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MELVIN VAN PEEBLES: FOUR FILMS Comes to Criterion Collection DVD

Also included in the set is Baadasssss!, a chronicle of the production of Sweet Sweetback made by Van Peebles’s son Mario Van Peebles.

MELVIN VAN PEEBLES: FOUR FILMS Comes to Criterion Collection DVD

Director, writer, composer, actor, and one-man creative revolutionary Melvin Van Peebles jolted American independent cinema to new life with his explosive stylistic energy and unfiltered expression of Black consciousness. Though he undeniably altered the course of film history with the anarchic Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, that pop-culture bombshell is just one piece of a remarkably varied career that has also encompassed forays into European art cinema (The Story of a Three Day Pass), mainstream Hollywood comedy (Watermelon Man), and Broadway musicals (Don't Play Us Cheap). Each facet of Van Peebles's renegade genius is on display in this collection of four films, a tribute to a transformative artist whose caustic social observation, radical formal innovation, and uncompromising vision established a new cinematic model for Black creative independence. Also included in the set is Baadasssss!, a chronicle of the production of Sweet Sweetback made by Van Peebles's son Mario Van Peebles-and starring the younger Van Peebles as Melvin.

FIVE-BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION COLLECTOR'S SET FEATURES

• New 4K digital restorations of all four films, approved by filmmaker Mario Van Peebles, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks for The Story of a Three Day Pass, Watermelon Man, and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song and 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack for DON'T Play Us Cheap

• Baadasssss!, a 2003 fictional feature film based on director Melvin Van Peebles's diaries from the making of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, directed by and starring his son Mario Van Peebles, with commentary by father and son

• New conversations between Mario Van Peebles and film critic Elvis Mitchell; producer Warrington Hudlin and critic and filmmaker Nelson George; and scholars Gerald R. Butters Jr., and Novotny Lawrence

• Audio commentary by Melvin Van Peebles from 1997 on Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

• Three early short films directed by Melvin Van Peebles

• How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It), a 2005 documentary on Van Peebles's life and career

THE STORY BEHIND "Baadasssss!": The Birth of Black Cinema, a 2004 featurette

• Melvin Van Peebles: The Real Deal, a 2002 interview with the director on the making of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

• Episodes of Black Journal from 1968, 1971, and 1972, on The Story of a Three Day Pass, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, and DON'T Play Us Cheap

• Interview from 1971 with Van Peebles on Detroit Tubeworks

• French television interview from 1968 with Van Peebles and actors Harry Baird and Nicole Berger on the set of The Story of a Three Day Pass

• Excerpts from a 2004 interview with Van Peebles for the Directors Guild of America Visual History Program

• Introductions to all four films by Van Peebles

• Trailers

• New English subtitle translation for The Story of a Three Day Pass

• English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

• PLUS: A 64-page book featuring writing on the films, including an introduction by film scholar Racquel J. Gates


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