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Thread started 09/22/21 3:13pm

MickyDolenz

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Melvin Van Peebles (August 21, 1932 - September 21, 2021)

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[Edited 9/23/21 11:52am]

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #1 posted 09/22/21 3:26pm

MickyDolenz

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You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #2 posted 09/22/21 3:29pm

MickyDolenz

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You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #3 posted 09/23/21 8:40am

MickyDolenz

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Melvin Van Peebles (August 21, 1932 - September 21, 2021)
By Douglas Martin • Sept. 22, 2021 • The New York Times

The filmmaker, author and actor Melvin Van Peebles in his apartment in Manhattan in 2010.

Melvin Van Peebles, the filmmaker praised as the godfather of modern Black cinema and a trailblazer in American independent movies, died on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 89.

His death was announced by his son Mario Van Peebles, the actor and director.

A Renaissance man whose work spanned books, theater and music, Mr. Van Peebles is best known for his third feature film, “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” which drew mixed reviews when it was released in 1971, ignited intense debate and became a national hit. The hero, Sweetback, starred in a sex show at a brothel, and the movie sizzled with explosive violence, explicit sex and righteous antagonism toward the white power structure. It was dedicated to “all the Black brothers and sisters who have had enough of The Man.”

Mr. Van Peebles’s fiercely independent legacy can be seen in some of the most notable Black films of the past half-century, from Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986) to Barry Jenkins’s “Moonlight” (2016). His death arrives at a moment when Black storytelling has belatedly become ascendant in Hollywood.

“I didn’t even know I had a legacy,” he told The New York Times in 2010, when asked about his reputation and influence. “I do what I want to do.”

Not only did Mr. Van Peebles write, direct and score “Sweet Sweetback’s” and play the lead role; he also raised the money to produce it. The film demonstrated that a Black director could convey a highly personal vision to a broad audience. “For the first time in cinematic history in America, a movie speaks out of an undeniable Black consciousness,” Sam Washington wrote in The Chicago Sun-Times.

In addition to making movies, Mr. Van Peebles published novels, in French as well as in English; wrote two Broadway musicals and produced them simultaneously; and wrote and performed spoken-word albums that many have called forebears of rap.

Over the course of his life he was also a cable-car driver in San Francisco, a portrait painter in Mexico City, a street performer in Paris, a stock options trader in New York, the navigator of an Air Force bomber, a postal worker, a visual artist and, by his own account, a very successful gigolo.

Mr. Van Peebles grandly called himself “the Rosa Parks of Black cinema.” Along with Gordon Parks, whose 1971 film “Shaft” lionized a streetwise Black detective, he was among the first Black filmmakers to reach a wide general audience.

“Sweetback,” “Shaft” and numerous knockoffs released throughout the 1970s were a response to a new militancy among young urban Black people. The movies’ casts were mainly Black, and the music was mainly funk and soul. Racial put-downs of whites were common, as were sex, violence and critiques of capitalism and police brutality. Many displayed a slick coolness. Some romanticized outlaws.

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #4 posted 09/25/21 12:34pm

RJOrion

My auto mechanic looks EXACTLY like melvin van peebles...he even sounds like him when he talks...scary
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Reply #5 posted 09/27/21 3:43pm

MickyDolenz

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Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films
release: September 28, 2021

Director, writer, composer, actor, and one-man creative revolutionary Melvin Van Peebles jolted American independent cinema to new life with his explosive stylistic energy and unfiltered expression of Black consciousness. Though he undeniably altered the course of film history with the anarchic Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971), that pop-culture bombshell is just one piece of a remarkably varied career that has also encompassed forays into European art cinema (The Story of a Three Day Pass - 1967), mainstream Hollywood comedy (Watermelon Man - 1970), and Broadway musicals (Don’t Play Us Cheap - 1972). Each facet of Van Peebles’s renegade genius is on display in this collection of four films, a tribute to a transformative artist whose caustic social observation, radical formal innovation, and uncompromising vision established a new cinematic model for Black creative independence. Also included in the set is Baadasssss!, a chronicle of the production of Sweet Sweetback made by Van Peebles’s son Mario Van Peebles—and starring the younger Van Peebles as Melvin.

SPECIAL FEATURES
New 4K digital restorations of all four films, approved by filmmaker Mario Van Peebles, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks for The Story of a Three Day Pass, Watermelon Man, and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack for Don’t Play Us Cheap

Baadasssss!, a 2003 fictional feature film based on director Melvin Van Peebles’s diaries from the making of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, directed by and starring his son Mario Van Peebles, with commentary by father and son

New conversations between Mario Van Peebles and film critic Elvis Mitchell; producer Warrington Hudlin and critic and filmmaker Nelson George; and scholars Amy Abugo Ongiri, Gerald R. Butters Jr., and Novotny Lawrence

Audio commentary by Melvin Van Peebles from 1997 on Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

Three short films by Melvin Van Peebles: Sunlight (1957), Three Pickup Men for Herrick (1957), and Les cinq cent balles (1961)

How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It), a 2005 documentary on Van Peebles’s life and career

The Story Behind “Baadasssss!”: The Birth of Black Cinema, a 2004 featurette

Melvin Van Peebles: The Real Deal, a 2002 interview with the director on the making of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

Episodes of Black Journal from 1968, 1971, and 1972, on The Story of a Three Day Pass, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, and Don’t Play Us Cheap

Interview from 1971 with Van Peebles on Detroit Tubeworks

French television interview from 1968 with Van Peebles and actors Harry Baird and Nicole Berger on the set of The Story of a Three Day Pass

Excerpts from a 2004 interview with Van Peebles for the Directors Guild of America Visual History Program

Introductions to all four films by Van Peebles

Trailers

New English subtitle translation for The Story of a Three Day Pass

English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

PLUS: A book featuring essays by film scholars Racquel J. Gates, Allyson Nadia Field, Michael B. Gillespie, and Lisa B. Thompson

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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