Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Website 'Withoutabox' Crashes Under Deluge of HBO Access Writing Submissions Website 'Withoutabox' Crashes Under Deluge of HBO Access Writing Submissions Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios to Shut Down in December (But is It a Good Thing?) Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios to Shut Down in December (But is It a Good Thing?) Steve McQueen Is Directing a Music Video for Kanye West's Latest Single 'All Day' Steve McQueen Is Directing a Music Video for Kanye West's Latest Single 'All Day' If You've Been Waiting for It to Get There, 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Is Now Streaming on Netflix If You've Been Waiting for It to Get There, 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Is Now Streaming on Netflix 2016 Oscar Outlook - 15 Black Actors, Actresses, Directors, Films That May Be in Contention Next Year 2016 Oscar Outlook - 15 Black Actors, Actresses, Directors, Films That May Be in Contention Next Year Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? Nick Cannon Gets Behind New Live-Action Musical Series, 'Make It Pop,' for Upcoming TV Season Nick Cannon Gets Behind New Live-Action Musical Series, 'Make It Pop,' for Upcoming TV Season A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' 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...

Watch 'Oscar Micheaux: The Czar of Black Hollywood' - Rare Feature Doc on the Cinema Pioneer

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 22, 2014 at 11:28AM

The filmmaker said he was inspired to make the film because, in part, he was shocked that, in spite of Micheaux's historical significance, there was "virtually nothing out there about [his] life"
9
Czar of Black Hollywood Poster

It confounds me that an official feature film on the life and work of Oscar Micheaux (whether a comprehensive documentary made for the big screen, or a scripted biopic with proper financial backing) has never been made - especially in a time when there seems to be so much interest in films based on the lives of real life public figures. Granted he's been gone for over 50 years now, but that's even more of a reason to bring his life story to the screen, if only so that there's a necessary broader awareness of him - a pioneer who seems, for all intents and purposes, except in certain cinephile circles, lost in the annals of cinema history.

I'm curious to know if, those of you currently in film school, or who recently graduated, have been, or were previously exposed to Micheaux and his work in any of your various classes. When I was in film school, I learned nothing of the man, so I'm really interested in knowing if he's in any current curriculums.

There was Pearl Bowser's 1994 documentary "Midnight Ramble: Oscar Micheaux & the Story of Race Movies," but that wasn't specifically about Micheaux; rather a telling of the history of black cinema, specifically during the first few decades of the industry's existence, when so-called "Race movies" were made.

Looking ahead, currently in development are: writer/director JD Walker's Oscar Micheaux feature film (a scripted project we first alerted to a year ago, and have been updating you on since then), titled "Oscar Micheaux: Negro Pioneer," and a feature documentary called "Oscar's Comeback," directed by Lisa Collins, which takes a look at a festival celebrating a Micheaux - a festival in an all-white town (Gregory, South Dakota

While we wait for those 2 films to be completed, check out the 60-minute web-released 2014 documentary on Micheaux below, titled "Oscar Micheaux: The Czar of Black Hollywood," which chronicles the early life and career of Micheaux (1884-1951), using archival film, images and music to create a portrait of Micheaux's early life.

The film comes from director Bayer Mack, and Block Starz Television (I assume a riff on Black Starz?). 

Mack said he was inspired to make the film because, in part, he was shocked that, in spite of Micheaux's historical significance, there was "virtually nothing out there about [his] life."

The film is executive produced by Frances Presley Rice and Hal Croasmun, and narrated by William Bell.

To follow its progress, visit http://www.facebook.com/oscarmicheauxdocumentary and/or https://twitter.com/oscarmicheaux.

By the way, JD Walker's project (titled "Oscar Micheaux: Negro Pioneer") can be tracked at its website (http://www.oscarmicheauxmovie.com) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OscarMicheauxMovie).

And you can follow Lisa Collins' "Oscar's Comeback" here: http://www.oscarscomeback.com/.

Watch Bayer Mack's "Oscar Micheaux: The Czar of Black Hollywood" below, split into 4 parts:



This article is related to: Bayer Mack


Shadow & ActNewsletter