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Music City Mondays: Blaxploitation

Music City Mondays: Blaxploitation

Blaxploitation is a subgenre of American films released in the early to mid 1970’s characterized by primarily African American casts, elements of exploitation (sex, drugs, violence, etc), depictions of empowered black characters, and the incredible use of original scores by some of most prominent funk and jazz musicians of the day. Many of these made-on-the-cheap films broke through to achieve huge box office success, bucking expectations that they would only appeal to viewers in the “urban” market. Their portrayal of black life, however, was not without its detractors. This unique genre was given its name by then NAACP head Junius Griffin, who used the designation to criticize these films’ use of what he considered negative stereotypes about the African American experience. In the years since, the critical consensus around these films has warmed substantially as they are some of the best early examples of principally black casts and crews getting their work seen by a mainstream audience. The lasting effects of the genre on pop culture cannot be overstated either, and these films deserve reconsideration through contemporary eyes and critique.

This July, we celebrate a unique group of films that represent a wide spectrum of approaches to entertainingly showing the socio-economic concerns of a generation of people of color that also happen to sport some of the greatest soundtracks of all time, featuring the talents of Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, Roy Ayers, James Brown, and Earth, Wind & Fire.


This Week (click showtimes to purchase)

Thursday

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERSTHE WIFETHE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POSTRental Screening: POPPYSEED: The Story of Naomi TaylorMADELINE'S MADELINEBLAZEMANDY

Friday

THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POSTTHE WIFELET THE CORPSES TANTHREE IDENTICAL STRANGERSI AM NOT A WITCHMANDY

Saturday

THE FURIES: Introduction from Elyce Helford, Middle Tennessee State University (1:45pm)
THE WIFETHREE IDENTICAL STRANGERSTHE FURIESTHE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POSTLET THE CORPSES TANI AM NOT A WITCHMANDY

Sunday

JOHNNY GUITAR: Introduction from Mark Wollaeger, Vanderbilt University (1:45pm)
Essential Westerns wrap-up conversation (4:00pm)
THE WIFETHREE IDENTICAL STRANGERSJOHNNY GUITARTHE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POSTLET THE CORPSES TANI AM NOT A WITCHMANDY

Monday

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERSTHE WIFELET THE CORPSES TANTHE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POSTI AM NOT A WITCHMANDY

Tuesday

THE WIFETHE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POSTLET THE CORPSES TANTHREE IDENTICAL STRANGERSI AM NOT A WITCHMANDY

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