Oct. 10, 2014
An article I wrote two years ago for The New York Times is being re-published a THIRD time in Canada!
The current (Canadian) edition of Readers Digest (October 2014) contains a newly titled version of my original New York Times piece. Now called "Passing Notes" (the original title was "A Final Message From My Mother,") the story is the main article in the "Family" section of the magazine.
(Thank you, so much, to all of you who took the time to put pen to paper and write me personally!)
Black Women and Popular Culture: The Conversation Continues. Adria Y. Goldman and Vanatta S. Ford; 2014.
Oct. 24, 2014
I did an interview with BUZZFEED whose focus was "paint downs" (the motion picture industry term for darkening the color of a stunt person's skin to match ethnic actors).
Detecting Women: Gender and the Hollywood Detective. Phillipa Gates; 2011.
July 15, 2015
My latest review for Furious Cinema: "The Cell"(2000)
Fifteen years after it first dazzled, thrilled, disgusted and challenged audiences, The Cell, the story of a woman’s descent into the warped, violent, fantasy-filled mind of a serial killer, still fascinates.
Utilizing a performer known for her striking visual presentation—brought to vivid life in her still-going-strong career as a pop singer—Jennifer Lopez expands on the opportunities afforded her in the stellar Selena—and brings her signature, highly marketable, earthiness—used to great advantage in million dollar concoctions like Maid in Manhattan and Monster in Law, to an unabashed, unapologetic, genuinely unsettling film.
As exhausted “exceptionally talented” case worker Catherine Deans—at times a willing inhabitant of the minds of her patients, Jennifer Lopez is many things; all at once: a sword wielding leather-clad dominatrix, a serene, caped and ethereal Virgin Mary, a couture swathed winged and be-feathered bird-woman and, of course, “Jenny from the Block”: a stunningly beautiful, exquisite bodied movie star in possession of an uncommon naturalness.
It’s heady stuff this treatise on the disenfranchised, misunderstood and, as it turns out, un-diagnosed. Illicit desires and hidden depravity are a part of The Cell’s sordid mix. So is an omnipresent essential truth: none of us is in control of anything and if proof be needed, some of us will be captured like animals, put on display and tortured—while a camera obscenely documents and broadcasts our demise for the demented enjoyment of others.
In the role of Peter Novak, a police detective who seems to know a lot about suffering and being an outsider, Vince Vaughan equals Lopez in his commitment to character. Confused but determined, lazy but unrelenting, he is a real person struggling with unreal situations: what exactly is the protocol when entering a person’s mind—especially when that person is a comatose sadistic murderer who holds the key to his last, barely still alive, victim’s whereabouts?
Vincent D’Onofrio is Carl Stargher the serial killer whose “cell” (a glass enclosed chamber that he holds people in—and then slowly fills with water) is the centerpiece of the film. A jittery, plain-faced, misanthrope who collects dolls, hallucinates and self mutilates—a hook bound, hanging-from-the rafters masturbation scene is repulsively personal, D’Onofrio creates a character that we both despise and through our privileged visits into his twisted, abuse filled mind, are not wholly surprised by.
Directed with sleek, studied precision by Tarsem Singh—whose credits at the time were popular music videos: REM’s “Losing My Religion”; En Vogue’s “Hold On”—at every turn Singh, through the use of quick cuts, fractured and disembodied images and shaky, documentary style camera work, delivers more than Mark (Thor, I Am Legend) Protosevich’s stellar script calls for. He provides an over the top, state of the art auxiliary: a haunting collection of artful ideas and base images. Glossy depravity.
Aug. 30, 2014
Cher fans, I'm happy to announce that "Cher: Strong Enough" is now available on KINDLE.
Download your copy today!!!
The Black Body in Ecstasy: Reading Race, Reading Pornography. Jennifer C. Nash, 2014.
"From The Mouth of Reality?" Truth, Illusion and Inescapable Symbolism in Blaxploitation Film. Ann Tyler Moses, 2013.
Black Hollywood: From Butlers to Superheroes, the Changing Role of African American Men in the Movies. Kimberly Fain; 2015.
June 26, 2017 / October 2, 2017
I'm interviewed in these two Closer magazine cover stories...
May 15, 2017
Writer Emil Sher's new children's book Away is a touching, funny and beautifully illustrated work inspired by my New York Times article "A Final Message From My Mother." Qin Leng's gorgeous watercolor illustrations capture Skip (my mother's nickname for me) and his Mom's special relationship. There's even a crazy cat in the story! Bravo!
Josiah Howard appeared on five episodes
of Unsung Hollywood.
The World of Shaft: A Complete Guide to the Novels, Comic Strip, Films and Television Series. Steve Aldous, 2015.
Josiah Howard's Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide (now in a fourth printing) is required Cinema Studies reading. Below is a sampling of works that reference Blaxploitation Cinema extensively.
Oct. 30, 2014
Check out the online reviews (there are more than 50) of Eureka Video's "Blacula: The Complete Collection." (I wrote the 32 page booklet!)
