Try as I might, I cannot seem to post. It makes it worse when I see my ideas and concepts that I've had for years taken (some may say stolen) and watered down by other Black film blogs. It really irritates me, in fact, and I need to direct that focus elsewhere.
So instead of holding this energy of guilt over this blog, in addition to being highly annoyed by certain other ones, I will be concentrating my energies on my other projects. I've been quoted from this blog, nominated for awards, and linked to major media outlets, so I feel like I've definitely accomplished something here, but onward.....
I have a Blog Talk Radio Show called "Cinema In Noir", and it's on every Sunday at 6pm EST, (3pm PST), and we have fun. I do it with three other female Black Cinema bloggers, Kimberly Renee, Rebecca, and Candice, who all sincerely love film just as much as I do. We decided to have a show all about Black film from a Black female perspective, but male listeners love it too...and trust, we are definitely not spending our time commiserating about Tyler Perry, lol.
You can listen to our podcast here; my name is Rocky (now you know) so you'll know when it's me:
I will be writing a weekly column for the fabulous "Black Box Office" blog:
I really do talk about film almost all day, every day, just not here, haha. Please join me to talk about it with me and my comrades over on Twitter. You can find me here:
Finally, and very lovingly, I've been curating Black film screenings in the San Francisco Bay Area under the moniker "Black Cinema At Large". This is my passion and my love, and my ultimate mission since I first started this blog in 2007. I will eventually put up a link to which screenings are when and where, sort of a calender of events.
I am very stoked to be a California affiliate of AFFRM, which is as 100% dedicated to spreading the beauty of Black film as I am. It is a collective network of Black Film Festivals and Curators bringing QUALITY Black film to your neighborhood, which ordinarily would not be seen through the "conventional" studio system.
You can read about AFFRM and it's mission here:
Like the old show Siskel & Ebert used to say before signing off; "See you at the movies".
3/14/11: Ms. Invisibelle finally joined 2008 by starting up her Facebook for real, haha. You can find me here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Cinema-At-Large/152521598124915
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Try as I might, I cannot seem to post. It makes it worse when I see my ideas and concepts that I've had for years taken (some may say stolen) and watered down by other Black film blogs. It really irritates me, in fact, and I need to direct that focus elsewhere.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Ok, here I is, lol. For those of you who like my blog, I am much, much, more active on Twitter (sadly) and my username is @BlkCinemaAtLarg. I guess I should put that on here, but I'm waiting for my new site design.
Anyhoo, while on the great twitterville I came across Entertainment Tonight's "10 Historically Significant African-American Films". And let me tell you, it was the best list I've seen so far from a mainstream outlet, which was surprising, cause I find ET about as deep and relevant to Blacks as Ryan Seacrest.
Here is the list:
What's Love Got To Do With It
A Soldier's Story
Do The Right Thing
Boyz N The Hood
A Raisin In The Sun
The Color Purple
This is a great list, admittedly. There are a couple on there though, that while I do think are significant, are not necessarily historical. In the Black community, maybe, but not universally, which I believe was ET's intended stance.
So I wanna talk about two a day, to kick off my theme weeks. I think I'll start with A Soldier's Story and Cooley High, since those two are grabbing me today.
A Soldier's Story
I agree with ET's assessment on this one. As a child who went to the movies with a father who was just as a voracious movie-lover as Ms. Invisibelle, I remember that this was the first post-70's drama that was well directed, well written, well photographed, and well acted. This was an excellent story that had elements of suspense, mystery, and drama. It addressed an array of factors; racism in the military, the pressure of even being in the military, and wearing masks to hide our true selves from others.
I was very young, but I was completely captivated by the story in front of me. It is also the first time I remember having on screen crushes; despite his personal life (that I found out about afterward), Howard Rollins was a very powerful and amazing presence, and for some reason I was drawn to a very nerdy-looking and bespectacled Denzel Washington way before he was really known for anything...I guess he was born with it.
This film opened up a door that relayed Black drama was just as compelling, intense, and brilliant as anything else that was out there in the 80's or any other decade. I think it's a shame that there are certain entities (that will remain unnamed) that will play "Soul Plane" ad nauseum as opposed to playing this even once.
