Shaft was born in the early ’70s, when Richard Roundtree played the seductive and violent private detective John Shaft for director Gordon Parks. The story continued in two sequels and a short TV series, then was picked up years later, in 2000, when Samuel L. Jackson played John Shaft’s nephew, with the character at the center of a film directed by John Singleton. Now New Line wants to make a new Shaft movie — we just don’t know what this one will look like. Read More »
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Weekend Weirdness Interview: Director Scott Sanders on Black Dynamite, Fried Chicken Conspiracies, and Porn Stars in Hollywood Films
Posted on Saturday, February 6th, 2010 by Hunter Stephenson
It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, excluding The Tooth Fairy starring The Rock, that offer proof. /Film’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini review, or an interview.
It’s rare when the marketing campaign for an indie movie has a celebratory feel, clearly organized by a team as psyched on the feature as they hope the recipient will be. Soon after learning of Black Dynamite last year, several packages arrived at my home/office in correlation with its theatrical release. They contained quality tees—one read “Fight Smack In The Orphanage” in bold-ass white-on-black CAPS—along with a high concept soundtrack and a media kit ribboned and accented with a syringe pen. For months thereafter, director and co-writer Scott Sanders seemed to personally and tirelessly push Dynamite to every white sucka on Internet Geek Street. It was admirable, considering that his second feature film was indeed a pretty fun, meticulously designed hat tip to the Afro-Fu era of Dolemite.
The film is also a stable showcase for Sanders’s pal Michael Jai White (Spawn, The Dark Knight) to launch a renewed case for chiseled action stardom, and a welcome invite for underseen talents like Tommy Davidson and Arsenio Hall to get retarded. Oh, and if you ever wondered about the true origin of chicken and waffles? That’s in there too. During an absurd week that saw oversensitive Twitterers erupt over the existence of soul food, what better film and DVD to welcome Black History Month? Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness asked Sanders a few questions about Dynamite’s future as a CIA agent-cum-VietNam veteran-cum-inner city exterminator of “jive ass” dummies. (Note: NSFW movie stills after the jump.)
Isaac Hayes, the unmistakable musician and actor who won an Oscar in 1971 for his “Theme From Shaft” and starred as Chef on South Park, has died at age 65. He was found unresponsive by a family member, having apparently collapsed during a workout. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hame of Fame in 2002.
Hayes will appear in the November film, Soul Men, which stars Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac, who died yesterday from a battle with pneumonia. Hayes was a forefather to the rap movement, and played a good hand in disco and funk. WIth his penchant for sunglasses and an earlier preference for gold jewelry and dashiki-like robes, Hayes cut a formidable figure in pop culture—check out the documentary Wattstax—but his deep voice introduced him to a new generation.
Before many suburban kids knew what “blaxploitation” meant pre-Tarantino, Hayes’s choice utterance of “You’re damn right” on the Shaft theme gave ‘em a bright idea. Later on, his sultry words served as the voice of reason, sexual maturity, black cool and knowledge to quiet down Cartman’s whiny anarchy on South Park. Hayes would later leave the show due to a public falling out with the show’s creators over Scientology. The man personified a slice of American history and entertained many. R.I.P.
Discuss: How will you remember Isaac Hayes? Feel free to post links to clips (Escape From New York et al) in the comments.