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The Czar of Black Hollywood (2014) HD online

The Czar of Black Hollywood (2014) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Documentary
Original Title: The Czar of Black Hollywood
Director: Bayer Mack
Writers: Bayer Mack
Released: 2014
Budget: $18,000
Duration: 1h
Video type: Movie
The Czar of Black Hollywood is a documentary film chronicling the early life and career of African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951).Oscar Micheaux was a towering figure even by today's standards. He was not only America's preeminent black filmmaker for three decades, but also the country's most prolific; having directed or produced 22 silent movies and 15 talking pictures during his illustrious, yet tumultuous career. The Czar of Black Hollywood uses archival film, photos, illustrations and music to weave a compelling narrative of Micheaux's early life and his production of the first feature length silent film and sound motion picture by an African-American.
Credited cast:
Oscar Micheaux Oscar Micheaux - Himself (archive footage)

Reviews: [2]

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    The Czar of Black Hollywood (2014)

    ** 1/2 (out of 4)

    Decent documentary about Oscar Micheaux, the man who would basically become the first black filmmaker and one of the most successful director's of "race" pictures. The documentary works best when it's dealing with the pre-movies Micheaux as we get some great information about his early life and his rise in the world. We learn that Micheaux wanted to be a success and we hear about his various ventures before arriving in Chicago to make movies. From here the documentary is rather hit and miss as we get some decent bits of information on the various films that he made but there are still some major issues here. The film really does come across as either rushed or perhaps misguided. I say that because the running time is just 67-minutes yet the majority of it deals with Micheaux's early life and there are countless sound films that are just overlooked for some reason. This includes his epic final film, which gets briefly discussed here but certainly not enough. Sadly there really aren't too many documentaries out there on race films or their directors so this here certainly works but one does wish it was a tad bit better.
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    I've seen a bunch of Micheaux's films so I was excited about this. Micheax, the pioneer of black film making, gets short shrift in mainstream cinema. A failed homesteading enterprise led him to novelize his experience, paving the way for a career as a successful novelist which led him to filmmaking. It makes for a helluva tale but, as presented here, the drama leaks slowly out. You'd expect an hour-seven minute film to whiz by. That's not the case. Instead, it's PBS-light without the benefit of multiple voices personalizing the story. When a train is mentioned, you see a train on screen. When Chicago is mentioned, you see a picture of Chicago. The graphics turn it more into an audiobook than a film. The narration does a decent job but he's flat and emotionless.

    That said, the effort to research and create a movie about Micheaux must be heartily applauded even if the result turns out a movie without any real drive.