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August 29 in Music & Movies
Aug 29 2020
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Ryan Coogler (director of Black Panther) has penned a tribute. He says he didn’t know Chadwick was ill.
In relative terms, huge ratings for the commercial-free Black Panther airing on ABC Sunday night. Scored a 1.4 18-49 demo rating, making it the highest-rated telecast of the past week, and the tribute special got a 1.1, the second highest-rated telecast this past week (tied with Wednesday’s Big Brother). And both were up against the MTV VMAs last night.
Statement from filmmaker Spike Lee
Spike Lee directed Chadwick Boseman in the Netflix film "Da 5 Bloods", released on Netflix on June 12, 2020. The film centered on four African American Vietnam veterans who reunite and return to Vietnam in order to find the remains of their fallen leader and the treasure they had hidden away. During the film, scenes are shown of the past in Vietnam with the four men and their leader. The four surviving squadron members were played by Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, and Isiah Whitlock Jr.; with Chadwick Boseman playing their leader "Stormin' Norman" who had died.
Every year, filmmaker Spike Lee holds an annual block party for Michael Jackson's birthday (Aug 29th). It's usually in person in Brooklyn, but this year, the party was virtual/online, and streamed on the Michael Jackson youtube channel. (The youtube video is now labeled as "private". Apparently it was meant only to be viewed live).
This year, M.J.'s birthday was the day after Chadwick passed on.
During the MJ birthday virtual block party, Spike Lee recalled working with the late actor last year on the film "Da 5 Bloods".
Several media outlets quoted what Spike Lee said during the Michael Jackson's birthday virtual block party that he hosted:
Lee began the virtual listening party explaining that he was "floored by the crushing news" of Boseman's death.
After dedicating Jackson's song "Gone Too Soon" to Boseman, Lee reflected on his time working with the late star, who played squad leader Stormin' Norman in the Vietnam War film "Da 5 Bloods" released earlier this year:
"We filmed Da 5 Bloods in Thailand, and it was hot, jungles, mountains, and Chadwick was there with us all the way. I never, ever suspected that anything was wrong. No one knew he was going through treatment, chemotherapy," Lee began. He went on to call Boseman a "trooper" and someone who "never complained," adding, "He was there every single minute in the moment. And his performance is a testament to what he put into that role, and all his roles. We miss you, Chadwick, we’re going to celebrate your life."
Spike Lee also mentioned at the MJ block party that there was a scene filmed for the Netflix film "Da 5 Bloods" that featured Boseman singing Marvin Gaye's "God Is Love". But that scene had been deleted from the final version of the film.
"That scene got me when we were shooting it" the filmmaker said. "Watching that again this morning just tore me up".
Spike Lee posted to his instagram account the deleted scene of Chadwick (as Stormin' Norman) singing:
Caption to the instagram post:
GOD IS LOE. LOE IS CHADWICK.
Some interesting revelations in this piece:
On 8/29/2020 at 3:51 PM, Faulkner said:
Chadwick Boseman’s Importance to the Black Community
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Chadwick Boseman was not Black Panther. He was not Thurgood Marshall. He was not Jackie Robinson. He was not James Brown. He was a highly skilled actor who was able to bring his unique blend of intensity, charm and passion to these icons that made them memorable beyond the films themselves. It is Boseman's kind but determined face that we see in our minds when we think of Black heroes, it is his compassionate but serrated voice we hear. He was one of those rare actors whose work embodied a gentle soulfulness that drew us to him. Jimmy Stewart had it. So did Sidney Poitier. We knew they cared. They made us care.
Actors and athletes are just entertainers, yet they carry a disproportionate amount of influence on society. People look up to them, often mistaking their talent at their jobs, their ability to make the audience feel deeply — whether happy, sad, inspired, depressed — with being worthy of that admiration. Lately, though, actors and athletes have proven themselves to be as dedicated and inspiring offscreen and off the court as they are on. They have earned our admiration, not just as entertainers but as people dedicated to bettering their community.
That’s what makes Chadwick Boseman so important to the Black community. He was and is a celluloid monument as powerful as the Lincoln Memorial, a visual manifestation of the qualities African Americans strive for, so that his name itself conjures the image of a Black man with integrity and courage. Someone devoted to truth and an unwillingness to compromise his principles.
He chose to keep his cancer a secret, I suspect in order to keep working and to project the same personal strength that his characters showed. Looking back, it seems as if his decision not to share his health struggles with the public was an even greater act of courage because it allowed people to maintain their image of the characters he played and be inspired by their heroics. Of course, that selfless choice makes him even more admirable and heroic to all of us.
The death of someone so young and vital is always a blow because it yanks our own mortal coil with a fearful snap. But this is worse because Boseman consistently played characters that gave the Black community pride and hope. We came out of his movies with straighter spines and wider smiles. We would look at each other and nod, feeling like we were part of something bigger than ourselves, something that went back generations to a whole different continent. We saw a whole history of our people’s struggles and triumphs shining in the bright eyes of one indomitable man.
NBC is repeating Chadwick Boseman's SNL episode tonight (in the 11:30 slot I believe).
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