‘The Wire: Complete Series’ on HBO Max and HBO Now

“Follow the drugs, and you’ll find dealers and users. Follow the money, and you have no idea where the case will take you.” So began the first season of HBO’s compelling tale of cops, crooks, and the social and bureaucratic forces that both divide and bind them, and the begining of an epic series that […]

David Oyelowo is Martin Luther King in Ava DuVernay's 'Selma.'

Academy Award winner ‘Selma’ free on digital platforms

Selma (2014), directed by Ava Duvernay (who also rewrote the screenplay without credit, due to conditions of original screenwriter Paul Webb’s deal), takes on the 1965 march led by Dr. Martin Luther King through Alabama as a benchmark moment in the fight for voting rights and, more generally, civil rights for black citizens in the American […]

Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, and Jodie Foster star in Spike Lee's 'Inside Man.'

‘Inside Man’ on Netflix

Inside Man (2006) isn’t the kind of film you expect from Spike Lee, who has always favored conversation over action. That’s part of the pleasure. It’s a high concept heist thriller starring Clive Owen as the brains behind a bank robbery turned hostage situation and Denzel Washington as the presiding NYPD Detective on the scene, […]

Francine Everett is "Dirty Gertie" in the film directed by Spencer Williams

Black Film History Pioneers – The ‘Blood’ of Spencer Williams on Netflix and Criterion Channel

The legacy of films made by and for African-American audiences before Hollywood integrated its casts is largely unknown to even passionate films buffs. They were rarely seen by white audiences in their day and were rarely preserved with the same dedication given to the maverick films of Hollywood. Netflix and Criterion Channel present over 20 […]

Directed by James and Eloyce Gist

Black Film History Pioneers – James and Eloyce Gist ‘Heaven-Bound’ on Netflix and Criterion Channel

The legacy of films made by and for African-American audiences before Hollywood integrated its casts is largely unknown to even passionate films buffs. They were rarely seen by white audiences in their day and were rarely preserved with the same dedication given to the maverick films of Hollywood. Netflix and Criterion Channel present over 20 […]

Rudy Ray Moore is the original ‘Dolemite’ on Amazon Prime Video

Who’s the baddest mother (shut yo mouth!) to blow into the early seventies? Forget Shaft and just ask X-rated comic and “godfather of rap” Rudy Ray Moore. He’ll give you the gospel of Dolemite (1975). Street hustler, pimp, and all around ghetto superhero Dolemite began life as a character in Moore’s nightclub act and was […]

Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in 'Creed.'

‘Creed’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Creed (2015) passes the Rocky torch to the next generation, with Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed and Sylvester Stallone quite touching as Rocky Balboa, playing mentor and father figure to the underdog boxer. The film was a dream project for filmmaker Ryan Coogler, who directed the acclaimed indie drama Fruitvale Station […]

Nola Darling and Tommy Redmond Hicks star in Spike Lee's debut feature

Spike Lee’s original ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ on Netflix

“Please baby, please baby, please baby baby baby please!” Spike Lee exploded in the independent film world with his debut feature She’s Gotta Have It (1986), an inventive low budget romance with a strong-willed heroine. Tracy Camilla Johns is the confident and sexually independent Nola Darling, a young professional Brooklynite who is happy to sample […]

'Straight Outta Compton': The story of N.W.A.

‘Straight Outta Compton’ on VOD and disc

Billed as “The World’s Most Dangerous Group,” N.W.A. was a musical bomb that blew up the hip-hop world with such force that the reverberations were felt all through popular culture. Straight Outta Compton, developed by N.W.A. founding members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre and directed by F. Gary Gray, dramatizes origins and impact of the […]

Seret Scott and Bill Gunn in the landmark feature film debut by Kathleen Collins

‘Losing Ground’ – The landmark American indie on Milestone Blu-ray/DVD

If you’ve never heard of American playwright and filmmaker Kathleen Collins, don’t feel bad. At least not for yourself. Collins succumbed to cancer in 1988 at the age of 46 after completing just one feature. The independently-made Losing Ground (1982) was produced before the American Indie film culture established itself with the successes of Spike […]