Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) - News Poster

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Black dynamite: the best Blaxploitation soundtracks

As Melvin Van Peebles’ seminal score to Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is re-released we look at the most important soundtracks from the Blaxploitation era

Blaxploitation films of the 70s and early 80s entertained and empowered their audiences by depicting brown heroes combating racism and greed through outlandish violence. One such film, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, exemplified this and set the framework for cult films thereafter – Shaft and Super Fly among them. Equally striking and ahead of its time was the film’s soundtrack, composed by Melvin Van Peebles, who was also the film’s writer and director. The songs were performed by a young, and then largely unknown, Earth, Wind & Fire.

From the campy action and social awareness of these films emerged profound soundtracks that more often than not overshadowed the films themselves. The music itself was a character device, driving the narrative in fitting and at times explosive ways.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Giveaway – Win Willie Dynamite on Dual Format

To celebrate the release of Willie Dynamite – out Dual Format 6th Feb. 2017 – we are giving away a copy courtesy of Arrow Video!

He’S Tight, Together, And Mean.

“The hands-down winner of the all-out best blaxploitation movie of the seventies,” declares author and artist Darius James in That’s Blaxploitation! Willie Dynamite may not be as well-known as John Shaft, Sweet Sweetback or Super Fly’s Youngblood Priest, but he certainly deserves to be.

Who is Willie Dynamite? He’s the flashiest pimp in New York – he drives a personalised purple-and-gold Cadillac and wears some of the most eye-catching outfits ever seen on a cinema screen. He wants to be number one, but with the police, the D.A., fellow pimps and a tough-talking social worker on his tail, can a man as arrogant and amoral as Willie D avoid a downfall?

Willie Dynamite competes with the best of blaxploitation on all levels.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Competition: Win ‘Willie Dynamite’ from Arrow Video

To celebrate the release of Willie Dynamite – out Dual Format 6th Feb. 2017 – we are giving away a copy courtesy of Arrow Video!

He’S Tight, Together, And Mean. “The hands-down winner of the all-out best blaxploitation movie of the seventies,” declares author and artist Darius James in That’s Blaxploitation! Willie Dynamite may not be as well-known as John Shaft, Sweet Sweetback or Super Fly’s Youngblood Priest, but he certainly deserves to be.

Who is Willie Dynamite? He’s the flashiest pimp in New York – he drives a personalised purple-and-gold Cadillac and wears some of the most eye-catching outfits ever seen on a cinema screen. He wants to be number one, but with the police, the D.A., fellow pimps and a tough-talking social worker on his tail, can a man as arrogant and amoral as Willie D avoid a downfall?

Willie Dynamite competes with the best of blaxploitation on all levels.
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

‘USS Indianapolis’ Exclusive Clip: Nicolas Cage Commands A Ship Under Attack In True Life WWII Disaster Film

  • Indiewire
‘USS Indianapolis’ Exclusive Clip: Nicolas Cage Commands A Ship Under Attack In True Life WWII Disaster Film
Nicolas Cage’s prolific year began with his performance in the action thriller “The Trust,” continued with a role in Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” and starring roles in Paul Schrader’s “Dog Eat Dog” and Larry Charles’ “Army of One.” Now, he returns with yet another film this year, “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage,” about the Portland-class cruiser that delivered parts of the atomic bomb used to end WWII. Cage stars Captain Charles McVay as the ship is torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine and now must survive in shark-infested waters with hundreds of other crewmen. The film co-stars Tom Sizemore (“Saving Private Ryan”), Thomas Jane (“Hung”), Matt Lanter (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) and James Remar (“Sex and the City”). Watch an exclusive clip from the film below.

Read More: ‘USS Indianapolis’ Trailer: Nicolas Cage Helms a Heroic Ship in WWII Disaster Movie

The film is directed by Mario Van Peebles,
See full article at Indiewire »

The Magnificent Seven – Review

There’s the saying that they don’t make them like they used to. Often this is referred to classic styles of storytelling. The western is one of the oldest film genres, practically synonymous with names like John Ford, John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood. Over the past decade there have been filmmakers that have saddled the genre and kicked a modern twist into it. Films like Slow West, The The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, and Meek’S Cutoff have reflected more of the struggles – both internal and external – of life on the American frontier.

