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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Today In B'Days

Regina King is 37.

Mario Van Peebles is 51 (shown here with his father, Black Cinema legend Melvin Van Peebles). Melvin was the original Robert Townsend/Spike Lee; writing, directing, producing, starring in, and using his own money for his first film. His movie "Sweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song" from 1970 was considered too revolutionary, and the studios wouldn't touch it. Many consider it to be the first "Black" film that a Black man stood up and defied "the man".

As an interesting side note, when Melvin ran out of funds, Bill Cosby gave him the money to finish it "on the under". Maybe that was his way of getting back at white Hollywood for all of the racism he experienced. Anyway, here is a clip, it is long, as all of them were on youtube, so it is up to you how long you want to view it. It is a good glimpse of early 70's Black Film (and guerrilla filmmaking), and an example of how far we've come in Black Hollywood via technology:

Baadassss! (the film of how the original was made, not the 70's version) is one of my favorite Black Cinema flicks. In honor of Mario's birthday, here is the trailer from the 2003 movie, featuring Mario playing his father. In another side note, his father used him in the original movie to play him (Melvin) as a child, (including an extra painful sex scene to watch where he lost his virginity):


Bygbaby said...

I used to love me some Brenda back in the day!!!

Damn, Mario is old has hell LOL!!! "Sweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song" was off the chain. That is a true piece of cinema greatness.

Sincere said...

dang didn't realize Brenda is 10 years my senior!! I was soo in love with her!!

clnmike said...

Sweeeeet Back!!

Got that one on DVD and the one the son made about the film.

Should be in every ones collection.

Regina said...

Wow, you could have foiund a better picture of regina King...I'm just saying!

Shelia said...

Damn, Mario 50 something already? Time is flying.

Love Regina King, be glad to see her on screen again soon in something substantial.

Invisible Woman said...

@sincere and bygbaby: did you love that hair too? dang! :-)

@clnmike: I agree. tho the first one was a bit of a mess, haha

@regina: it was the only one i could find of Brenda!

@shelia and big baby: I know, I didn't know he was in his 50's...but he still looks pretty good.