Forty years ago this February, President Gerald Ford, was the first to recognize “Black History Month.” This period of acknowledgement evolved from “Negro History Week,” that was created by historian Carter G. Woodson, and other prominent African-Americans. This installment of the FUNKALICIOUS blog, is a retrospective of some American and Internatinal “Black” History accomplishments and occurrences, throughout 2015…
As not only America, but the world will be zoned into Chapter 7 of “Star Wars” come this Friday, there’s plenty of Funky films to be seen. FOUR NEW FUNKY FLICKS, “STAR WARS” & THE GOLDEN GLOBES “Chi-Raq” hit theaters on December 4th. A modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, it’s set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago. In a nutshell, women take stand and deny their men sex, until the killing stops.
Back in the day, “Krush Groove”, was the quintessential hip-hop flick. It was released through Warner Brothers studios in 1985, one year after the success of Prince’s “Purple Rain”, and starred his then protégé and companion Sheila E. Although rap and the culture of hip-hop, are rooted in advocating anti-establishment values and not “selling out”, ever since “Boyz N’ the Hood”, it’s been all about cashing in.
April 7th, 2015 would mark the 100th birthday, of the legendary Billie Holiday! Born on April 7th, 1915 in Philadelphia, her innovative vocal style has influenced a multitude of singers around the world, over the past century.
Not too long ago, Laurence Fishburne played “Dr. Raymond Langston” in CBS’ CSI series, but first he was Dr. Joshua “Josh” Hall (#1) on “One Life to Live” on ABC TV from ’73 to ’76; he did a television movie, then began a career in film. He took on a role with Pee Wee’s Playhouse as “Cowboy Curtis” from 86 to 90; and most recently was “Jack Crawford” in the small screen version of “Hannibal,” that was based on the character made famous in the Oscar award winning film, “The Silence of the Lambs.”
As music fans, lovers and aficionados are perched and waiting for “Get On Up” and “Jimi: All Is by My Side,” one can’t help but think of musical biopics that have been previously released. This blog was prompted and inspired by a chat with, and query from my wife, as to how many films of this nature have been done — there are numerous. While many are excited for the lives of James Brown and Jimi Hendrix to grace the silver screen, the lives of other music icons have been brilliantly depicted. (click on photo above for full view)
As I was prepping the blog that will follow this one, it occurred to me that I had yet to create this list. Although I’ve done items on a few of them, as this outlet and website continues to grow, I wanted to pay homage to those that have shaped, inspired and influenced my view and love for film.
A lover of music, history and culture, film biographies or the biopic, have long been a favorite of mine. While there are a plethora of stories to be told about people of latter day, I’ve always been fascinated about the journey of people that made their mark on the world before I was born, or made an impression on me early on.
The loss of National Treasures evokes thoughts of one’s own mortality and legacy. THEY DID THEIR WORK; THEY’VE LEFT THEIR MARKS ON THE PLANET; TOUCHED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS! How much time do we/ I have left? What will we/ I leave behind? My/ our child (ren) and/ or future children? This blog, a Facebook post? I believe those of us still here… STILL HAVE STUFF TO DO.
Stevie Wonder’s “Innervisions” album is forty years old today! What’s crazy is I was just listening to it no more than four weeks ago, thinking how relevant Stevie’s lyrics still are, but I put it on for the music. It was “Living for the City” that I wanted to hear in particular, but “Innervisions” is one of those records you can put on and just press play, still today. Back in the day when it was released, we had to put the needle on the record, as CD was something, on the way.
Spike Lee and Spike Jonze both have new films in theaters this fall. Two of today’s most innovative directors, they both have a distinctive style that sets them apart from men behind the camera of yesteryear. In addition to displaying aspects of the human condition, Jonze and Lee get to deliver it in ways Hollywood only, and never dreamed of. Before “Being John Malcovich” was released, there had never been a film quite like it. Once Lee made his way into the fray, more black people began working in the industry of film than ever before.
According to Shadow and Act, Spike Lee spent years trying to get his Jackie Robinson project financed and produced (unsuccessfully), only to eventually watch Legendary Pictures and Brian Helgeland launch their own Jackie Robinson picture with Chadwick Boseman. (You can read our post on the movie “42” here).
UPDATE: Spike Lee’s BAD 25 Documentary will air on ABC on Thanksgiving Day. “This will be a very special Thanksgiving for all families to enjoy the genius of Michael Jackson… Big thanks to ABC for allowing people to witness the making of Michael Jackson’s ‘BAD’ album. Shamon,” said Spike Lee in a statement. Prior to ABC’s broadcast premiere of Bad 25, the album’s 25th Anniversary will also be celebrated, on September 18, 2012, with the Legacy/Epic Records release of deluxe 25th Anniversary editions of the album.
Spike Lee’s new film “Red Hook Summer” hits theaters on Friday. The latest installment from his “Chronicles of Brooklyn,” it follows previous releases “She’s Gotta Have It,” “Do The Right Thing,” “Crooklyn,” “Clockers” and “He Got Game.”
It’s going to be busy summer. Finally some good reasons to go to the theater. Red Hook Summer is on the short list of films that I will be checking out.
It’s official, Andre 3000 of OutKast, real name Andre Benjamin has been cast to portray Jimi Hendrix in the biopic “All Is By My Side.” Benjamin’s name was mentioned a few years ago about taking on the role, but rumors died after about a month or so. “All Is By My Side” will be set in the 1960s just before the release of Jimi’s debut album “Are You Experienced.”
The nominees are in… this past Tuesday the annual Oscar nominations were announced. A lover of movies, I was always impressed by a show that honored the best of the best in film as a youth.
Spike Lee is making a biopic on the life of James Brown and will be using the vocals of the Godfather instead of the actor portraying him – Wesley Snipes.
When I was afforded the privilege to speak to Curtis Mayfield, it wasn’t until after his near fatal accident at Brooklyn’s Wingate Field. As he spoke to us in a reclined position, everyone present at the roundtable discussion felt blessed to be there.