However, The Magnificent Seven (2016) falls more in line with traditional westerns than the modern; it harkens back to the “us vs. them” dynamic. There’s a classic approach to this remake of the 1960 film that shows Antoine Fuqua understands that sometimes you don’t need to mess around too much with a good thing.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Blu-ray Review: The Wild World of Dolemite!

Classic Blaxploitation romp Dolemite comes to Blu-ray. Though there are a few pre-cursors (including two parts of the ‘Tibbs trilogy,’ as well as Ossie Davis’ fantastic Cotten Comes to Harlem), Blaxploitation was largely launched by the release of two iconic films in 1971, Sweet Sweetback’S Baadasssss Song and Shaft. The release and popularity of these…

The post Blu-ray Review: The Wild World of Dolemite! appeared first on Shock Till You Drop.
See full article at shocktillyoudrop »

The Hateful Eight

Did Quentin Tarantino stumble this time out? His tale of western killers sharing a snowbound cabin builds almost zero suspense, and the verbal excess and violent grossness lack Tarantino's usual clever, wickedly funny edge. And 70mm cooped up in a dim interior? It's A Long Day's Journey into Lincoln Logs. Totally dig Jennifer Jason Leigh and Ennio Morricone, though. The Hateful Eight Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Anchor Bay / Weinstein 2015 / Color / 2.76 widescreen (Ultra Panavision 70) / 187 min. / Street Date March 29, 2016 / 39.99 Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Michael Madsen, James Parks, Dana Gourrier, Zoë Bell, Lee Horsley, Gene Jones, Channing Tatum. Cinematography Robert Richardson Film Editor Fred Raskin Original Music Ennio Morricone Production Design Yohei Taneda Produced by Richard N. Gladstein, Shannon McIntosh, Stacey Sher Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Quentin Tarantino's opening title sequence card announces
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

DVD Re-Release of Melvin Van Pebbles Documentary 'How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It)' in Feb

Melvin Van Peebles will always be known as the man who not only changed the face of black cinema, but independent cinema forever, when he made his groundbreaking (and taboo breaking) film "Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song." But's he's always been a lot more than that, as a playwright, actor, author, stage performer, musician and who knows what else he's done in his 80 years. And he's likely not through yet. But how did a guy who grew up on the hard streets of the South side of Chicago go from there to becoming a filmmaker, a Tony-nominated playwright, an Air Force navigator, a novelist in two languages, a pioneer of the rap genre, and a floor trader at the American Stock Exchange...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

New on Video: Pam Grier in ‘Coffy,’ ‘Foxy Brown’ and ‘Friday Foster’

Coffy/Foxy Brown/Friday Foster

Coffy and Foxy Brown written and directed by Jack Hill

Friday Foster written by Orville H. Hampton, directed by Arthur Marks

USA, 1973/1974/1975

Olive Films recently released several Blaxploitation titles on Blu-ray for the first time, all on the same day. This included the Fred Williamson-starring Hammer, from 1972, as well as three Pam Grier films: Coffy (1973), Foxy Brown (1974), and Friday Foster (1975). Hammer isn’t a particular favorite, but these latter three were most welcome, especially Coffy, which is quite possibly the greatest of all Blaxploitation features, even better than the more popular Shaft (1971) and Super Fly (1972). As much as anything, these three releases are notable for showcasing Grier at her finest during a period of immensely enjoyable work and exceptional productivity—15 films from her minor debut in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970) to Friday Foster. Around these films, she also starred in several other
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Watch 45-Minute A-to-z Sam Greenlee Interview on 'The Spook Who Sat By the Door'

