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Kino Lorber’s ‘Pioneers of African-American Cinema’ Collection Is Available to Stream on Netflix

In 2015, Kino Lorber launched the successful crowd­funding campaign for “Pioneers of African-American Cinema,” a DVD box set that featured more than 20 feature-length and short films made by groundbreaking African American directors from 1915 to 1946.

The funds raised from the Kickstarter allowed the project to expand from a modest collection of films into a monumental five­-disc collection, loaded with extras and an 80­-page booklet. Now, the entire box set is available to stream on Netflix.

Read More: Kino Lorber Hires Nicholas Kemp as Director of Theatrical Marketing — Exclusive

Showcasing the works of Oscar Micheaux, Spencer Williams, Richard E. Norman and many other legendary helmers, the streaming service includes films features like “Hell-Bound Train,” “Within Our Gates,” “Birthright,” “The Flying Ace” and many other titles. Some like “Hot Biskits” and “the Blood of Jesus” and “Verdict Not Guilty” and “Heaven-Bound Travelers” are also paired together.

“Pioneers of African-American Cinema” was a
See full article at Indiewire »

Pioneers of African-American Cinema

It's arrived -- thanks in part to a successful Kickstarter campaign, this nearly comprehensive compendium of American 'Race Films' is here in a deluxe Blu-ray presentation. Pioneers of African-American Cinema Blu-ray Kino Classics 1915-1946 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 952 min. / Street Date July 26, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 99.95 Directed by Richard Norman, Richard Maurice, Spencer Williams and Oscar Micheaux

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Black Cinema History? We didn't hear a peep about any such thing back in film school. Sometime in the 1980s PBS would broadcast a barely watchable (see sample just below) copy of a creaky silent 'race movie' about a 'backsliding' black man in trouble with the law, the Lord and his wife in that order. The cultural segregation has been almost complete. It wasn't until even later that I read articles about a long-extinct nationwide circuit of movie theaters catering to black audiences, wherever the populations were big enough to support the trade.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Joshua Reviews Kino Lorber’s Pioneers Of African-American Cinema Box Set [Blu-ray Review]

It’s hard to consider the release of a piece of entertainment, specifically a DVD and Blu-ray box set, as a culturally significant moment, but then again there are few items quite like the newest release from the team at Kino Lorber.

After a refreshingly successful Kickstarter campaign, Kino Lorber has finally released their groundbreaking collection, Pioneers Of African American Cinema, and to call it one of the year’s best home video releases is to truly understate the sociological import carried within this release.

Silent era and early-talkie cinema, as seen by many a film aficionado, is a deeply problematic world. Primarily helmed by white men, films more than occasionally featured everything from frustratingly cartoonish caricatures of African-American characters (furthering stereotypes like the “Mamie”) to white actors donning black face (of which there is also a great deal within this set as well) in what is seen today as a disturbing bit of racism.
See full article at CriterionCast »

Daily | “Cinema and the Great Migration”

"A Road Three Hundred Years Long: Cinema and the Great Migration," on in New York through June 12, "features the work of several black filmmakers who themselves moved North in the early 20th century, and who made the transition their subject," writes the New Yorker's Richard Brody, who argues that "novelist Zora Neale Hurston’s film work is one of the great revelations of Moma’s series." For J. Hoberman, writing in the New York Times, the series’ "most singular work" is The Blood of Jesus (1941), "a gospel-documentary-ethnographic melodrama, written and directed by Spencer Williams." And for Artforum, Nick Pinkerton writes about Thom Andersen’s new essay film, Juke: Passages From the Films of Spencer Williams. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Daily | “Cinema and the Great Migration”