What can I say about this film? For some reason I love everything about it, so I'm in agreement with ET. It is the only film that I have seen more than repeatedly next to "Friday", and I never get tired of seeing it. What Cooley High has is:
*A sense of nostalgia, even if you weren't alive or remember the time period
*Characters that made you care
*Comedy and drama well-balanced--one was just as interesting and watchable as the other
*A very brief glimpse that, for at least one month, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs was fine as hell
*A very brief glimpse that, for at least one month, Glynn Turman was not weird and creepy as hell
*Arresting wardrobe and on-point set design
*The breeding ground of the classic song by Boyz To Men "It's So Hard To Say Good-Bye To Yesterday"
*A coming-of-age story that was realistic and relatable
This film was testament that a very fine, touching, and universally Black story could be made on a relatively small budget. This film speaks to generations, and everyone from your grandparents to your grandchildren love it, and I really can't think of another Black film like that.
Tomorrow two more.
Friday, February 11, 2011
While probably sighing the deepest sigh anyone ever sighed after the watching the "Madea's Happy Family" trailer (at least I think that was the name of it), I decided to clear my mind with fellow film blogger Issa Rae's new webseries "The Misadventures Of An Awkward Black Girl". It's getting a big buzz (cause it's hilarious) and will definitely mean we'll never pick up "Soul Sis-Star Reviews" ever again; I see a deal in her future... *another sigh*
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Black Cinema At Large will be having a couple of screenings this month; both at the Eastside Cultural Center and Arts Alliance on International Boulevard in Oakland.
For Valentine's Day on Sunday February 13th at 7pm we are showing one of Ms. Invisibelle's faves; "A Good Day To Be Black And Sexy". Bring your valentine, or just your sexy self.
On Friday, February 18th at 7pm, we will be screening "Night Catches Us", moderated by the Co-Founder of the Black Panthers, Bobby Seale.
Come out and how some support for Black film, as well as one of the only venues in the Bay Area whose 100% mission is to support diversity in art and politics. (And meet me, lol) For more info, click HERE.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
I know I haven't posted much in the past year (and I have been chastised repeatedly for it), and though I keep promising to come back for real, I really haven't.
I always think of things I want to post, almost daily, but I just haven't seemed to be able to do it. I finally realized that I just can't keep up with the Jones'. Which is to say, I don't really have the time, or any real incentive, to keep on all the film sites and alerts to post Black Cinema news every single, solitary day. But there are some very fine sites out there that can, and do.
As for me, I will be trying out something....weekly themes of sorts. I will be inspired to write about things that are in the news and at the theater, of course.....I have to. But I think if I stick to a theme a week, it'll make me post more, and then I won't get close to cursed out anymore, lol. I will also have a revamping of this blog design coming soon....it's past time.
Thanks guys, for sticking with me, even when you've seen the same crusty post day after day for weeks at a time. I'm on a mission to do better. In the meantime, you can peruse my other just as sometimey blog: Mantan In The City.
ps: the picture of melvin van peebles above has nothing to do with anything, but for some reason it came up when i googled "black cinema love" pics
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
OK, after months of speculation, the Oscar nominees have arrived. How many of you were satisfied with the lists?
I, for one, have stopped taking the Oscars seriously years ago; it is such an elitist and "inside" group, and we all should know by now that the politics involved have people winning awards that really have no business doing so. They throw out a bone every few years to someone that is Black, and it is always hailed and regaled as a "victory" to open doors, but afterward we are once again subjected to a few more years of complete and total white-washing. But it has gone beyond that...where are the accolades for Latinos? For Asians? For Eastern Indians?
Hollywood never, ever, EVER seems to understand that diversity makes life (and their lame awards show) interesting. Everyone remembers Monique winning last year, but can you name three others (be honest)?
There is an old saying that I have always remembered, taken from an ancient Chinese philosophy book, and it applies to the Academy in volumes:
"Diversity is actually an important and necessary ingredient, which adds creative spice to a group."
Film is universal! The stories told in ANY film are relevant to a good portion of the population, regardless of race. Until Hollywood and the Academy can get this through their heads, I am down with the mission of AFFRM. If you don't know what AFFRM is, please click here and support! And oh yeah, I will NOT be watching the show this year...cheers!