The late Sam Greenlee (author of "The Spook Who Sat By The Door"), who died last May, was never one to mince words, especially when it came to dishing on the state of what we call "black cinema," and the film industry overall. The author and activist, who died in his home in Chicago in May 2014, was a fearless political firebrand, and elder statesman at 83 years old, at the time of his death. And his words still resonate. I'd say Melvin Van Peebles' "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song" is often the cinematic reference point for radical, subversive black cinema during one of the more contentious periods in American history. But I...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Melvin Van Peebles’ First Feature Film, 'Story of a Three Day Pass,’ Coming to Blu-Ray

In my piece about the upcoming Blu-ray DVD release later this year of Melvin Van Peebles’ “Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song,” as a joint venture between the specialty DVD labels Xenon Pictures and Vinegar Syndrome (Here), I reported that "Sweet Sweetback" was the first of several important independent black films from the 60’s and 70’s that the labels would be jointly putting out together later this year and next year. And another of those releases will be Van Pebbles’ first feature film “The Story of a Three Day Pass”. Made in 1967 in France where Van Peebles was living at the time, the film was based on his novel “La Permission,” and deals with a conflicted U.S. ...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Melvin Van Peebles’ Groundbreaking 'Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song' Coming to (Finally) Blu-Ray This Year

There are important movies, but there are only a few that one can say actually changed the game. One of those few films is Melvin Van Peebles’ 1971 underground indie classic “Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song”. Not only did the film change independent black cinema forever, but independent cinema and even Hollywood as well. The film was a box office monster hit with filmgoers lined up down the block and around the corner, eager to see it, at every theater it played. It was a film of its time, for its time, and it captured the black revolutionary fervor of the period like no other film had ever had (or “The good old days” as I like to them). Made totally underground for a...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

The Scream Cast – Episode 47: Blaxploitation, Part 1

Welcome to the latest episode of The ScreamCast!

In honor of Black History Month, hosts Sean Duregger and Brad Henderson begin a month long look into the Blaxploitation phenomenon of the 1970s. This week they lay the groundwork by discussing the explosion of Blaxploitation Cinema once Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song was unleashed by legend Melvin Van Peebles. Other films discussed are Cotton Comes To Harlem, Superfly and Shaft.

Don’t forget to check out TheScreamCast.com for the show notes and for more news and reviews of Scream Factory releases and make sure to follow them on Twitter too!

Podcast: Play in new window | Download
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

‘Blacula: The Complete Collection’ Blu-ray Review

Urban action and fatal attraction give rise to a groove from beyond the grave in this funkadelic, fangadelic blaxploitation double-bill from Eureka Entertainment, which sees the eternally cool William Marshall put a fresh spin on the age-old legend of the vampire, condemned to wander the earth with an insatiable lust for blood as Blacula.

Produced at the height of the blaxploitation era, the Blacula movies are the perfect blend of genre and social film making, the types of which hadn’t been seen before… or since!

Blacula (1972)

Stars: William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Thalmus Rasulala, Gordon Pinsent, Charles Macaulay, Emily Yancy, Ted Harris, Rick Metzler | Written by Joan Torres, Raymond Koenig | Directed by William Crain

In 1780, African Prince Mamuwalde (Marshall) pays a visit to Count Dracula in Transylvania, seeking his support in ending the slave trade. Instead, the evil count curses his noble guest and transforms him into a vampire!
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Will Steve McQueen become the first black film-maker to win an Oscar for best director?

Gong for 12 Years a Slave nominee would follow year of real progress, but history shows such breakthroughs are illusive

Steve McQueen may not be the favourite to win the Oscar for best director when the statuettes are handed out on 2 March, but if he does it will represent a historic breakthrough for black film-makers: none has ever been honoured in this category and only two others have even been nominated – John Singleton in 1992 for Boyz n the Hood and Lee Daniels in 2009 for Precious.

The claims of Alfonso Cuarón, director of space-walk thriller notwithstanding, we may witness a moment equal to that of Kathryn Bigelow's, when in 2009 she became the first woman to win the best director Oscar for The Hurt Locker (defeating Daniels as she did so).

