In this ongoing series of videos, contemporary filmmakers talk to us about the movies that have had a lasting impact on their work.
Watermelon Man: Melvin in Hollywoodland
Melvin Van Peebles takes aim at Hollywood’s way of representing race in this blistering satire about a white man who wakes up one morning to discover that he has turned Black overnight.
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.
Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss 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.
The Story of a Three Day Pass: Ordinary Love
Melvin Van Peebles’s feature debut riffs on the French New Wave to tell a love story that portrays interracial intimacy and unflinchingly confronts the distortions of racism.
John Huston, Freudian
The legendary Hollywood auteur channeled his deep fascination with the father of psychoanalysis in three revelatory but underappreciated films: Let There Be Light, Freud, and Reflections in a Golden Eye.
Caitlin Kuhwald’s Hand-Drawn Portraits Bring Iconic Faces to Life
The Los Angeles–based artist behind the covers for our editions of Amarcord and The Awful Truth discusses the evolution of her work.
Now Voyageurs: Il Cinema Ritrovato 2021
In the thirty-fifth edition of the Italian festival dedicated to restored films, an eclectic lineup underscores the transportive physicality of cinema after a long year stuck at home.