As regular readers might remember, I’m a fairly big fan of blaxploitation cinema and I’ve been waiting to see a movie called “Black Dynamite” since January. After playing the film festival circuit for months, it was picked up by Sony for distribution and was (finally) released this past Friday.
Calling Black Dynamite a spoof of the Blaxploitation genre misses the point: You can study it, but there’s no real way to recreate these quintessentially 1970’s films in the present day without descending into some sort of parody — intentional or otherwise.1
After reading some interviews with the film-makers and also seeing it with friends this weekend, it’s clear to me that “Black Dynamite” was put together by people who not only know these movies, but who really loved these movies.
Even as a lovingly-made spoof, it’s not a perfect picture by any means — but it’s that evident affection that, somehow, helps you ignore the film’s imperfections. Kudos to Michael Jai White and Scott Sanders for not only making a great tribute to an era, but for making it happen on their own. I hope it’s just the beginning of these guys being able to push the button on their own projects.
White and Sanders have managed to take all of the Blaxploitation clichés seriously while, at the same time, completely subverting them with their pitch-perfect mockery. From the intrusive boom microphones to a very solid musical score, they’ve made a film that is a hell of a lot of fun. One thing is for sure — “Black Dynamite” will make you long for the days when a movie could leave you feeling like a baaaadasssssss as the lights came up in the theater.
Go check it out!
- Sorry, Mr. Jackson! [↩]