Recently TCM played two of the Gordon Parks films, Shaft (1971) and The Super Cops (1974). Both held up very well and you could see many creative influences they had on other early 70’s movies like Dog Day Afternoon and French Connection.
Among his other talents he also wrote songs and poetry. Like Stanley Kubrick he started as a photographer before becoming a director. That explains the great shots and cinematography in these movies.
While dismissed as “blaxploitation”, I think they should be viewed no differently than other action films of the era like the Dirty Harry or Death Wish series.
Given current events, his films, including The Learning Tree are as relevant today as then.
Below is a link to his Photos and many interesting videos.
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich had conducted extensive interviews with Welles, but a number of circumstances–including the director’s decision to compose an autobiography that he never got around to writing–kept the interviews out of the public eye. Finally edited and annotated by Jonathan Rosenbaum, these conversations give wonderful insights into Welles’s craft and personality. He discusses his forays into acting, producing, and writing as well as directing, his confidences and insecurities, and his plans for film projects that were either never made or only partially completed.
“The Great Picture” is a unique camera obscura black-and-white, gelatin silver, photograph 31 feet high and 107 feet wide.
The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will exhibit “The Great Picture” at its Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., beginning this spring. The 3,375-square-foot photograph of an abandoned Marine Corps air station in Southern California was taken by the largest pinhole camera in the world. Visitors can see the photograph from April 26 through November.
“The Great Picture” is a unique camera obscura black-and-white, gelatin silver, photograph 31 feet high and 107 feet wide. This single mammoth photograph was created in 2006 by a group of six artists—Jerry Burchfield, Mark Chamberlain, Jacques Garnier, Rob Johnson, Douglas McCulloh, and Clayton Spada—along with hundreds of volunteers. They transformed the abandoned F/A-18 fighter jet hangar into a gigantic pinhole camera by darkening and sealing the interior from outside light. A pinhole just under a quarter-inch in diameter was centered between the metal hangar doors to serve as the camera’s aperture. While this particular pinhole camera was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest, the “camera-obscura” technique has been known for more than 2,000 years.
Established in 1942, Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Southern California became the largest Marine air station on the West Coast and headquarters for Marine air operations in the Pacific region during and after World War II. All U.S. presidents in the postwar era landed in Air Force One at El Toro before it was decommissioned in 1999. “The Great Picture” shows the air station’s control tower, other structures and runways, and the San Joaquin Hills in the background.
“‘The Great Picture,’ as a photograph, is distinct from almost every photograph in the world,” said artist Douglas McCulloh. “It remains linked to, and an integral part of, both the camera and the place by containing the information of the place within it. It also contains the process….You can’t look at it and not ask—what was the camera?”
Visitors will have a chance to meet and speak with one of the artists at the Udvar-Hazy Center Saturday, April 26, 1–3 p.m. Jacques Garnier will sign copies of The Great Picture: Making the World’s Largest Photograph, a book that documents the techniques used during this creative process.