UPDATE: Please check out CNN's article on this issue...the comments over there are sincerely pathetic and sad, and will boggle the mind. I am convinced, more than ever before, that we are completely unsupported in Hollywood, and must step away from the studios and an intolerant audience in order to have a system that allows us to create and be heard. Racism in conventional Hollywood is apparently NOT disappearing anytime soon, and has zero interest in doing so: http://www.cnn.com/2011/SHOWBIZ/Movies/01/26/diversity.academy.awards/index.html
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Even though this film is not accessible in a lot of cities, I wanted to write about it as I am deeply disappointing in the numbers it's received. We all cry and complain about the dreck (well, most of us) that is the Ice Cube and Tyler Perry empire, begging for something more and something different, and when it's right in front of us, what happens? It is virtually ignored.
I am speaking of the film "Night Catches Us", starring Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington.
Since I've moved back to Oakland, I've had the very fine privilege of being around some original Black Panthers; the ones that were front and center when everything went down, both here and in Los Angeles. The vast majority of them epitomize the old saying "Still waters run deep". Silent, powerful, exuding the energy of all of the hurt, lessons, wisdom and knowledge that make up their being; and careful about the company they keep.
I would say this film is very much an allegory of that type of Black Panther personality, and it is fitting as it centers around two people that are former Black Panthers, struggling to get past their life-changing and disturbing experiences while in the party (Mackie and Washington).
That is basically all that the film is about. It is not an epic-type film (though they show original footage of the Panthers), but a slice of the very large pie that was/is The Panthers. And sometimes a slice is all we need to gather focus on a film's characters, and the beauty of the life it represents.
Kerry plays a civil rights attorney, seemingly having her old cohorts and her brother as her main clients. Her husband was tragically shot to death years before in a Panther strong-arm effort gone wrong. She has a daughter she's raising, and lives with a man who is apparently successful on a few levels. She has chosen to stay in the neighborhood where she's lived all of her life, because in some way, she still believes "the cause" will pick up where it left off.
Mackie is a former Panther that has been deeply branded a "snitch", and may have been the cause of Kerry's husband's failed attempt and ultimate death. He has left town years ago, immediately after the incident, and returns to tie up loose ends in the wake of his father's passing.
Without telling the whole film (which on the outside doesn't seem like a lot), the wonderful chemistry of Kerry and Mackie draws you in, and sneaks up on you, just like a panther. They have learned a lot of lessons over the years, and when they come together, even though the core of what they were is still the same, the changes they've been through have changed them as well. They represent in each other the idealism they once had, but slowly and carefully come together to overcome what their current differences are to get to something that is true and organic--something that has been missing from both of their lives: love.
Intermixed in this relationship is the background of Mackie still having to deal with his accusers (including Jamie Hector from "The Wire"), who haven't forgotten a thing, Kerry's brother's breakdown stemming from his deep disappointment in the revolution that never really seemed to happen, the easy comings of Black men in Black women's lives in the 70's and the decades beforehand (a likely offset of the way slavery set up the familial unit), and the very sweet burgeoning relationship between Kerry's young daughter and Mackie.
To me, this film is compelling, engaging, and involving. It makes you think, and definitely has very real-life parallels of love, friendship, and family, both the loving and contentious aspects of them. Some may feel a slow moving film that takes it's time to establish it's characters and get to the center of it's point may be boring. But guess what? This movie, just like a living former Black Panther, is selective about the company it keeps.
Black Cinema At Large Rating: B++. Ms. Invisibelle says check it out.
oh, and ps: the soundtrack by the roots is fantastic...this film is on cable on demand in many cities
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Is this why they picked Terrence Howard to play Nelson Mandela in "Winnie"? I do see a resemblance, and for the life of me I see absolutely no other reason why they did.
Pretty flimsy excuse for casting someone to play such a monumental man...I don't believe he's up to the task. Exhibit A:
ps: why does he still have that quivering, crybaby voice thing going even in his atrocious south african accent? and why does jennifer hudson sound like count chocula?