"A Road Three Hundred Years Long: Cinema and the Great Migration," on in New York through June 12, "features the work of several black filmmakers who themselves moved North in the early 20th century, and who made the transition their subject," writes the New Yorker's Richard Brody, who argues that "novelist Zora Neale Hurston’s film work is one of the great revelations of Moma’s series." For J. Hoberman, writing in the New York Times, the series’ "most singular work" is The Blood of Jesus (1941), "a gospel-documentary-ethnographic melodrama, written and directed by Spencer Williams." And for Artforum, Nick Pinkerton writes about Thom Andersen’s new essay film, Juke: Passages From the Films of Spencer Williams. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Spencer Williams’ Groundbreaking Race Film, ‘The Blood of Jesus,’ Coming to L.A. (Yes, There is a Story Behind That Image)

I wrote about this special screening of "The Blood of Jesus" two months ago, and since the event is coming soon, I decided to remind you of it. And of course there is quite a story behind that wonderful image above, which I’m going to relate to you right now. The picture of Satan is from Spencer Williams’ important 1941 race movie "The Blood of Jesus," made on location in Texas. However, when people hear the name Spencer Williams today, the few who are familiar with the name, know him as the rotund guy in the bowler hat, who played Andy in those old, and still very controversial, "Amos and Andy" TV shows back from the 1950’s. But he was a lot...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

What Does It Take to Digitally-Restore Early Black Films, Frame by Frame, w/ No Negatives? Watch & Learn

I say without any hesitation or hyperbole that Kino Lorber’s currently in the works Blu-ray DVD set, curated by film history professors Charles Musser at Yale University and Jacqueline Stewart at the University of Chicago, of early black films from the silent film era to the 1940’s, is the most important Blu-ray DVD collection set come out hopefully next year. Showcasing the films by pioneering black filmmakers such as Oscar Michaeux, the Norman Manufacturing Company, Spencer Williams and James and Eloyce Gist among others, the set has already attracted a considerable amount of attention by film scholars and people who just love movies, their history and lore, Needless to say, it ...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Kino Lorber Announces "Stretch Goal" to Expand Pioneers of African-American Cinema Set w/ Additional Films & Bonus Content

Good news, thanks to those of you who contributed to the campaign - one that still has 17 days to go until it ends, and has blown past its goal of $35,000, raising over $40,000, with just over 2 weeks left. In part due to your enthusiasm for the project, via the current overage, the team behind the project has opted to stretch the campaign goal to $60,000, and will add to what the final package will contain, raising the number of films that will be included in the set, from the previous 8, to 12, including titles you'd be familiar with, like "The Blood of Jesus" (Spencer Williams' 1941 directorial debut), Oscar Micheaux's 1932 crime/romance musical "The Girl from...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Spencer Williams’ Groundbreaking Race Movie ‘The Blood of Jesus’ to Screen at Redcat in L.A. in April (There is a Story Behind That Image)

Of course there is quite a story behind that wonderful image above and I’m going to relate it to you right now. The picture of Satan is from Spencer Williams’ important 1941 race movie The Blood of Jesus made in 1941 on location in Texas. However when people hear the name Spencer Williams today, the few who are familiar with the name, know him as the rotund guy in the bowler hat who played Andy in those old,and still very controversial, Amos and Andy TV shows back from the 1950’s. But he was a lot more than that. In fact, he was a genuine black filmmaking pioneer nearly equal to Oscar Micheaux. Williams started his career as movie extra in silent movies, but soon began...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Pioneering Black Film Producer Ike Jones Dies at 84

It sort of irks me that too many people think that black cinema started with Spike Lee. True, I admit that may be somewhat of an exaggeration, but the basic idea that black cinema is a relatively “recent” is far from the truth. As you well know (or should), black films and filmmakers have been around since the silent era. Some, such as Oscar Micheaux, Noble and George Johnson and Spencer Williams, are well known while others have been forgotten. Among those for whom time seems to have passed by is film producer Ike Jones who passed away two weeks ago at the age of 84 to very little attention from the media, which is a shame since Jones was a true pioneer in many ways. ...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Hannah Elless and More Set for Nymf Readings of New Musical For Tonight

