A Retrospective of 1970’s Black Cinema Poster Art
January 18 – February 23:
Westminster Art Gallery – Bloomfield College – UnCut Funk: A Retrospective of 1970’s Black Cinema Poster Art
Curator, Pamela Thomas, has put together an incredible collection of posters, many of which are international releases, from the era that brought the country a new genre of films.
In the 1970’s, big Hollywood studios had a tough time putting on film the social issues that African-Americans were dealing with, even though there were stars such as Sidney Poitier that were managing to have very nice careers. So other studios found an alternative to those “main stream” films. Now known as ‘blaxploitation’ films, they satisfied the demand from inner-city audiences for movies made by and for blacks.
“UnCut Funk is a wonderful collection of a period that many filmmakers and movie goers consider an American unique art form” Gregory Allen, artistic director of Westminster says. “I am happy that Pamela Thomas is sharing this collection during Black History Month so that people can see a different angle of history that perhaps not everyone is aware of.”
As these blaxploitation films saw a commercial release, directors still found major studios wouldn’t touch them. However, when MGM needed a hit movie, they released Shaft which went on to receive an Oscar for the title song. The films that followed became more formulaic as the seventies progressed, dealing with private detectives, drug dealers and pimps. Record companies, however, fought to add their biggest stars to any soundtrack they could get space on. Virtually all of the major soul artists and many minor stars of the period can be found on a blaxploitation album.