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I don't even know where to start. "N-Secure" is so awful that you find yourself getting angry with everybody and everything that had anything to do with this "hot, period-panty mess" (c. nOvaslim). Have you ever felt yourself getting pissed off that the film you're watching was ever made in the first place? I know I haven't before this; the closest I've gotten was all of those Roc/Damon Dash movies starring Beanie Sigel and Memphis Bleek that I can't even remember the names of now. N-Secure makes those films look like Steven Soderbergh flicks, straight up.
I can't even give this "movie" a review, cause there is no real plot or point. I implore you never to come near this one...kinda look upon it like venturing near Dracula's coffin at sunset. But if you don't heed my very sage advice, know that I am about to give away some "spoilers" (though I really don't think it will make a bit of difference in your experience watching it). Here is my impression of the "movie" in bullet-points, cause this sh*t left me too spent to write full-on thoughtful paragraphs:
* First of all, how do you cast someone in the lead that looks exactly like Professor Oglevee from "The Parkers"? He even had his same...ummm...."zest" ifyaknowwhatimean. That distracted me for most of the "movie". Why not get the real thing? I'm sure he would have worked for the same salary as dude whose name I do not know and have no desire to look up.
* This "movie" is about a man who is so obsessed in his love relationships that he will practically beat down a woman if she is 4 minutes late (yes, literally), uses a CSI type blacklight to check for any stains on the sheets, put a GPS tracking system on his girl's car, goes ballistic over a curling iron burn cause he thinks it's a hickey, and makes his woman sign a contract that she will not have any girlfriends and return his calls within 1 minute. Yet no woman wants to leave him because of his high life in material things. WTF is this "movie" trying to say?
* I don't really know anything about "Nephew Tommy", but I do know he's in the running to be this century's Mantan Moreland. Can we have one more cue for bugged-out eye reaction, pretty please?
* Can somebody please explain to me why Thelma from "Good Times" has a three minute throwaway cameo in this "movie"? Is she related to one of the volunteer P.A.'s or something?
* Imma need Essence Atkins to show us that she has more range beyond what she has shown us on "Half And Half". I love her, but dang!
* I believe that this is the first time since "The Cosby Show" that I've seen Tempestt Bledsoe's hair looking decent, though 90% isn't really hers ifyaknaowwhatimean. Sadly, her acting hasn't improved even a microdot.
* Ditto for Elise Neal.
* Where the heck did they get the music from in this "movie"? It makes a Lifetime movie soundtrack sound like high-concept art. I mean strictly "As The World Turns" circa 1968.
* Why is Lamann Rucker (the only male eye-candy) given top billing, only to be bumped off in the first 15 minutes?
To sum up everything, this "movie" is about an unreasonable man who goes through extraordinary and quite unrealistic lengths to keep a leash on his woman. That's it. No reason is ever given for this, except that he had a controlling father...I would like to think it takes a little more than that to turn someone into a psychopath, but who am I to know? Obviously the writers of this "movie" know more than we do. A lot more, apparently, as nothing in this script or anything else makes any sense...including why this "movie" was made in the first place and why anybody even bothered to show the f*ck up.
Invisible Cinema rating: Z-
Monday, November 8, 2010
OK. So saw Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls" over the week-end. I purposely didn't read any reviews before seeing it (though I really wanted to) as I wanted to view it from my own perspective. I thought about writing this review the same day as seeing it, but I was unsure how I felt about it.
The fact is, I'm still pretty unsure. I know for a fact that it is the only Tyler Perry movie that I have ever even remotely liked, but I'm not sure how much. I saw the play when I was a little girl with my parents. It was long ago, but I do remember certain things about it. I remember thinking while watching the film "I don't remember any men being in that play". Sure there was talk about them, but I didn't remember seeing any.
The other thing, which I think may be my biggest problem with the film (besides the bad wigs and make-up) was that I didn't remember it being such a joyless experience to watch. At the play I remember feeling uplifted, with a great deal of admiration for the women involved. I remember that being colored and a girl seemed like a very great thing to be.
