Body and Soul
Directed by Oscar Micheaux • 1925 • United States
Starring Paul Robeson, Mercedes Gilbert, Lawrence Chenault
Although the 1920s brought him acclaim as a stage actor and singer, Paul Robeson still had to prove himself as a viable screen performer. Mainstream avenues were limited, however, and his first films were made on the peripheries of the film business. BODY AND SOUL, directed by the legendary African American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, is a direct critique of the power of the cloth, casting Robeson in dual roles as a jackleg preacher and a well-meaning inventor.
Up Next in Black Lives
Directed by Ousmane Sembène • 1966 • Senegal
Starring M’Bissine Thérèse Diop
Ousmane Sembène was one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most renowned African director of the twentieth century—and yet his name still deserves to be better known in ...
Portrait of Jason
Directed by Shirley Clarke • 1967 • United States
Starring Jason Holliday
On the night of December 2, 1966, Shirley Clarke and a tiny crew convened in her apartment at the Hotel Chelsea to make a film. For twelve straight hours, they filmed the one-and-only Jason Holliday as he spun tales, sang,...
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One
Directed by William Greaves • 1968 • United States
Starring William Greaves, Patricia Ree Gilbert, Don Fellows
In his one-of-a-kind fiction/documentary hybrid SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM TAKE ONE, director William Greaves presides over a beleaguered film crew in New York’s Central Park, leaving them t...