What it is, what it was!: the Black film explosion of the '70s in words and pictures
African-American cinema of the 1970s -- the so called "Blaxploitation" films -- was exciting, sexy, and filled with characters that were both dangerous and comical, ultra-hip and ultra-mean. They offered their audience a new breed of Hollywood icon and launched the careers of such stars as Pam Grier, Isaac Hayes, and Richard Roundtree. Though commercially successful, few of these films garnered much critical praise. What It Is...What It Was! depicts the outrageous heroes and funkified fashions and offers a unique perspective into a particular era of America's social history.
This first book to highlight the artwork as well as the players behind the Blaxploitation era reproduces the bold images and vibrant colors of the classic film posters that captured the public imagination. Interviews with many of the major figures from the world of film, including Pam Grier, John Singleton, Robert Townsend, Melvin Van Peebles, Isaac Hayes, and Ice-T, offer insightful commentary into the history and impact of African-American film. Lively and entertaining, informative and fun, What It Is ... What It Was! will be a must-have for film buffs of all genres.