Author Topic: Eyes on the Prize  (Read 10816 times)

mañana

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 20863
  • Check your public library
Re: Eyes on the Prize
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2009, 08:44:21 PM »
These programs are not available on DVD commercially?

A lot of public libraries have it.
There's no deceit in the cauliflower.

Basil

  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 9510
  • Entrepreneur, spiritualist, healer.
    • Forced Perspective
Re: Eyes on the Prize
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2009, 10:19:08 PM »
What happened to this?  :(
I'm like Cold Stone: you either like me, love me, or gotta have me.

pixote

  • Administrator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33838
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: Eyes on the Prize
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2009, 11:16:52 PM »
What happened to this?  :(

It's all happening by Tuesday.  I'm just behind on stuff.

pixote
Great  |  Near Great  |  Very Good  |  Good  |  Fair  |  Mixed  |  Middling  |  Bad

pixote

  • Administrator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33838
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: Eyes on the Prize
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2009, 07:54:20 PM »

Eyes on the Prize – Part 1  (Judith Vecchione, 1987)

There is an amazing sequence in the prologue that really set the stage for the series.  The first is a snippet from an archival interview with a woman on the street, and she's laughing and crying at the same time as she remembers what her son, Matthew, Jr., said when he called her from jail:  "Be cool, mother.  Be cool."  She laughs as she dabs away the huge teardrops on her eyelashes, then adds, "And that was very ... trying, and yet it was amusing, too — his telling me to 'be cool' at this point."



The film cuts directly from there to archival footage of some black men being pulled away from a lunch counter and stomped on, with no narration to interrupt or obscure the sounds of the violent scuffle; and it's maybe the same man, half-conscious, we next see being led away by the police; and it could even be the same man whose family we soon see mourning him at a funeral, as a deep, rich voice comes up on the soundtrack, singing, "I been ... in the storm ..."  And then, on top of that, comes the voice and image of Martin Luther King, Jr., telling the crowd before him, "We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man."  And that's when I first get chills.  The way those last words — "the day of man as man" — both reflect and contrast with the hope and violence and sacrifice and dignity in the images they follow lends them even more power and emotion than they already have.  Be cool, mother.

That sequence really showcases the absolutely brilliant editing, both of picture and sound, that's on display throughout Part 1 (as well as the rest of the series).  It's really an achievement.  Equally remarkable is the film's use of archival footage.  The research that went into tracking down all the primary source materials is truly great, but the judiciousness with which the film incorporate those materials is maybe even more impressive.  I especially love how the film occassionally just lets some of the seemingly random footage — for instance, a news program b-roll shot of everyday city street — play out without interruption, not as b-roll but as a thing unto itself.  These moments in film are very effective at enhancing the atmosphere of a sequence and adding almost a thoughtfulness to the film's tempo.  And, on top of that, the filmmakers almost always seem to know the perfect shot to use.  The mother in the prologue is a great example.  There's nothing inherent in that shot that demands its inclusion in the introduction to this six-hour series — no grand historical significance or anything.  It's just a random, unassuming, woman-on-the-street interview.  Only when it plays in that context above does it become clear just how essential it really is.

After the prologue, Part 1 touches on Brown vs. Board of Education before focusing on two main events:  the murder of Emmett Till and the Montgomery bus boycott.  The Till sequence is really harrowing and tragic and devastating and, in a way, wonderful.  The everyday courage of Till's uncle Mose Wright in testifying against the two murderers is as uplifting as those murderers' eventual acquital is angering.  The most lasting images, though, come from Till's funeral.  Narrator Julian Bond tells us, "The body was shipped home, back north to Chicago, where Mamie Till Bradley insisted on an open casket funeral — 'so all the world can see,' she said, 'what they did to my boy.'"



Bond adds, "Jet magazine showed Till's corpse.  Beaten, mutilated, shot through the head.  A generation of black people would remember the horror of that photo."

