Film version of Melvin Van Peebles' Broadway musical. A pair of devil-bats take human form and crash a Harlem house party in an attempt to break it up. But somehow, their attempts to ruin the party fail.
A closed-minded conservative couple masquerade as liberal do-gooders in late 60's France. With orders piling up at their bistro, The Full Belly, Loretta and Henri, self-described "pillars ... See full summary »
Melvin Van Peebles
Meiji U Tum'si
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A tale of innocence abroad, with racial overtones. Turner is a Black American, stationed at an air base in France. His captain thinks Turner's a good Negro, obedient, cheerful, and frightened, so he gives him a promotion and a three-day pass. On the first night, at a club, he meets Miriam, a White Parisian shop clerk. They dance, talk, and fantasize about each other. He's amazed when she agrees to spend the weekend with him at a Normandy beach hotel; in fact, he guesses she's a prostitute. She's not, they go; it's off season, they have their pick of rooms, and romance ensues. Then, racial misunderstanding and real prejudice complicate the weekend and its aftermath. Written by
"The Story of a Three Day Pass"(1968) was made by Melvin Van Peebles, who's generally considered to be the father of the "blaxploitation" film owing to his 1971 film "Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asss Song". I had heard about "Three Day Pass" from a friend, otherwise I never would have seen it. That would have been a shame. This movie tells the tale of a black soldier named Turner, in France, recently promoted by his white commander for being "trustworthy", and given three days leave to enjoy himself. He heads to Paris. He's seen at times wandering around the city in a slow, almost anticipatory way, and we the audience get the feeling that something is going to happen. In the streets he sees a performer who's bound in chains as the bound man's partner exclaims "for centuries man has been chained...today see how a man can free himself". Soon Turner takes up with a white French girl for a three day "taboo" romance. It's a liberating experience for Turner, and also for the girl. In a fantasy scene, Turner imagines himself on a rooftop with the girl, while racists go on a rant in the street below.In many ways this is a simple movie, almost like a college film. The director uses still photos, newsreel type scenes of carnage and violence are cut in at various times,and Turner talks to his own reflection in the mirror. But this is a very satisfying a "human" movie. There's a scene early on where Turner is trying to get a girl in a beatnik looking club to dance with him. He's wearing his shades and looking cool, but she turns him down. When his sunglasses are accidentally knocked off, the girl sees the uncertainty in his eyes, sees the person, and she accepts his invitation. There's more than one time in the movie that it would appear that the three day leave may end early, on a sour note, but every time the director raises Turner back up and the good time is back on. This movie really is a lot of fun to watch. The couple laughs and plays like kids at times, there are a lot of cool 60's images, a catchy soundtrack (apparently original), and it makes the appropriate fun of Turner's overbearing commander. What more could you ask? This doesn't seem to be a very well known movie, so keep an eye out for it. "Plus fort, man, plus fort"!
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