PAM GRIER: February 26, 2014
FLIP WILSON: March 26, 2014
COOLEY HIGH (film): April 2, 2014
BILL DUKE: April 9, 2014
RICHARD ROUNDTREE: March 25, 2015
The Cult Film Reader. Ernest Mathijs and Xavier Mendik; 2007.
August 23, 2017
I'm very excited to announce that I've been included in the family of motion picture industry reviewers known as IMDB Pro (the subscription service) industry standard. The film review that did it: Halle Berry's KIDNAP!
August 21, 2016
I was excited to learn that Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michal Chabon cited Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide in his 2012 book Telegraph Avenue! (One of the main characters is a Blaxploitation film actor.)
Soul Thieves: The Appropriation and Misrepresentation of African American Culture.
T. Brown and B.Copano; 2014.
April 1, 2016
I have an article in the Entertainment Section of the current edition of The Las Vegas Tribune (March, 30--Apr. 5).
It's a tribute to "The Queen of Las Vegas" entitled:
"Lola Falana: Breaking Down The Walls."
Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity. Allyson Nadia Field, 2015.
Sept. 3, 2018
BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). Not an empty seat in the house for the screening of Wattstax! Thank you to all the Blaxploitation Cinema fans who showed up. YOU made this a special event!
August 7, 2018
I'll be introducing one of my all-time favorite blaxploitation films: WATTSTAX at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). Wattstax is a 90-min. concert film released in 1973. Also known as the "Black Woodstock," performers include the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, and Isaac Hayes.The sreening takes place at 4:30PM on Saturday August 18th, 2018...
October 2 2018
Just finished my lecture at the University of Iowa. A giant thank you to Hannah Bonner and all the wonderfully engaged students for welcoming me. World, watch out: The Hawkeye State is home to the next generation of great journalists!
June 11, 2018
I was thrilled to be asked by the American Library of Congress to write an essay on Maestro Isaac Hayes. Visit the Writing page for the link...
Baadassss Gangstas: The Parallel Influences, Characteristics and Criticisms of the Blaxploitation Cinema and Gangsta Rap Movements. By Dusitn Engels; Journal of Hip Hop Studies, 2014.
Magical Musical Tour: Rock and Pop in Film Soundtracks. K.J. Donnelly; 2015.
Baad Bitches & Sassy Supermamas: Black Power Action Films. Stephane Dunn; 2008.
Big Black Book of Blaxploitation. Soulemite, 2015.
Boys, Boyz, Bois: An Ethics of Black Masculinity in Film and Popular Culture.
Keith M. Harris, 2008.
July 3, 2018
A great day filming with ITC-TV for a series called "Autopsy"...
Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema.
S. Torriano Berry and Venise T. Berry, 2015.
Scholarly works that reference Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide.T
January 14, 2019
ReelzChannel: I'm featured extensively in tonight's episode of "Donna Summer: Disco Queen". It kicks off a "Love to Love The Seventies" week of programming featuring the decades biggest stars. Check out the teaser link on the "Press" page ...
Hollywood Film 1963 - 1976: Years of Revolution and Reaction. Drew Casper; 2012.
January 10, 2015
During Cher's final performances at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas the ($45.00) program I wrote for her was offered free to select seat fans at the theater!
March 2, 2019
Ohio was fantastic! A great time was had by all. Much thanks to Ms. Shayna Muckerheide for making it all happen.
May 20, 2018
DONNA SUMMER: As her exciting story continues to wow audiences on Broadway in NYC, a documentary is forthcoming. I'm very excited to be a part of it.
International press for Josiah Howard's
"Cher: Strong Enough."
April 18, 2016
I'm interviewed in the current edition of Closer magazine. The article is entitled: "Cher: Looking for Love at 70!" By Deborah Skolnic.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019.
I'm looking forward to co-hosting a screening and participating in a panel discussion whose focus is "Uptight" (1968) with author James Robenalt in Cleveland, Ohio.
Super Black: American Popular Culture
and Black Superheroes.Adilifu Nama; 2013.
Jan 5, 2018
A great interview this morning with American Urban Radio Network's Tanya Hart! AURN is a conglomerate of 300 radio stations and has 25 Million daily listeners!
Larry Cohen: The Stuff of Gods and Monsters. Michael Doyle, 2015.
July 16, 2018
I'm pleased to announce a partnership with CINEMAOFSOUL.COM, the premiere source of information on black-action cinema. Cinema of Soul has licensed twenty film reviews culled from Blaxplotiation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide. Visit the Press page for the link.
The Blaxploitation Encyclopedia.
Freddie Anderson; 2016
July 18, 2017
One of my all time favorite exploitation films is FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE (1977). What an absolute thrill it was for me to conduct the 40th Anniversary interview with the director; Mr. Robert A. Endelson! Check the link out on the "Writing" page...
"Cher: Strong: Enough" reviewed in the Sunday edition of Brazil's most circulated newspaper. ...