Melvin Van Peebles, Influential Director of Black Cinema, Dies at 89

Van Peebles directed such movies as ‘Watermelon Man’ and ‘Candy Sweetback’s Baadasssss Music.’

Picture by way of Cinemation Industries

Melvin Van Peebles, the filmmaker behind the influential 1971 movie Candy Sweetback’s Baadassss Music and others, has handed away on the age of 89. Van Peebles left an important influence on filmmaking as a pioneer of the Blaxploitation subgenre.

Van Peebles was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1932. He earned a B.A. in Literature from Ohio Wesleyan College in 1954 and served for 3 and a half years in america Air Drive. In 1957, he shot his first quick movie, Pickup Males for Herrick, which was later screened on the influential New York Metropolis movie society Cinema 16. His first and solely Hollywood characteristic was 1970’s Watermelon Man, later transitioning to impartial filmmaking with Sweetback. He labored prolifically all through the remainder of his life, along with his different directing credit together with 1989’s Id Disaster and 2000’s Bellyful.

His performing credit embrace the 2003 Shining miniseries and Posse. He continuously collaborated along with his son Mario Van Peebles, who starred and directed in movies similar to New Jack Metropolis and Baadasssss!. Exterior of filmmaking, he was also called a prolific novelist, musician, and playwright. He’s survived by his youngsters Mario, Megan, and Max.


Picture by way of Cinemation Industries

RELATED: Melvin Van Peebles, Groundbreaking Unbiased Filmmaker, Will get Profession Retrospective With New Criterion Field Set

His passing comes days earlier than The Criterion Assortment plans to launch a profession retrospective field set devoted to his works. The corporate launched an announcement on behalf of the Van Peebles household as we speak, citing his “indelible mark” all through the numerous mediums he influenced. Mario additionally supplied a short assertion on the matter, which may be learn under in its entirety:

“Dad knew that Black photographs matter. If an image is price a thousand phrases, what was a film price? We wish to be the success we see, thus we have to see ourselves being free. True liberation didn’t imply imitating the colonizer’s mentality. It meant appreciating the facility, magnificence, and interconnectivity of all individuals.”

The employees right here at Collider sends our ideas and condolences to Van Peebles’ associates, household, and family members as they mourn this large loss.

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