Truly Bad Films

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Director Gordon Parks Dead at 93

White critics dismissed his work as "Blaxploitation," but Gordon Parks was a pioneer of Black Cinema and the first black director to be funded by a major studio. His most famous film was 1971's Shaft.

Elvis Mitchell talks about Gordon Parks' influence. Parks was a highly regarded photographer for Life and Vogue magazines before he went on to direct films.
Perhaps his most famous portrait occurred early in his career when he was working for the Farm Security Administration. "American Gothic" in 1942 depicts cleaning lady Ella Watson posed before the American flag holding a mop and broom; it is a bitter parody of Grant Wood's famed painting "American Gothic."
In 2000, he told the Associated Press :
"I think most people can do a whole awful lot more if they just try. They just don't have the confidence that they can write a novel or they can write poetry or they can take pictures or paint or whatever, and so they don't do it, and they leave the planet dissatisfied with themselves." From Back Stage
Parks died yesterday. You can read about his diverse talents and gifted life in the Chicago Tribune.


At 3:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well every few years I get into a new kick with movies and my last thing was the blackxploation films...I bought up at least 30 titles...of course I got the whole Pam Grier thing going on...those were great films and I'm glad to have them in my collection..represents a unique time in film...I think some of the ones I own really played with Soundtracks more than other big budget, high profile movies of that time...

But I just heard about Parks death this morning...he did such great work.


At 8:47 AM, Blogger Chai-rista said...

Hey Sandy - You have a killer film collection. Can I come over and watch movies with you? Oh, wait - that's a LONG drive with great stretches underwater ...

Anyway, a whole collection of Blaxspoitation!? You ROCK! You're right about it being a unique time in film. The studios let it fade away because they didn't take black money/interest seriously.


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