Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song: “I’m Gonna Say a Black Ave Maria For You”
Eschewing the accommodationist tendencies of social-problem films of the sixties, Melvin Van Peebles’s second feature launched blaxploitation film but also stands as a challenge to the blanket presumptions about the genre that exist today.
Don’t Play Us Cheap: The Sacredness of Saturday Night, or the Gospel According to Melvin Van Peebles
The first Black-directed movie musical of the modern film era, Melvin Van Peebles’s drama illuminates the cultural and political concerns of working-class Black people with delight and fancy.
Beasts of No Nation: A Different Kind of African War Film
Cary Joji Fukunaga’s devastating child-soldier movie unflinchingly captures the shock of war without forsaking the complexity of human experience.
Original Cast Album: “Company”: The Little Things You Do Together
D. A. Pennebaker turns his camera on Stephen Sondheim and the cast of his breakthrough musical in this revelatory documentary about artists at work.
Mirror: “All Is Immortal”
The fourth of Andrei Tarkovsky’s seven features is his most oneiric and resistant to interpretation, drawing from the director’s own childhood memories to create a fluid sense of history.
The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs: Positive Images
The multi-hyphenate artist’s staggering and frequently autobiographical body of work reimagines the depiction of Black people in American culture, encouraging us to question everything we see.