Pioneers of African-American Cinema

Directed by Richard Norman, Richard Maurice, Spencer Williams, Oscar Micheaux

Release: 2015
Runtime: 952
Country: U.S.
Language: English

This collection of the works of America's legendary first African-American filmmakers is the only one of its kind. Funded in part by a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, the packaged set includes no fewer than a dozen feature-length films and nearly twice as many shorts and rare fragments. Subject matter includes race issues that went unaddressed by Hollywood for decades. 

* New digital restorations of over a dozen feature films, plus shorts, fragments, trailers, documentary footage, archival interviews and audio recordings

* Contemporary interviews with historians and film preservationists

* 80-page booklet with essays and detailed film notes

* Musical scores by DJ Spooky, Max Roach, Alloy Orchestra, Samuel Waymon, Makia Matsumura, Donald Sosin and others

* Theatrical runs in New York, Seattle, DC and more

* Five-disc Blu-ray or DVD edition released July 2016

* UK video release Fall 2016 (British Film Institute)

* Produced in association with the Library of Congress, with the cooperation of the British Film Institute, George Eastman Museum, Museum of Modern Art, National Archives, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Southern Methodist University, and the UCLA Film & Television Archive

 Disk-by-Disk breakdown of packaged set:

Disc One (Total Running Time 282 minutes): Two Knights of Vaudeville Ebony Film Co., 1915. 11 minutes. Music by Donald Sosin Mercy the Mummy Mumbled (BLU-RAY ONLY) Ebony Film Co., 1918. 12 minutes. Music by the Alloy Orchestra. A Reckless Rover Ebony Film Co., 1918. 14 minutes. Music by Donald Sosin. Within Our Gates Oscar Micheaux, 1920. 73 minutes. Music by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky. The Symbol of the Unconquered: A Story of the KKK Oscar Micheaux, 1920. 59 minutes. Music by Max Roach. By Right of Birth Lincoln Motion Picture Co., 1921. 4 minutes. Music by Donald Sosin.Body and Soul Oscar Micheaux, 1925. 93 minutes. Music by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky. Screen Snapshots (Micheaux footage, 1920, 1 minute) Bonus: An Introduction (7 minutes) Bonus: The Films of Oscar Micheaux (8 minutes) 

Disc Two (Total Running Time – 259 minutes): RegenerationRichard E. Norman, 1923. 11 minutes. Music by Donald Sosin.The Flying Ace Richard E. Norman, 1928. 65 minutes. Music by Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. Ten Nights in a Bar RoomCPFC, 1926. 64 minutes. Music by Donald Sosin. Rev. S.S. Jones Home Movies Rev. Solomon Sir Jones, 1924-1926. 16 minutes. Music by Andrew Simpson. The Scar of Shame Frank Peregini, 1929. 86 minutes. Music by Makia Matsumura Bonus: The Color Line (5 minutes) Bonus: Ten Nights in a Bar Room – An Introduction (4 minutes) Bonus: About the Restoration (8 minutes) 

Disc Three (Total Running Time – 253 minutes): Eleven P.M.Richard Maurice, 1928. 60 minutes. Music by Rob Gal. Hell-Bound Train James and Eloyce Gist, 1930. 50 minutes. Restored by S. Torriano Berry. Music by Samuel D. Waymon.Verdict Not Guilty James and Eloyce Gist, 1934. 8 minutes. Restored by S. Torriano Berry. Music by Samuel D. Waymon.Heaven-Bound Travelers (BLU-RAY ONLY) James and Eloyce Gist, 1935. 15 minutes. Restored by S. Torriano Berry. Music by Samuel D. Waymon. The Darktown Revue Oscar Micheaux, 1931. 18 minutes. The Exile Oscar Micheaux, 1931. 78 minutes.Hot Biskits Spencer Williams, 1931. 10 minutes. 

Disc Four (Total Running Time – 272 minutes): The Girl from Chicago Oscar Micheaux, 1932. 70 minutes. Ten Minutes to Live Oscar Micheaux, 1932. 58 minutes. Veiled AristocratsOscar Micheaux, 1932. 48 minutes. Birthright Oscar Micheaux, 1938. 73 minutes. Bonus: Veiled Aristocrats Trailer (4 minutes) Bonus: Birthright Trailer (4 minutes) Bonus: We Work Again(BLU-RAY ONLY) – WPA Documentary (1937, 15 minutes) 

Disc Five (Total Running Time – 243 minutes): The Bronze Buckaroo Richard Kahn, 1939. 58 minutes. Zora Neale Hurston Fieldwork Footage (excerpt) Zora Neale Hurtston, 1928. 3 minutes. Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort South Carolina, May 1940 (excerpt) Zora Neale Hurston, 1940. 15 minutes. The Blood of Jesus Spencer Williams, 1941. 56 minutes. Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. Spencer Williams, 1946. 60 minutes. Moses Sisters Interview Pearl Bowser, 1978. 32 minutes. Bonus: Texas Tyler Promo Film with Ossie Davis (1985, 6 minutes) Bonus: The Films of Zora Neale Hurston (2 minutes) Bonus: The Films of Spencer Williams (7 minutes) Bonus: The End of an Era (4 minutes)

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Technical Info

  • Color: B&W & Color