Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Open Casting Call - 2 Male Leads in New Feature Film From the Producers of 'Pariah' & 'Yelling to the Sky' Open Casting Call - 2 Male Leads in New Feature Film From the Producers of 'Pariah' & 'Yelling to the Sky' "Stakes Is High" in First Trailer for Season 2 of STARZ Hit Drama Series 'Power' (Returns This Summer) "Stakes Is High" in First Trailer for Season 2 of STARZ Hit Drama Series 'Power' (Returns This Summer) An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay American 'Luther' Gets Official Pilot Order at Fox, But Contingent on Cast. Let's Help Them Out... American 'Luther' Gets Official Pilot Order at Fox, But Contingent on Cast. Let's Help Them Out... Anthony Mackie Says 'Selma' Oscar Snub Is Because Voters Are "Tired of Race" Anthony Mackie Says 'Selma' Oscar Snub Is Because Voters Are "Tired of Race" Sundance Trailer Exclusive: Stanley Nelson's Timely 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Sundance Trailer Exclusive: Stanley Nelson's Timely 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Geeks Gone Wild in First Trailer for Rick Famuyiwa's Sundance-Bound Drama 'Dope' Geeks Gone Wild in First Trailer for Rick Famuyiwa's Sundance-Bound Drama 'Dope' These Movies Are Coming to Netflix's Streaming Library in February These Movies Are Coming to Netflix's Streaming Library in February Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Premieres Tonight on OWN. Watch 3 Clips Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Premieres Tonight on OWN. Watch 3 Clips Amazon Announces Plans to Disrupt Feature Film Production & Distribution Environment Amazon Announces Plans to Disrupt Feature Film Production & Distribution Environment Watch Teaser for 'Being Mary Jane' Season 2 + Details on Story, Guest Stars Watch Teaser for 'Being Mary Jane' Season 2 + Details on Story, Guest Stars Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Revolution Cinema: 5 Films To Put On Your To-See List This July 4th Holiday Weekend

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 30, 2014 at 4:47PM

In consideration of the political upheaval that took place during the last half of the 18th century, known as The American Revolution, that would lead to The Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776.
3
Spook

In consideration of the political upheaval that took place during the last half of the 18th century, known as The American Revolution, that would lead to The Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776, marking the formation of a new sovereign nation, which called itself the United States of America - a date we now celebrate annually, and will be honoring this week, ahead of a long holiday weekend... 


I thought I'd have some fun and highlight a few of what I'd call "revolution films" that don't necessarily have anything to do with the American Revolution, but that I think join it in spirit, and that you might want to add to your to-see list to watch over the next holiday - that is, assuming you can access them, and haven't already seen them all.

Jean-Luc Godard, pioneer of the French New Wave (a cinema revolution, if there ever was one), is said to have once argued that "revolution cannot be put into images" because "the cinema is the art of lying."

Is it entirely?

Cinema has long been a tool used by filmmakers to provoke, educate, stir, and inspire - an idea that will continue as long as cinema lives. There are those who firmly hold onto the notion that cinema is effectively useless if it doesn't unequivocally, intentionally challenge and instruct; although some would call that brand of cinema "propaganda." Then again, there are also those who argue that all cinema is indeed propaganda.

Feel free to debate the various concepts and ideas if you'd like, in the comments section below.

Right now, I'm going jump into highlighting a handful of films that would fall under "revolution cinema," in a nod to this week's celebration of the USA's independence, which came after the American Revolution - films that you really ought to see, if you haven't yet. And even if you have, why not revisit them?

1- This one was automatic for me. The Ivan Dixon-directed political firebrand of a film, "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" (1973) adapted from the late author Sam Greenlee's novel (he passed away a few weeks ago). 

I'd say that Sweet Sweetback is often the cinematic reference point for radical, subversive black cinema during one of the more contentious periods in American history. But I think the oft-forgotten The Spook Who Sat By The Door was potentially even more lethal in its crafting and message, and really had the ability to inspire a revolution at a time when black people in this country were maybe most susceptible, as well as capable. 

And I'm not sure if many actually know the story of how the film got made - notably, that its budget was financed mostly with funds raised from black investors... people not-so unlike you and I... an idea that's in itself revolutionary, and one that I'd like to see happen more often, especially today. So not only was the content of the film revolution-inspiring, the making of the film was also quite a revolutionary effort. Christine Acham's documentary, "Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who sat by the Door," details the making of the film.

This shouldn't be hard to find on DVD or VOD. In fact, you might even find the entire thing online. It's not streaming on Netflix nor Hulu, sadly.


This article is related to: DVD and VOD


Shadow & ActNewsletter