Tag Archives: James Earl Jones

John Berry – Claudine [+Commentary] (1974)

Quote:
Diahann Carroll is radiant in an unforgettable, Oscar-nominated performance as Claudine, a strong-willed single mother, raising six kids in Harlem, whose budding relationship with a gregarious garbage collector (an equally fantastic James Earl Jones) is stressed by the difficulty of getting by in an oppressive system. As directed by the formerly blacklisted leftist filmmaker John Berry, this romantic comedy with a social conscience deftly balances warm humor with a serious look at the myriad issues—from cycles of poverty to the indignities of the welfare system—that shape its characters’ realities. The result is an empathetic chronicle of both Black working-class struggle and Black joy, a bittersweet, bighearted celebration of family and community set to a sunny soul soundtrack composed by Curtis Mayfield and performed by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Read More »

Ivan Nagy – Deadly Hero (1975)

Synopsis:
When disturbed cop Lacy rescues Sally, a beautiful cellist, from deranged killer Rabbit by shooting Rabbit in cold blood, he sets off a spark of publicity that brands him the city’s hero. Read More »

John Sayles – Matewan (1987)

Independent filmmaker John Sayles creates one of his more artistic works with this period feature about a volatile 1920s labor dispute in the town of Matewan, West Virginia. Matewan is a coal town where the local miners’ lives are controlled by the powerful Stone Mountain Coal Company. The company practically owns the town, reducing workers’ wages while raising prices at the company-owned supply and grocery. The citizens’ land and homes are not their own, and the future seems dim. When the coal company brings immigrants and minorities to Matewan as cheaper labor, union organizer Joe Kenehan (Chris Cooper) scours the town to unite all miners in a strike. Read More »

Charles Burnett – The Annihilation of Fish (1999)

Quote:
James Earl Jones and Lynn Redgrave star as mutually insane neighbors in a California apartment house who become romantically involved (she thinks she’s sexually intimate with Puccini, and he periodically wrestles with a demon of his own named Hank). Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep, The Glass Shield) directed this whimsical, bittersweet 1999 feature, handling the actors with sensitivity, but the preciousness of Anthony C. Winkler’s screenplay, adapted from his own novel, only underlines how much better off Burnett is writing his own scripts (Nightjohn being an exception). With Margot Kidder.
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader Read More »