Up the airy mountain, down the rushing glen, we never can go hunting, for fear of little men.
Yeah! Believe it or not! I'm am getting a film degree in cinema as Southern Illinois University (in Carbondale, Il.) and I jumped at chance take the class. It was one of the best classes I've ever taken. The class was very well laid out. First we discussed the representation of African Americans in U.S. cinema from the begining to the emergance of the Blaxsploitation movement. Some of film's we watched were:
Classified X (1998) (excerpts)
Night of the Living Dead (1968) (obviously not Blaxploitation but shown for
the role of Ben (Duane Jones)
Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
Super Fly (1972)
The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973)
The Mack (1973)
Cleopatra Jones (1973)
I just turned 31 (I recently returned to school a few years ago to get my degree, I'm aiming to get into the field of film preservation/restoration, film archiving) and I've seen most of the film's but it really was a blast to watch these movies with a younger group. They really loved the films!!
Unfortuanatly I didn't do so hot on the paper but I did get A's on everything else. I ended up with a B in the class. But the best thing was I ended up getting in contact with William A. Levey, the film's director!! I was able to get his phone number from a friend and I called and left a message. Well time went on and I didn't hear anything from him. Then a few days after turning in the paper I got a phone call from Mr. Levey! I really can't tell you how nice he was! Even though I had already turned in the paper I asked him a handful of questions which he answered as he then told me behind the sceens stories about the making of the film.
Right now I don't have the notes infront of me but here is what I remember off the top of my head:
Mr. Levey said that the film's original budget was $40,000 and the film ended up costing double that at $80,000. He also said that the film made 2 million dollars at the box office.
This was the first film Mr. Levey directed and he wasn't originally slated to direct the film. It was supposed to be directed by an older gentleman (he didn't say the name) that Frank R. Saletri knew. One of the crew members (the name escapes me right now) threatened to walk off if this original director wasn't replaced (he apparently didn't know what he was doing). This same crew member recommended Levey to direct the film (as he worked with him before).
Levey also said that Joe De Sue (Eddie Turner/Blackenstein) was a client of Mr. Saletri's (as was the infamous Liz Renay) and that's how he got the job. Mr. Levey also said how hard it was to direct De Sue as he cound not act to save his life (as someone pointed out the hospital scene "Can I have some ice cream, my throats dry" classic!!)
All the best ,
Cool story Kevin.....that class does sound like a blast. My family comes from that area originally BTW.
Heard about BLACKENSTEIN over the years, but never realized how awful/awesome it's supposed to be......gotta track down a copy!
Always been curious about William A Levey -- interesting filmography he has -- pleez post more of your interview notes when you get a chance. Wonder how he became involved with co-writing the trash classic NIGHT PATROL...
All the best,
All the best,
Last edited by Kevin J. S.; 07-16-2009 at 08:01 PM.