'Godfather of modern Black cinema' Melvin Van Peebles dies at 89


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Rest in Peace” Melvin Van Peebles. - This man ushered the age of Dolemite, Shaft, Blacula, Mandingo, Coffy, Foxy Brown,… EVERYONE from Quentin Tarantino to Austin Powers Mike Myers to Eddie Murphy owe him a tribute...

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Independent “Blaxploitation” films written, produced, financed, direct & starred in, by a Black man. Doesn’t sound very exploitive,…

*- "Van Peebles told the NY Times in 2010: "I do what I want to do."*

"Sweet Sweetback," which Van Peebles wrote, directed, financed and starred in, opened in just two venues but thanks to strong word-of-mouth among Black audiences went on to take $10 million, making it the highest-grossing independent film in history at the time, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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…. it was just the major studios, film distributors and theatres were owned by ‘others’ already established and controlling the Entertainment industry. Writers and actors also voluntarily participated in Blaxploitation films at the time but just got Shafted on the ‘back-end’ when the movies became financial successes.

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Writers & actors NOW know to negotiate upfront in regards to their share of future profits, etc but major manipulators like Disney will always try to find a way to cut them out. More stars like Scarlet Johansson, Emily Blunt & Dwayne Johnson need to rock the boat.

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My favorite film in Black genre is Black Cesar

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Interesting how they left out the charge of exploiting a child (his son) in a sex scene.

I enjoyed his films and thought he was a great director, but come on, that was definitely newsworthy.

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What's 'black cinema', I've never heard of 'white cinema', seems a very outdated concept in the age of 'diversity and representation'.

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He da Man!

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I loves blaxploitation. Damn, am I still allowed to say that?

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Of course, anyone may use it @Trinity 8:37pm. Blaxploitation pertains for a certain genre of film-making. However, its original 1972 context has changed from a pejorative term by the NAACP t evolve and become recognized as “Black Cinema”. Looks like some may still take offense as demonstrated by the earlier downvotes to today’s posts. Past truths can be painful. - To each his own opinion. Peace.


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A man not rated enough in his lifetime. Perhaps now we will see his true legacy shine through. One of the greats. RIP

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Don’t forget Jim Kelly who got his own run of Black martial arts films after co-starring in Enter The Dragon. He even played a “Native American” in a blaxploitation/spaghetti western mashup. (And no one, including indigenous people, complained about exploitation.) This men did what they did best an enjoyed their fame.

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