The life and work of pioneering filmmaker Melvin Van Peeples - a fascinating, provocative career that touched on the theater, novels, television and movies is recounted.
Richard Roundtree (title character) discovers that his office is being staked out, and deals with two uninvited guests, early in Shaft, 1971, directed by Gordon Parks.
Director Gordon Parks (with a cameo!) uses another Isaac Hayes song, Soulsville, with another montage of his leading man (Richard Roundtree) this time in Harlem, also visiting Bunky (Antonio Fargas), in Shaft, 1971.
Newt (Kyle Johnson, in the role modeled on writer-director Gordon Parks Sr.) with pals (Stephen Perry, Carter Vinnegar, Bobby Goss) gets led astray by troubled Marcus (Alex Clarke), rancher Kiner (George Mitchell) the victim, in 1920's Kansas, early in The Learning Tree, 1969.
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Part icon, part iconoclast, Melvin Van Peebles is a filmmaker with a history that's as fascinating as any of his motion pictures. This award winning documentary (full of rare achival footage and unforgettable backstage stories from Spike Lee, Mario Van Peebles, Gil Scott-Heron and others) is a carefully-crafted tale of how a young black kid from Chicago ended up making one of the most controversial movies in American history, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, the film that sparked the Blaxploitation era in Hollywood. But the story hardly ends there. Director Joe Angio playfully traces Van Peebles' path from atom-bomb-ferrying Air Force pilot to French novelist to proto-rap singer to Wall Street options trader-- a remarkable journey that helps to explain where Sweet Sweetback actually got his song.
Who delivers ten times out of ten? Samuel L. Jackson is Shaft, the man and the movie. John Singleton ("Boys 'n' the Hood") directs this gritty action-packed thriller. With his uncle John Shaft (Richard Roundtree, reprising his original role) as his mentor, it's no surprise that today's Shaft is the coolest dude and the hottest action around. To stop a racist killer (Christian Bale), Shaft's got to track down the only eyewitness (Toni Collette) that can put the perpetrator behind bars. As Shaft closes in, so does the danger. Armed with attitude and up against corrupt cops and venomous druglords, he's out to make crime pay up!
To stop a racist killer (Christian Bale) Shaft's got to track down the only eyewitness that can put him behind bars (Toni Collette). As Shaft closes in, so does the danger. Armed with attitude and up against corrupt cops and venomous druglords he's out to make crime pay up.
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