Friday, February 25, 2011

Essay on Shaft

I've never been a fan of Shaft, but this longish essay or article on the origin of the character was fascinating. Check it out!

Check out also the Friday's Forgotten Books on Patti Abbott's blog here!

10 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have never seen SHAFT. In the seventies, we rarely got out of the house. I missed a lot of movies in the decade and this one never appealed to me enough to seek it out.
Seemed too spoofy.

Anders E said...

I'd say there are exactly two good things about the movie; 1) Isaac Hayes' music, and 2) the sequels are even worse. In fact, every one of these blaxploition movies I've seen have been total rubbish. Except maybe CLEOPATRA JONES - but then again, that was a parody of the genre.

Juri said...

And Isaac Hayes has done better music elsewhere.

I have to agree with you on the blaxploitation films. I haven't been all that eager to seek them out, but all that I've seen have been poor or boring.

Is Ossie Davis's A RAGE IN HARLEM any better? Or Melvin Van Peebles's SWEET SWEETBACK?

Juri said...

And oh, SUPERFLY has a brilliant soundtrack, one of the very best.

Anders E said...

The Ossie Davis movie is COTTON COMES TO HARLEM, which I have not seen (and not SWEET SWEETBACK, either). A RAGE IN HARLEM is a 1991 movie starring Forest Whitaker. Pretty so-so, as I recall, though Whitaker was a good casting choice.

You can't go wrong with seventies Curtis Mayfield. He provided music for other movies as well, hopelessly obscure and likely even worse than SUPERFLY.

Juri said...

Umm, yes, you're right, was too hasty to post my comment. I've seen A RAGE IN HARLEM and remember liking it (hey, it has Robin Givens in it, in a tight dress!), but it was indeed COTTON COMES TO HARLEM I had in mind.

There's a film called SHORT EYES, which seems like a decent prison drama and not a blaxploitation flick at all, and I have the soundtrack for it, by Mayfield. It's absolutely superb.

Juri said...

The only song I was able to find on YouTube from the film's soundtrack:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4WfjOZpRX8

Juri said...

But the whole LP is available in Spotify:

http://open.spotify.com/album/09zsIKz1YLJK2DovF9FoTU

Anders E said...

SUPERFLY and SHORT EYES were AFAIK the only movies where Curtis actually performed himself. But there are four others movies where he wrote and produced other artists.

Claudine (1974) - Gladys Knight & The Pips
Let's Do It Again (1975) - The Staple Singers
A Piece of the Action (1977) - Mavis Staples

And finally there's SPARKLE from 1976, where Curtis' contributions were recorded for the Aretha Franklin LP of same title, although they were sung by other artists on the soundtrack.

Some talent there! None of these movies are what you'd call blaxploitation, but they are certainly forgotten.

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