Fela Kuti/Melvin Van Peebles film festival.

It only lasted two nights. Both films were screened in our living room by an exclusive audience numbering four. Two human. Two feline.

Two nights ago we were blown away by an amazing Fela Kuti documentary called Music is the Weapon. My TiVo has strict instructions to record anything about Fela or his son Femi, and this was a great find. The brief, 1982 documentary is amazing examination of his struggle with the Nigerian government, his political and personal philosophies, and his music. Take one part John Coltrane, one part James Brown, one part Bob Marley, give him a compound to live in and a venue in which to play every night, surrounding him with musicians, friends and bodyguards, add about fifteen wives and apparently the largest weed stash in all of Nigeria. You got yourself a documentary. Here’s a clip:

Last night, we followed that up with How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It) over on IFC. It’s a biography of Melvin Van Peebles. I don’t throw words like pioneer, visionary and renaissance man around lightly. But anyone who’s made important cinema in two different languages, invented a genre of film, had two plays on Broadway at once and recorded several influential albums has earned the right to be called all those things and more.

Here’s the trailer:

2 Responses to “Fela Kuti/Melvin Van Peebles film festival.”

  1. 1 Joe Miller Mar 4th, 2007 at 8:50 am

    Let’s get a soundtrack available. I would love to have all 4 (5?) opening songs to compare in order to compare the crative differences between them. Keep plugging away. Joe

  1. 1 LA Weekly showing some soul at NickAdamsWeb Pingback on Jul 19th, 2007 at 7:36 pm

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