It is obvious Perry did try very hard to rise above his limitations, but we eventually get back to the branded theme of "bad Black men are the root of all Black women's ills." I'm ready to admit that bad relationships are afflicting our community in a huge and negative way, but that, monolithically, is certainly not the root of a great many of our problems. I would place racism high amongst that list (which I don't remember being talked about on any level in the film), as well as poverty, fifth rate education in public schools, lack of concern for nutrition, no genuine leadership in the community, and a host of other reasons as things we are to examine to make ourselves whole in the world.
Another limitation that has kept me from really getting into Perry's films is a complete lack of subtlety. I remember that the play was beautiful, and though not all beautiful things are subtle (certainly not), that was the beauty of this particular play. It made you think, to solve the riddles of Ntozake Shange's verse and prose. In the film, the transitions from regular speaking to the lines in the play were jarring, and mostly clumsily handled. A couple of times I found myself thinking "what the f*ck is she talking about?" only to realize a few moments later that a character was speaking lines from the play.
I did not think it lessened the experiences that were to be learned by adding men into the mix. And of course, the prose had to be expanded upon to make the film less "play-like", because as a lot of my readers have let me know, they are not huge fans of straight-on plays on film...I didn't think that detracted from the original messages of Shange. It was beautifully shot, and the set design seemed to be thoughtful. Everyone gave close to amazing performances, with special kudos to Whoopi Goldberg (surprising), Phylicia Rashad, Thandie Newton (underrated), and Macy Gray (whom I always love as an actress).
But I could not escape the feeling of claustrophobia that set in for me midway into the film. The close, tight face shots; the small, cramped apartments--began to close in on me. In the beginning of the film it was expansive and full of possibilities; as the film progressed and the plotlines and characters started to begin to be involved with one another, I felt myself shrinking. As everything became smaller and more universal, instead of feeling identity in the close relationships and growth of these women, I felt suffocated, and thoughts of wanting to escape the film began to arise.
"How long is this movie?" "Why is it so relentless in it's sadness and anger and hopelessness?" "Why doesn't anyone move from this horrible apartment building?" "Why does Janet Jackson's face look like a Kabuki mask?" And so on. Rape, abuse, mental illness, murder, undercover homosexuality....why did I not remember all of that from the play?
When the film ended, I was relieved. I don't think I've ever felt that way before about a movie. But I have to say I was relieved to see the misery about the pain men cause be over, to not have to look at the dreary apartments anymore, and to not see Lorretta Devine's craptastic wig any longer.
And that is DEFINITELY not what I should have been left with. The meaning of "Colored Girls" is to give hope and good cheer, to let Black women know that everything we need in this life, and any other life, is already inside of us. To let us know that as long as we support one another is sisterhood, in creativity, in our awesome womaness, it doesn't matter what a man does, or a whole race, or the whole world. We have to, and can, support and hold each other up.
That was the feeling I was left with in the play. The film seems to be a lot less emphatic about those things. And those messages--in and of themselves, are what kept this from being a great film, and instead simply a great try.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
What can I say? No freaking comment.
"Big Momma 3"
"For Stuffed Colored Girls" (btw, is wayne brady looking kinda good? am i going crazy? NEVER thought i'd say that)
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Last week I was wondering what happened to a certain film I'd written about a couple years ago. It was called "Frankie And Alice" (horrible title) and was to star Halle Berry as a woman with dual personalities, one of which was a white racist. Interesting concept, but when I saw the stills from the film, it looked like typical Halle fare; perfectly awful.
Right after I wondered what happened, I see an update from Tambay on Shadow And Act. Yes, old girl pulled the movie out of the drawer, and did it to be considered for an Oscar.
I don't want to talk about that movie really, but about other films that I wrote about and wondered what happened to....a couple I was actually looking forward to, like:
The "Martin" reunion on the big screen. Everyone would probably ask Martin why he now looks like a Macy's Thanksgiving Parade balloon. (wasn't looking forward to that one by the way)
The multiple Sammy Davis Jr. biopics, one starring Don Cheadle, one starring Andre 3000, and one starring Elijah Kelley. And where is Elijah Kelley? He was the "it" Black dude for exactly one minute.
Beyonce aka Beyaki playing Eartha Kitt. To which I say: bwahhahahahaha!!
The very unasked for sequel to "Four Brothers".
Jaime Foxx playing Mike Tyson in a biopic.
