted excited fans at the Hyde Park Hair Salon, aka "The Official Barbershop of President Barack Obama," 5234 S. Blackstone, to talk about the making of the film and its relevance to the upcoming election. "The film is about not Obama, per se; it's really about a man who becomes so absolutely obsessed with getting Obama elected," said Dutton. "I classify the film as a satirical look at the 2008 election with all the polarization at the time, but with the euphoria, passion, and emotion of that moment."

For Dutton, the film's subject matter was especially important and it had to be done his way. "I could've pitched the idea to a studio and got it made but we decided not to do that because I didn't want a studio executive dictating to me what kind of film I could or couldn't do on the first black president," he said. "At the same token, we never reached out to the Obama campaign or the Obama cabinet because I didn't want to be dictated to on that side of the fence, either." As for any concerns at the White House about the film's portrayal of the president, Dutton guarantees a positive reflection. "They can rest assured that this film is not offensive to the president, it's not offensive to the office of the presidency and it's not offensive to America."

The Obama Effect also boasts a cast of veteran actors including Vanessa Bell Calloway and Glynn Turman, boxing great Zab Judah, who makes his acting debut (Floyd Mayweather was contacted but never returned Dutton's calls) and funnyman Katt Williams, who was brought in later to soften the film's tone. "At one point in 2009, we took a look at the first cut and I didn't like the movie," said Dutton. "I liked it, but the last third of it somehow turned into King Lear." On the decision to cast a comedic actor, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock were originally considered; however, he thought it would be an "audacious move" to hire Williams, instead. "He's brilliant in the film; he plays a staunch, black Republican and even that in itself is funny." As for the president himself, who only appears as an "alter ego in the main character's head," Obama impersonator and Chicago native Reginald Brown was cast. "I never wanted the audience to think it was really Obama. I never shot him frontal--always to the side--but he can mimic Obama's voice pretty good."

DUTTON3.jpg

The "barbershop talk" atmosphere was perfect for Dutton's laid back, yet serious demeanor, and his civic-mindedness was evident as he stopped mid-lecture to greet and sign autographs for kids from the Chicago Youth Leadership Academy, a Chicago Police Department-based mentoring program for local teens.

As for The Obama Effect, Dutton recognizes the lackluster energy this time around; however, he is hopeful the film will help bring some of it back. "It's hard to re-do that kind of passion," he acknowledges, "because that comes around every other generation." And through the satire and other fun moments the film delivers, Dutton reminds Obama supporters about the road ahead. "It's a fun film, but it's a film that lets you know in the end, the rumble ain't over--this election is actually more important than 2008--2008 was history--this one is survival."

Charles S. Dutton photo courtesy of Charles Jackson.

 

Duane / July 12, 2012 6:12 PM

Great article! I really wish I was in Chicago to see thhis. You make me want to buy a ticket, today!

Jamie D. Henry / July 15, 2012 12:35 AM

Can't wait to aee this movie, I know Roc is coming with some critical thinking,,,In my book I called it or titled the ch. "The Obama Factor", the individual effects in the workplaces out of spite,,,

Sonja Cassandra Perdue / July 15, 2012 1:03 PM

Attended the Community Conversation at the Salon, Wednesday afternoon and went to see the movie Wednesday night. Great conversation and great movie. When you don't want the movie to end, you know it's good.

Dee / September 15, 2012 4:43 PM

I made the attempt to view the movie, however living in Indiana, a red state the movie was not here. Instead I accidently view Obama's America 2016. OMG! That should have been considered treason for the way in which he was being portrayed. I did however learn something (although I was the only black in the theater) I learned what it means to support family regardless what society may say. So for that movie it just reminds me that when you expect someone to publicly ridicule a family member, it back fires in their face. Thank you President Barack Obama's half brother for your comments. In the way in which he responded to a question regarding a quote"Art thou thy brother's keeper". Since I did not see the movie in Indiana, Is it going to be shown on DVD soon? I hope so. I would love to share it with family and friends and discuss some important concerns and issues.

Obama Effect / October 11, 2012 12:59 PM

“The Obama Effect” is available on Video on Demand now. You can watch it on demand or you can pre-order it on DVD! It will be released on DVD on election day!

Add a Comment




Please enter the letter p in the field below:



Live Comment Preview


Notes & Tags

Items marked with a * are required fields. Please respect each other. We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery.

Permitted tags and how to use them:

To link: <a href="http://blahblahblah.com">Link text</a>
To italicize: <em>Your text</em>
To bold: <strong>Your text</strong>

Theater Wed Aug 13 2014

An Epic, Tragic Win: All Our Tragic

By Benjamin Cannon & Mike Ewing

What then is to be made of the Hypocrites' new stage production, All Our Tragic? This massive opus, comprising all 32 surviving Greek tragedy plays re-written and directed by Sean Graney, lasts a staggering 12 hours, including intermissions and meal breaks. Ben and Mike go the distance.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Aug 29 2014

The November Man, Frank, As Above/So Below, Love Is Strange, Life of Crime, Bound By Flesh, To Be Takei & Me and You

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

Blogroll

ACRE
An Angry White Guy
Antena
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Collaboraction
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Defibrillator
Devening Projects
Digressions
DIY Film
ebersmoore
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
HollywoodChicago
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
InCUBATE
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
J-Pointe
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Marquee
Mess Hall
N'DIGO
Neoteric Art
NewcityArt
NewcityFilm
NewcityStage
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Onstage
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
Performink
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
SAIC Blog
The Seen
Sharkforum
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Steppenwolf.blog
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
threewalls
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Vocalo
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

 

Events

Mon Sep 1 2014
Impress These Apes @ ComedySportz

Mon Sep 1 2014
The Unauthorized "Saved by the Bell" Story @ East Room

Mon Sep 1 2014
Noir City Film Festival @ Music Box

Mon Sep 1 2014
Chicago Fringe Festival

Tue Sep 2 2014
Noir City Film Festival @ Music Box

Wed Sep 3 2014
Noir City Film Festival @ Music Box

Thu Sep 4 2014
Chicago Fringe Festival

Thu Sep 4 2014
Strictly Ballroom @ Millennium Park

Thu Sep 4 2014
Noir City Film Festival @ Music Box

Fri Sep 5 2014
Chicago Fringe Festival

Fri Sep 5 2014
Life Itself @ Film Center

Fri Sep 5 2014
The Hideout Block Party & Onion AV Fest

Fri Sep 5 2014
Luiz Gonzάlez Palma Reception & Exhibit @ Schneider Gallery

Fri Sep 5 2014
Zoovie: Best in Show @ Lincoln Park Zoo

Fri Sep 5 2014
First Friday @ Flat Iron Building

Sat Sep 6 2014
Eugene Sun Park's Film Self Deportation @ Chicago Filmmakers

Sat Sep 6 2014
Filipino Cinema series @ Film Center

Sat Sep 6 2014
Chicago Fringe Festival

Sat Sep 6 2014
Internet Cat Video Festival @ Metro

Sun Sep 7 2014
Chicago Fringe Festival


A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.



About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: LaShawn Williams, ldw@gapersblock.com
A/C staff inbox: ac@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15

Newsletter

Sign up for our free email newsletter I Star Chi and get a weekly round-up of the best of Gapers Block, plus our picks for must-do events each weekend!

istarchi

Preferred format    Preferred format