For Tonight, a new original musical, by creators Shenelle Williams, Spencer Williams and Whitney Rhodes is headed to New York City to participate in The New York Musical Theatre Festival Nymf as a developmental reading. For Tonight's story is inspired by the life of the writer's great-great-great-grandfather in the 1830's in Northern WalesLiverpool. With its indie-rock inspired score and a completely original book, this story focuses on the universal themes of love, family and acceptance. The show will have three performances at The Studio Theatre at Theatre Row in July 2014.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Hannah Elless and More Set for Nymf Readings of New Musical For Tonight, 7/9 & 7/12

For Tonight, a new original musical, by creators Shenelle Williams, Spencer Williams and Whitney Rhodes is headed to New York City to participate in The New York Musical Theatre Festival Nymf as a developmental reading. For Tonight's story is inspired by the life of the writer's great-great-great-grandfather in the 1830's in Northern WalesLiverpool. With its indie-rock inspired score and a completely original book, this story focuses on the universal themes of love, family and acceptance. The show will have three performances at The Studio Theatre at Theatre Row in July 2014.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Review: Spike Lee's Sometimes Engaging, But Muddled, Meandering & Ultimately Frustrating 'Da Sweet Blood of Jesus'

Last year, Spike Lee launched a successful $1.45 million Kickstarter campaign for a mysterious, untitled new joint. He offered only the vaguest of hints at its synopsis: “It’s about people addicted to blood,” he said. “But they’re not vampires.” Over the months, some casting news, film stills, and an intriguing title trickled out, sparking speculation that the movie might be a remake of Spencer Williams’ 1941 race film "The Sweet Blood of Jesus," or possibly Bill Gunn’s underrated horror classic "Ganja & Hess." We now know of course that "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus," which made its world premiere at Abff over the weekend, is indeed...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

What does 1941 mean to you? (The Smackdown Cometh!)

The Supporting Actress Smackdown, 1941 Edition, hits these parts on Saturday May 31st (here's the full summer calendar). This month we'll be discussing Mary Astor in The Great Lie, Sara Allgood in How Green Was My Valley, Margaret Wycherly in Sergeant York, Teresa Wright and Patricia Collinge, both in The Little Foxes

1941 winners: Gary Cooper, Joan Fontaine, Mary Astor & Donald Crisp. Note how the supporting actors used to win a plaque instead of a statue!

It's time to introduce our panel as we dive into that film year next week with little goodies strewn about the usual postings.

Remember You are part of the panel. So get your votes in by e-mailing Nathaniel with 1941 in the subject line and giving these supporting actresses their heart rankings (1 for awful to 5 for brilliant). Please only vote on the performances you've seen. The votes are averaged so it doesn't hurt a performance to be underseen.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Spike Lee's Kickstarter-Funded 'Blood of Jesus' Is Likely A Remake Of 'Ganja & Hess' (1st Look)

This shouldn't be news to those who've been following our coverage of Spike Lee's Kickstarter-funded "blood addiction" joint - which he's titled Da Blood Of Jesus. Although on IMDb, it's listed as The Sweet Blood of Jesus. In previous posts, I've wondered whether it is indeed a remake, or a re-imagining of Bill Gunn's woefully-underseen 1973 film that revolutionized the vampire film, Ganja & Hess - a film that was suppressed in the United States because it wasn't the Hollywood genre film that its producers had commissioned writer/director Bill Gunn to make.  I also wondered if it was a remake of Spencer Williams' 1941 "race...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Challenging The Authenticity/Minstrelsy Lens: Jacqueline Stewart On Spencer Williams At Bfc/A

Courtesy of the Black Film Center/Archive (Bfc/A)... news you can use, especially if you like in the Bloomington, In area. This should be very worthwhile, in light of continuous conversations about representation right here on this blog: On Friday, October 26th, at 4Pm, visiting scholar Jacqueline Stewart will present the 2012 James Naremore Lecture at Iu Cinema, “The Films of Spencer Williams: A Comic History of Race Movies.” Stewart, an Associate Professor of Radio/Film/Television and African American Studies at Northwestern University, and author of the award-winning Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity, will survey the filmmaking career of...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

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