Beyaki playing Angela Davis in a biopic. To which I say: bwahhahahahaha!!
Wesley Snipes playing James Brown in a biopic (I'm seeing a pattern here).
Will Smith and Denzel Washington in a remake of "Uptown Saturday Night" (which I pray never sees the light of day).
Mos Def and Erykah Badu in a film that was described thustly:
Mos Def and Erykah Badu have signed on to star in the indie drama 'Bobby Zero'; a film focused upon the life of fictional struggling artist Bobby Zero as he hits rock bottom before going corporate with a job in advertising. Badu will play his girlfriend who is afflicted with agoraphobia.
Lots of questions. No answers.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
You KNOW that the United States would have never, ever made this poster when this film came out....he'd be lucky to be shown less than 5 feet away from Raquel Welch.
btw, this is from the 60's American film "100 Rifles".
Saturday, October 16, 2010
OK, pathetic! I was reading my blog today and see I have posts on the FIRST PAGE that are from Christmas! Christmas for Christ's sake! (I guess that was an unintended pun).
So I'll be posting just to get these old ass posts off of my front page...let me start with an email from someone, who gives a very telling story of the YT view of us in Hollywood (at least a lot of studios):
I'm a screenwriter in waiting (still)...mostly because the establishment doesn't value or even acknowledge audiences who aren't just like them and I don't write for them. I write for us.
My day job is in the legal department at one of the mini-major studios. We just cast Cicely Tyson in a small role and folks on the set had no idea who she was. They spelled her name wrong and everything. I even overheard my boss refer to her as "some old Black actress." They've never heard of any black actors except Denzel, Will, Morgan, Laurence or Halle. It's infuriating. I call them out all the time and, of course, they think I'm overreacting.
Sometimes, the insensitivity and invisibility can be a drain...which is why I'm so glad I discovered your blog! I'll have to check back frequently so I can laugh at the situation instead of getting so pissed. Write on!
(madame invisible withholds name to protect the innocent and informative)
the woman was married to miles davis (and that was the least of it)! at least know that you asses :-(
Friday, October 15, 2010
Okay, there is always someone or something that brings Ms. Invisible back from the dead; if not posting while in competition for the Black Weblog Awards couldn't do it, then nothing could, I thought.
But this warmed up Ms. Invisible's cold, cold heart...I only know her name is Bittah Sweet on Twitter, and she made this video for a class project bigging up not just the Black female directors that we know and love, but the mega-talented new jacks who, from what I am reading, are making VERY big noises. Something that this eye and ear definitely needs to see and hear. Give it a whirl....
(admittedly, i watched with the sound on mute--depends on your musical taste)
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
That really should have been the title of this film. What do you say about a movie that bills itself as the "Black" version of Warren Beatty's "Shampoo", yet has nothing in common with it except that a hairdresser has sex with his clients? A lot of sex.
"Black Shampoo" stars John Daniels (a Black Lou Ferrigno doppelganger), as "Mr. Jonathan", who apparently owns an upscale hair salon by the same name on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, that supposedly caters to the elite. I say apparently and supposedly, because since this film seems to be made on about $26, we only see two rooms of this "upscale" salon that has a few chairs and a few ferns. And a couch in the back that would probably make a CSI black-light explode in disgust.
Mr. Jonathan must have been doing hair for a long time and had his fill, because we never see him actually styling one head. Oh, except in the opening credits, where it seems someone just washing your hair can give you the greatest orgasm you've ever had in your life.
Mr. Jonathan spends his day going from one white woman to the next, juking happily three to four times a day, either in the shop or making house calls. He does this while wearing his white hairstyling uniform, which looks like a gay male nurse's uniform, and never bothering to hit his peen with a lick of water in between trysts, not even with a moist baby wipe.
He hires a Black receptionist, and they go to dinner exactly one time, and decide they are completely and totally in love forever and ever. Well, I guess like they say, for Mr. Jonathan once you go Black, you never go back.
Turns out that said receptionist is Mr. Big's ho, and ran away, and Mr. Big kidnaps her back. It is unclear what exactly Mr. Big does, but he always carries a briefcase, even at the pool, and exclaims once loudly that he has to make "some goddamn speech at some goddamn dinner". To address what, heaven only knows.
