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Blaxploitation films have had a huge and complicated impact on American cinema. For example, filmmaker and exploitation film fan Quentin Tarantino has made numerous references to the blaxploitation genre in his films. An early tribute to blaxploitation can be seen in the character of “Lite”,” played by Sy Richardson, in Repo Man (1984). [Citation needed] Richardson later wrote Posse (1993), a kind of Blaxploitation western. Jefferson Twilight, a character from The Venture Bros., is a parody of the comic character Blade (a black hunter, half human, half vampire) as well as a reference to blaxploitation. He has an afro, side burns and a mustache. He wears swords, dresses in elegant 1970s clothes and says he hunts “blaculas.” He looks and sounds like Samuel L. Jackson. [Citation needed] Early blaxploitation films often featured black men in lead roles and were considered exploiters, but the genre evolved into more sophisticated works.

With the names of movie characters like “Super Fly”, we show you some famous Blaxploitation movies and their stars. Some of the blaxploitation-influenced films such as Jackie Brown (1997), Undercover Brother (2002), Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003) and Django Unchained (2012) contain allusions to pop culture to the genre. The undercover Brother parody, for example, features Eddie Griffin as an afro-top agent for a secret organization known as “B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D.” Austin Powers also stars Beyoncé Knowles in Goldmember as Tamara Dobson/Pam Grier-inspired heroine Foxxy Cleopatra. In the 1977 parody film The Kentucky Fried Movie, a mock trailer by Cleopatra Schwartz features another Grier-like action star married to a rabbi. In a famous scene from Reservoir Dogs, the protagonists discuss Get Christie Love!, a blaxploitation TV series in the mid-1970s. In the catalytic scene of True Romance, the characters watch the movie The Mack. By the end of the decade, blaxploitation films like Shaft (1971) and Super Fly (1972) had become box office hits, while other films like Black Caesar (1973) and Three the Hard Way (1974) like Fred Williamson, Jim Kelly and the 1974 film Blackenstein were essentially a blaxploitation version of Frankenstein. At that time, the genre began to die out due to declining ticket sales – it was replaced by other subgenres like kung fu and gangster movies – but its influence was still being felt decades later. Variety credited Sweet Sweetback`s song Baadas and the less radical film, financed by Hollywood Shaft (both released in 1971) for inventing the blaxploitation genre, however, Cotton Comes to Harlem was released before one of these images.

[4] Blaxploitation films were also the first to feature funk and soul music soundtracks. [5] Adam Howard is a senior associate producer on the Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Show. He is also co-creator and executive producer of the podcast Full Release with Samantha Bee. Prior to his career in late-night comedy, he spent several years as a journalist, writing about pop culture and politics for The Daily Beast, Playboy, NBC News and The Nation. He graduated from Columbia University`s School of Journalism and studied film history and screenwriting at Bard College. In his spare time, he illustrates his own posters of alternative films and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. with his wife Elizabeth Rosado and their dog Cookie. Figures and dates of the Blaxploitation period in Hollywood vary. Many researchers rank peak years for the genre between 1969 and 1974, although releases as early as 1961 and only 1985 are often classified as Blaxploitation films. According to some estimates, nearly 300 films have been released in this genre.

However, many on the list did not meet the definition of blaxploitation, such as the coming-of-age film The Cool World (1963); the racial crossover film Black Like Me (1964); L`histoire d`amour, For Love of Ivy (1968); the spiritual, Brother John (1971); and the science fiction film Brother from Another Planet (1984). Blaxploitation includes several subgenres, including crime, action/martial arts, westerns, comedy, and musicals. Tarantino said he considers blaxploitation to be a genre in itself, with his films Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Jackie Brown (1997) as modern blaxploitation films. However, there are still a few Blaxploitation movies that have become cult classics. The sub-cult short Gayniggers from Outer Space is a blaxploitation-type sci-fi curiosity directed by Danish filmmaker, DJ and singer Morten Lindberg. The word “blaxploitation” is a portmanteau of the words “black” and “exploitation”. It was originally invented in 1972 by Variety Magazine critic Jonathan Rosenbaum when he reviewed the Sweet Sweetbacks Baadas song. In Michael Chabon`s 2004 novel Telegraph Avenue, two characters are former Blaxploitation stars. [23] Blaxploitation films were originally produced between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s; Most of them appeared in the 1970s in the major American film industry. This period is known as “Blaxploitation era” because it was made accessible to a mainly urban and black audience. Inspired by the song Baadas by Sweet Sweetback, many Blaxploitation films feature funk and soul jazz soundtracks with heavy bass, funky rhythms and wah-wah guitars. These soundtracks are characterized by a complexity that was not common in radio funk tracks of the 1970s.

They also often feature a rich orchestration that included flutes and violins. [9] Martha Southgate`s 2005 novel third girl from the Left is set in Hollywood during the blaxploitation movie era and refers to many blaxploitation films and stars like Pam Grier and Coffy.[9] The FOX network television comedy “MADtv” has often parodied the Dolemite franchise, created by Rudy Ray Moore, with a series of sketches by comedian Aries Spears as “The Son of Dolemite.” Other sketches include the characters “Funkenstein”, “Dr. Funkenstein” and more recently Condoleezza Rice as the superheroine of Blaxploitation. A recurring theme in these sketches is the inexperience of the actors and crew in the Blaxploitation era, with an emphasis on the ridiculous scripts and the lower actors, sets, costumes, and editing. The sketches testify to the poor production quality of the films, with obvious appearances of Boom Mike and intentionally mediocre cuts and continuities. Coonskin was tasked with deconstructing racist stereotypes, from the early stereotypes of the minstrel show to the more recent stereotypes found in the film Blaxploitation itself. The book sparked great controversy even before it was published, when the Congress of Racial Equality questioned it. Although the distribution was entrusted to a smaller distributor who promoted it as an exploitation film, it quickly developed a cult among black viewers. [4] Blaxploitation films were originally aimed at an urban African-American audience,[3] but the appeal of the genre`s audience quickly expanded beyond racial and ethnic boundaries. Hollywood has recognized the potential gain from expanding the audience for blaxploitation films beyond these racial boundaries. In the 1970s, films with African-American actors as protagonists were called blaxploitation films.

Overall, Blaxploitation`s films reflected the climate of the time: the United States was at a time of social upheaval and turbulence, with protests against the Vietnam War and urban uprisings in American cities. The Black Film Center/Archive is currently working to preserve films made by or about black communities in the 1960s and 1970s, when many independent black filmmakers were working under the radar or fighting for funding. “One of our motivations was to include films for the story of African-American filmmakers who might not have survived otherwise,” says Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, professor and director of the archives.

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