Rembert Browne from Grantland.com interviews Memphis’s own film maker and producer Craig Brewer. The interview covers why Brewer choses to live in Memphis, his role as a sort of “historian” of Memphis through his films, Memphis’s apprehension with winning, and how the Grizz seem to reflect the city’s image of grit and grind.
You mentioned the Grizzlies. The team seems to reflect the city you describe in an almost perfect way.
I still think, even though that team only got to a certain point, it’s the story of the year. But I can’t help it we’re from Memphis, so I see it that way. There’s always been this feeling in Memphis that we’re a little bit worried about what people think about us. And even when you kind of have an attitude like, “Man, I don’t care what people think about me,” you can just smell the bullshit. They really do. They worry. Hustle & Flow got caught up in that. “What are we saying about our city?” “What are we saying about the people?” Well, first of all I’m not saying everybody is like the people in this movie, and also, what’s wrong with the people in this movie? So there’s that thing. And so, when the Grizzles and the whole “Whoop That Trick” thing happened, I think there was an attitude shift where nobody wanted to apologize for being Memphis anymore. And instead of being like, “Well, if only we could take you to a Peabody brunch you would see that we’re not rude or caustic or animals, we’re civilized,” now it’s like, “Oh, you’re saying something bad about my city, well, f*** you.”