I need to take a breath.

pixote
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 08:06:52 PM by pixote »
Great  |  Near Great  |  Very Good  |  Good  |  Fair  |  Mixed  |  Middling  |  Bad

pixote

  • Administrator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33838
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: Eyes on the Prize
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2009, 11:27:18 PM »
Other notes on Part 1:

- Till's mother, in dealing with the press after her son's murder, comes across as such as amazing person, and watching her at the funeral just broke my heart — especially thinking back to Matthew Jr.'s mother getting that call from jail.

- I couldn't help but see Chicago as linking Till and Obama.  If I cry tomorrow, it'll partly be for Emmett.

- It's odd, I guess, how racist langage and institutions can be more enraging as racial violence.  Reexperiencing Till's death made me sad, but hearing Tallahatchie County Sheriff H.C. Strider say, in the middle of the Till case, "We never have any trouble until some of our southern niggers go up north, and the NAACP talks to them, and they come back home," that's what made me angry and blood-thirsty.  That and the self-satisfaction I read in the faces of the all-white jury.

- The second half of the film, covering the Montgomery bus boycott, isn't as tightly put together, but still very good (of course).

- Martin Luther King, Jr.: "If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong."  So powerful.

- One really fascinating thing was hearing Coretta Scott King recall that, in the early stages of the boycott, "we didn't even ask for desegregation."  That, according to her, seemed too far-fetched.  All they were asking for was a more fair system of segregation!  Only when they were totally rebuffed did the leaders of the boycott figure they might as well go all in.

- Hearing Martin Luther King, Jr., talk about how the cause was greater than him and how an individual must stand up and be counted again brought me back to thinking about Obama and the path of the last two years and the possibilities of the next four years.  Hope.

- Rev. Shuttlesworth uses the great metaphor, "You can't shame segregation. ... Rattlesnakes don't commit suicide."  I need to find a way to work that into conversation.

- From this remove, the Ku Klux Klan is f—king hilarious.  All the pageantry and the histronics, walking down the street in robes thinking they're reservoir dogs or some shit but just looking absolutely ridiculous, I couldn't help but laugh a little.  I mean, come on, so pathetic.



- On the flipside, young Martin Luther King Jr. is pretty f—king hot.  He's even crazy dapper in his mug shot.



Man as man, indeed! I've got my eyes on that prize.  Rawr.

(Happy birthday, Martin.)

pixote
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 11:42:57 PM by pixote »
Great  |  Near Great  |  Very Good  |  Good  |  Fair  |  Mixed  |  Middling  |  Bad

mañana

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 20863
  • Check your public library
Re: Eyes on the Prize
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2010, 02:05:59 PM »
Part 1: Awakenings  (1954-56)

The film cuts directly from there to archival footage of some black men being pulled away from a lunch counter and stomped on, with no narration to interrupt or obscure the sounds of the violent scuffle
That footage was amazing, and nicely presented.

Till's mother, in dealing with the press after her son's murder, comes across as such as amazing person,
No kidding. I was wondering what her background was. It seems like she must have been a seasoned speaker and activist, or maybe she was just an amazingly poised person.

It's odd, I guess, how racist langage and institutions can be more enraging as racial violence.  Reexperiencing Till's death made me sad, but hearing Tallahatchie County Sheriff H.C. Strider say, in the middle of the Till case, "We never have any trouble until some of our southern niggers go up north, and the NAACP talks to them, and they come back home," that's what made me angry and blood-thirsty.
Yeah, that's an incredible clip.

The second half of the film, covering the Montgomery bus boycott, isn't as tightly put together
I thought that too, I was kind of disappointed by that section.

From this remove, the Ku Klux Klan is f—king hilarious.  All the pageantry and the histronics, walking down the street in robes thinking they're reservoir dogs or some shit but just looking absolutely ridiculous, I couldn't help but laugh a little.  I mean, come on, so pathetic.
I see what you're saying but that's not the feeling it gives me. The sight of them scares the shit out of me.

young Martin Luther King Jr. is pretty f—king hot.  He's even crazy dapper in his mug shot.
26 years old!?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 09:04:41 AM by matt the movie watcher »
There's no deceit in the cauliflower.

mañana

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 20863
  • Check your public library
Re: Eyes on the Prize
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2010, 07:33:58 PM »
There's no deceit in the cauliflower.