Reel Black Talk: A Sourcebook of 50 American Filmmakers

By Spencer Moon | Go to book overview

MARIO VAN PEEBLES

BACKGROUND

Mario Van Peebles describes his parents in the book Panther: A Pictorial History of the Black Panthers and the Story behind the Film ( 1995): "two non- conformist, nonmaterialistic, interracial, avant-garde, crazy-ass parents who made an in-your-face art of kicking down almost any racist or sexist barriers placed before them." Mario traveled the world as a young child, from Mexico (where he was born) to Morocco, Amsterdam and Paris.

Mario grew up in Europe, but his family eventually settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. Young Mario was acting by age 8, making his debut in a local production of A Thousand Clowns. As a young teen he made his screen debut in his father's ground-breaking film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song** ( 1971). His German-born mother taught him her avocation, photography. Taking his photography skills, and using self-portraits and his natural good looks and personality, Mario worked as a model for the famous Ford Agency. His father instilled in him early the need to know the business side of show business. An economics degree led him for a time to work in the office of New York City mayor Edward Koch as a budget analyst. After studying acting with Stella Adler, the pull of show business eventually saw him take to the boards off-Broadway. His turns in theater led to film roles as actor; later, working with his father on a variety of projects in theater, film and television, he eventually landed in the director's chair for both film and television.

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Reel Black Talk: A Sourcebook of 50 American Filmmakers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • FOREWORD: NINETY-PLUS YEARS OF FILMMAKING vii
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • THE FILMMAKERS 1
  • William Alexander 3
  • Madeline Anderson 7
  • Neema Barnette 16
  • St. Clair Bourne 29
  • Charles Burnett 39
  • Introduction 46
  • Roy Campanella II 47
  • Ayoka Chenzira 57
  • Francee Covington 68
  • Julie Dash 79
  • Ivan Dixon 87
  • Bill Duke 95
  • Jamaa Fanaka 101
  • Carl Franklin 111
  • Wendell Franklin 115
  • William Greaves 123
  • Henry Hampton 130
  • Hobart Whitaker Harris 138
  • Wendell Burks Harris, Jr. 148
  • Reginald Hudlin 160
  • Albert and Allen Hughes 171
  • George Jackson and Doug McHenry 175
  • Ashley James 188
  • Avon Kirkland 198
  • Stan Lathan 208
  • Spike Lee 223
  • Louis Massiah 233
  • Oscar Deveraux Micheaux 244
  • Floyd Norman and Leo Sullivan 255
  • Michelle Parkerson 266
  • Gordon Alexander Parks, Sr. 275
  • Matty Rich 281
  • Hugh Robertson 295
  • Michael Schultz 299
  • Jackie Shearer 307
  • John Singleton 315
  • Arlando C. Smith 322
  • Robert Townsend 329
  • Mario Van Peebles 335
  • Melvin Van Peebles 341
  • Mark Warren III 351
  • The Wayans Family: Keenan Ivory, Damon, Shawn and Marlon 359
  • Spencer William, Jr. 366
  • Allen Willis 372
  • Appendix 381
  • SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 385
  • Index 387
  • About the Author 397
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