This week on Black on Black Cinema, the guys return to introduce the next film, the 2017 Dee Rees directed "Mudbound." The film chronicles two WW2 vets (one Black, one white) who have profoundly different experiences with racism and PTSD after returning home from war. The hosts also discuss the preview topic of taking advantage of/or underappreciating Black support.
After coming back for her final year in high school, Grace (Ryan Destiny) is forced to deal with school bullies, her one remaining friend, and new faces all the while trying to handle the death of her best friend, Andrea (Paige Hurd) from the previous summer.
Grace is forced to comes to terms with what it means to be a woman while having examples like mother, an aging woman who uses sex as a weapon for survival, and Andrea's sister who is stuck trying to decide where she wants to go.
Directed by Ty Hodges works to weave a tale of teenage girl perspectives on sexuality, outsider-ship, and mourning in the face of a tragic loss.
This week on Black on Black Cinema, the guys are back to preview the 2015 film, "A Girl Like Grace." The random topic of the week is all about the greatest Black holiday of all, Thanksgiving!!! The guys discuss favorite dishes, least favorite dishes, going to other people's houses for the holiday, and the best Thanksgiving stories.
Tales from the Hood is the 1995 horror anthology film directed by Rusty Cundieff and executive-produced by Spike Lee. Taking a Twilight Zone approach to horror involving Black people is unique in its own right, but adding the social elements to the film is what truly makes Tales from the Hood interesting.
The film delves into police brutality, domestic violence, America's acceptance of white bigots back into mainstream society, and violence via gang and drug warfare. All these stories introduce supernatural/horror elements but lean decidedly into Black American experiences.
This week on Black on Black Cinema, the guys are back to introduce the next full episode on the 1995 horror anthology film, Tales from the Hood. This week's preview topic is in the realm of keeping things light and fun. The hosts discuss dancing, apprehension to doing it in public, skill level, and hilarious stories over the years when out having fun. There is enough awful things going on in the world, this time we stay pretty light. Also, please check out the video version of this episode for actual footage of Micah dancing at his wedding (approx at 18:15).
Blacula tells the story of an African prince named Mamuwalde who in 1780 is cursed by the infamous Count Dracula and is forced into the life of a vampire. He reawakens in the 1970s in Los Angeles, where he must adjust to his new settings and begin his life anew. However, he meets a woman who resembles his long-dead wife, Luva, and it sets him on a journey to be with her. He kills/feeds on random people in L.A., and eventually is hunted by the police.
The blaxploitation genre of the 1970s was full of memorable and original films. Taking the Black perspective on social issues and even recreating stories from other subgenres of its time, the era was a sharp cutout in the industry that was fresh and bold.
One such genre hadn't gone untouched unto 1972, horror. That's where William Marshall dawns the cape and added style to the Dracula mythos with Blacula. Making the Dracula story his own, Marshall was joined by Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Gordon Pinsent, Charles Macaulay, and Thalmus Rasulala in this subgenre first.
This week the guys are back to introduce the next film, the 1972 horror blaxploitation classic, Blacula. This episode has been long requested and now it's finally coming. The film takes the Dracula mythos and adds a unique Black take on the entire thing. The random topic of the week is all about successful Black people running from Blackness. The hosts discuss the humorous idea that rapper Waka Flocka Flame says that he's not Black, and the larger implications of such a position.
This week on Black on Black Cinema, the guys are back to discuss the 2017 romantic comedy, The Incredible Jessica James starring Jessica Williams, Chris O’Dowd, Lakeith Stansfield, and Noël Wells. The film follows a young struggling playwright whose life is thrown further into shambles as she recently broke up with her boyfriend and continues her journey to find herself as a 20 something Black woman in New York City.
The journey of self-discovery is plagued by daydreams, poor dating moments, surprise interactions with new people, and mentoring even younger playwrights on their own journey.
Video Version of this Review: HERE
This week the guys are back to introduce the upcoming 116th episode, The Incredible Jessica James (Netflix original film). The film follows the 20 something Jessica as she has just broken up with her boyfriend and is thrown back into the dating world as well as discovering who she really is a person. The random topic of the week is a multi-angled conversation on the devastation in Puerto Rico, the response from the President, shooting in Las Vegas, NFL kneeling, and overall discussion of one of the worst periods in the Trump administration.
Video version of this episode: here
This week on Black on Black Cinema, the guys return to discuss the 2016 Oscar-nominated documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro,” which dives into the life of the writer, poet, and social critic, James Baldwin. The film is largely based on Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript “Remember this House” and the effect that three civil rights leaders’ deaths had on Baldwin. Specifically, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X in that order are the basis of the three acts of the film.
Documentaries are rare on this show, and generally don’t work directly with our beat by beat show style. So on this episode, we will do something a bit differently. For this particular episode clips and moments from the film have been chosen to garner an overall discussion about those topics that are broached by Baldwin directly and the director, Raoul Peck, indirectly.
Video Version of this Episode: here