March 1 - 7
In a bustling Mexican household, seven-year-old Sol is swept up in a whirlwind of preparations for the birthday party for her father, Tona, led by her mother, aunts and other relatives.
Book + Movie with Q&A: $38 Regular/ $35 Member
Movie with Q&A: $17 Regular/ $15 Member
Join us for this special evening exploring the history of Blaxploitation cinema with author Odie Henderson, who will be discussing his new book Black Caesars and Foxy Cleopatras: A History of Blaxploitation Cinema following a one night only special screening of the 1971 classic SHAFT.
Tickets for this event include a copy of Black Caesars and Foxy Cleopatras: A History of Blaxploitation Cinema, which Mr. Henderson will be signing after the post-screening Q&A, are encouraged.
Tickets for the Movie with Q&A only are also available, and are primarily intended for companions but may be purchased by all.
Copies of the book will also be available for sale after the screening and Q&A.
About Black Caesars and Foxy Cleopatras: A History of Blaxploitation Cinema
In 1971, two films grabbed the movie business, shook it up, and launched a genre that would help define the decade. Melvin Van Peebles’s SWEET SWEETBACK’S BADASSSSS SONG, an independently produced film about a male sex worker who beats up cops and gets away, and Gordon Parks’s SHAFT, a studio-financed film with a killer soundtrack, were huge hits, making millions of dollars. SWEETBACK upended cultural expectations by having its Black rebel win in the end, and SHAFT saved MGM from bankruptcy. Not for the last time did Hollywood discover that Black people went to movies too. The Blaxploitation era was born.
Written by film critic Odie Henderson, Black Caesars and Foxy Cleopatras: A History of Blaxploitation Cinema (Abrams Press), is a spirited history of a genre and the movies that he grew up watching, which he loves without irony (but with plenty of self-awareness and humor). Blaxploitation was a major trend, but it was never simple. The films mixed self-empowerment with exploitation, base stereotypes with essential representation that spoke to the lives and fantasies of Black viewers. The time is right for a reappraisal, understanding these films in the context of the time, and exploring their lasting influence.
About Odie Henderson
Odie “Odienator” Henderson is the chief film critic of the Boston Globe and runs the blogs Big Media Vandalism and Tales of OdieNary Madness. A lover of film noir, musicals, Blaxploitation, bad art, and good trash, Henderson was previously a contributing writer at RogerEbert.com from 2011 to 2022. He has written for Slant Magazine‘s The House Next Door blog since 2006. His work has also appeared in the Village Voice, Vulture, Cineaste magazine, MovieMezzanine, Movies Without Pity, and Salon. He recently finished a long career in IT. He lives in northern New Jersey.
“Hotter than Bond. Cooler than Bullitt,” movie posters proclaimed. John Shaft was indeed a shut-your-mouth detective to reckon with, a fact emphasized from the film’s start by Isaac Hayes’ Academy Award-winning Best Original Song and Oscar-nominated score. Richard Roundtree plays the smart, tough, confident lead, a private investigator whose hunt for a kidnapped woman puts him in the middle of feuding syndicates. Gordan Parks directs from a screenplay that Ernest Tidyman (that same year’s Oscar-winner for THE FRENCH CONNECTION) co-scripted from his own novel. John Shaft is an icon of change from an era of change. Today, SHAFT still tells it like it is.
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