New movies to stream from home this week
Elvis Mitchell, a former New York Times film critic, is the writer and director of “Is that dark enough for you?a highly personal yet deeply informed documentary essay that argues that the 1970s – the height of blaxploitation and beyond – were a golden age for film noir: “Why did these movies stop be realized? he laments rhetorically, referring to stories showcasing the new kind of raw, swaggering confidence of films such as “Shaft.” It’s a great question, but I’m not sure Mitchell ever really answers it – or wants to. Instead, he takes a big start by explaining how his grandmother influenced his views as a child. (She wouldn’t let him watch “Mayberry RFD” because, as he remembers her saying, “There are no black people in this southern town. What do you think happened to them? “) Mitchell makes intriguing connections, comparing scenes from Black actor Duane Jones boarding up windows against zombies in the 1968 horror classic “Night of the Living Dead” to footage of homeowners barricading their homes against rioters. , for example. He bites a lot here, and it shows sometimes. Mitchell runs through a long list of 1970s films, well-known and obscure – “Super Fly”, “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song”, “Buck and the Preacher”, “The Spook Who Sat by the Door”, “Claudine”, ” Thomasine & Bushrod”, “The Wiz” and many others – devoting only a few seconds of commentary to some. But it certainly gives viewers food for thought: Mitchell recalls thinking, as a teenager, that 1974’s “Three the Hard Way,” a thriller about a plot to poison the United States’ water supply with a toxin targeting black people, was the “most laughable” thing he had ever seen. So his father told him about the Tuskegee Experience, in which black men were deliberately infected with syphilis without their consent. There’s such a thing as justifiable paranoia, Mitchell notes, joking that the condition is the “scientific term for African American.” A. Available on Netflix. Contains nudity, sexual material, coarse language, violence and drug use. 125 minutes.