McQueen's prominence arrives on the back of a year that saw real progress for black film-makers, particularly in the Us.

Fruitvale Station,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Film Feature: The 10 Worst Films of 2013

Chicago – Why are those three Oscar winners – Susan Sarandon, Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton – laughing on that fourth poster below? Because they managed to cash a paycheck on the way to participating in one of the Worst Films of 2013.

As studios pump out more and more product, more cinematic sewage clogs up the system. What do you need to avoid at Hell’s Video Store? Read on.

There are no rankings, because they are all rank. The ten are listed in descending levels of dread, caught up momentarily by the one-two punch (“Grudge Match!”) of Robert I-need-to-pay-off-my-vacation-homes De Niro. Each entry has a “Redeeming Factor,” because without it, HollywoodChicago.com film critic Patrick McDonald would probably rip out his eyeballs and have them blessed by Ultima (see below). And 10 of the worst films of 2013 are…

“We’re the Millers”

We’re the Millers

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

What is
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

'Psych': Dule Hill sings for our Pop Culture Personality Test -- Video

'Psych': Dule Hill sings for our Pop Culture Personality Test -- Video
Fans of USA’s Psych have been waiting for the two-hour musical episode, and finally, it’s here (premiering Sunday night at 9 p.m. Et, followed by an instant replay). Dulé Hill, who’s currently on Broadway in the musical revue After Midnight, does get to tap a bit and sing a reggae song — the latter a request he sent to the show’s creator, Steve Franks, who came back with the ditty “Jamaican Inspector Man.” “I love how he did it too,” Hill says, “because he made it a run throughout the musical, so it doesn’t just come out of nowhere.
See full article at EW.com - PopWatch »

Tonight: Post-Screening Q&A w/ Melvin Van Peebles At Black Panther Film Fest 'Sweetback' Event

The 5th annual Black Panther Party Film Festival, produced by the Black Panther Commemoration Committee, in conjunction with Maysles Cinema here in NYC, opens its doors this evening, running in 2 sections - first from September 27th-28th, and then from October 3rd-5th. Included in the festival's lineup this year is a special (and very fitting) screening of Melvin Van Peebles'Sweet Sweetback's Baasasssss Song, Tonight at 7pm, which will be followed by a Q&A with Mr Van Peebles himself, who'll be present, live. I'm only just finding out about this (the email announcement was buried in my spam folder), so sorry for the short notice! If you're in NYC, and...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Thn Friday Face Off: John On Unsimulated Sex

This is the third debate of our monthly feature, entitled ‘Thn Friday Face Off’. One Friday every month will see two Thn titans of film knowledge duke it out over a pressing issue relating to our most beloved art form. Each film fanatic will argue from a different viewpoint on a particular subject, in a bid to persuade our exceptionally attractive readers, as well as his or her colleague, they should be deemed the winner.

Of course, there are no definitive right or wrong answers. However, we would love for you to get involved by sharing your opinion, and voting for whoever you think has argued their case in a more effective way. You can do this by commenting below, tweeting us via @thncom, or commenting on our Facebook page. Before doing so, we ask that you read the opposition’s stance on the matter here.

This month we ask
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Thn Friday Face Off: Luke On Unsimulated Sex

This is the third debate of our monthly feature, entitled ‘Thn Friday Face Off’. One Friday every month will see two Thn titans of film knowledge duke it out over a pressing issue relating to our most beloved art form. Each film fanatic will argue from a different viewpoint on a particular subject, in a bid to persuade our exceptionally attractive readers, as well as his or her colleague, they should be deemed the winner.

Of course, there are no definitive right or wrong answers. However, we would love for you to get involved by sharing your opinion, and voting for whoever you think has argued their case in a more effective way. You can do this by commenting below, tweeting us via @thncom, or commenting on our Facebook page. Before doing so, we ask that you read the opposition’s stance on the matter here.

This month we ask
See full article at The Hollywood News »
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