The rest of the film shows Mr. Jonathan trying to get his Black Queen back, but that is genuinely just filler for the sex scenes. What this film is really is soft porn, and not very good soft porn at that. It is worth a look just to see how ridiculous some films of the period were, and how producers would put "Black" in front of everything and anything just to draw in an audience. It is also quite a sight to see Mr. Jonathan walk around like a baby gorilla in a two sizes too tight hairdresser uniform, and the awful, stunning, unbelievable 70's stereotypes of the gay male hairdressers he has working for him. Truly riveting....they make "Men On Film" from "In Living Color" look like Terry Crews and Tiny Lister.
Ms. Invisible says check it out.
Unfortunately, the movie trailer seems to have disappeared from the internets, but here is the radio commercial trailer for it...dripping with innuendos:
Monday, August 2, 2010
If you look at the top of my right sidebar, you'll see a little ditty that will connect you to the Black Weblog Awards. Now, this honor of being a finalist (much less being nominated) came as a complete a total shock to me, as I never once asked anyone to nominate me...I felt that maybe I would try next year.
But then I found out that it was YOU, my readers, that put me in the final 5 of all the Black film blogs in the world. And no matter what happens with this, I am forever humbled and grateful for that.
I promise (for real this time) to write more, as this is probably the most encouragement I could ever get, besides you standing by me and consistently sending emails, even when I wasn't blogging that much.
I love talking with you and not at you, and you have been so engaging, so encouraging, and really feel like friends through these past 3 years.
I don't know why I would very much like to win this particular award, I think maybe because it would be a validation that I am moving in the direction of life I was meant to go in. I have been laying plans for a huge Black Cinema project for the past year--a plan to bring it to the masses both Black and non, and to put award winning Black film blogger on top of that too would be...well you know.
OK, I'll stop the sap now--just show me LOVE and vote for me on the Black Weblog Finalist Award badge! You have from today until I believe August 30th to vote, but the earlier the better. For THIS blog, lol. Thanks, I promise I won't bug you about it--it's always a pleasure to have you here. And like Butta said, you don't have to be Black to vote...
Back tonight with a review of "Black Shampoo".
Sunday, August 1, 2010
I wanted to write this post last week, but alas, your favorite slacker was caught doing what she does best.
Vonetta McGee passed away July 9th, and hearing the news made me lament on not just her, but many Black actresses in the 70's. People like her, Judy Pace, Rosalind Cash, etc...so naturally beautiful, stylish, and full of vibrancy, only to be treated practically like furniture for the most part.
Vonetta was one that actually got to be featured in a way that required real acting, even though her main films were considered "Blaxploitation". Her breakout was in "Blacula", as the object of Blacula's affection. Even though dude wore a cape and was a vampire, she saw beneath that for the sexy, intelligent, manly piece of lovely chocolate that he was....when she called his name "Mamuwalde" she said it with such sweetness and reverence, and it made a ridiculous film less ridiculous.
She was in "Shaft in Africa", "Hammer", "Detroit 9000", and "The Eiger Sanction" with Clint Eastwood, with the very tragic name of "Jemima". It was major for a Black actress to make a crossover like that back then....she could have been a Zoe Saldana today if this were her time. She also did a tremendous amount of television, but doesn't have any credits since 1998.
One film I remember in particular was a film called "Thomasine And Bushrod", which was kinda sorta like a Black version of Bonnie and Clyde in the old west. It was directed by Gordon Parks Jr., who also directed "Superfly". It was really a thin film, filled in with an inordinate amount of montages, but she was something to look at. She co-starred with her real life lover, Max Julian (The Mack), who talked to her like a pimp to his 'ho. He was kinda scary with that, and every time I've seen that film I could truly imagine their relationship being like that in real life. I seem to have read somewhere that she never married, and after being with Max Julian, it isn't hard to process why.
But I digress....peaceful journey, Vonetta; your memory will always be kept alive here and the projects I work on, beautiful one.
The trailer from Blacula:
Sorry, I couldn't find a trailer of Thomasine And Bushrod, but here is a clip from the film: