Posts Tagged ‘Black Science Fiction’

Media Update 7/2/20

July 2, 2020

Cosmic Slop

When I was doing research for this week’s theme (because I was suddenly insanely curious), I stumbled upon this obscure movie and I was immediately interested. This actually has a really interesting history. It was originally supposed to be a show similar to Twilight Zone but only three episodes were produced and formed into a makeshift movie. The three segments are introduced by funk legend George Clinton acting like an alien. In fact, the title of the show is the name of a Funkadelic album. What caught my attention was the segment called “Space Traders” which is the most famous story. Basically, aliens come to Earth and promise to fix all of the United States’ problems if they will allow the aliens to take all of America’s black people. It is as heartbreaking as it sounds. All of the segments are intensely interesting and say a lot about African American culture. The special effects are incredibly cheap (which tracks with it being CGI from 1994) but the drama and acting are both so good. The stories are also well-written because they adapted successful short stories. The third segment “Tang” has especially good acting and I want to see it adapted to live theater. I really recommend this movie. (It’s free on Youtube currently)

Space is the Place

This was a movie basically created by the famous jazz/funk musician Sun Ra. He wanted to relay his philosophy surrounding the African American people. It ends up being a sort of Afrofuturist fable about the conflict between capitalism and spiritualism for the soul of the black man. A lot of it is very symbolic but some parts are a bit more literal. Sun Ra is the hero, returned from space to get black people to come with him in his space ship to a new land. He is up against basically the devil, played incredibly charismatically by Raymond Johnson. Seriously, he was the best part. The movie definitely dips into blaxploitation (with some full-frontal nudity) but it is mostly an odd yet entertaining movie. I would suggest holding onto a plot synopsis because the movie can get a bit weird at places. However, I think it is followable. It is a fascinating movie but not for everybody. I recommend it. (It is also free on YouTube)

The Brother from Another Planet

I was drawn to this movie because it stars Joe Morton, an actor that I have loved ever since I first saw him in the show Eureka. He is a great actor and is just instantly recognizable and likable. The movie is about an alien who arrives on Earth and stumbles into Harlem. He is from another planet yet he appears to be a black man. The movie does not so much have a plot arc but instead is driven by the main character’s interactions with earth customs in the early eighties. Adding to the intrigue is that Joe Morton’s unnamed character is completely mute. All of his acting is through gestures and facial expressions. It makes for interesting dialogue as characters around him end up revealing more of themselves than they probably would normally because he is silent and the conversations are lopsided. Morton interacts with many interesting characters and is flustered by capitalism, racism, and the ordinary goings-on of New York City. I definitely recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:
Funkadelic – Cosmic Slop

Sun Ra Arkestra – Seductive Fantasy

The Bright Light Social Hour – Ghost Dance

Cherae Leri – Feel

Indigo Mak – Ecstasy

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Black Science Fiction”
– I watched more Elementary Season 2
– I watched more Flash Season 6
– I watched more Arrow Season 8
– I watched more Watcher videos
– I watched more Supergirl Season 5
– I watched more Riverdale Season 4
– I watched more Black Lightning Season 3
– I watched more Rizzoli and Isles Season 4
– I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 5
– I watched more Supernatural Season 15
– I watched more Doom Patrol Season 1

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