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IFC and Comcast Present the Washington, DC Premiere of BAADASSSSS CINEMA a Bold Examination of the 70s Blaxploitation Films.

Entertainment Editors

Special Public Screening of the IFC Original At

Visions Cinema, Bistro, Lounge

On Wednesday, July 31 At 7:00PM

The Independent Film Channel (IFC) presents BAADASSSSS CINEMA, a groundbreaking IFC Original directed by Isaac Julien (Cannes Critics' Prize Winning Young Soul Rebels).

The film looks back at the soulful, strange days of the 70s to explore an exciting and controversial era of film history: the phenomenon that was blaxploitation. The IFC Original documentary will premiere at Visions Cinema, Bistro, Lounge in Washington, DC on Wednesday, July 31 at 7:00PM and is sponsored by Comcast. Visions Cinema, Bistro, Lounge is located at 1927 Florida Avenue NW. A panel discussion with Isaac Julien, BAADASSSSS CINEMA director, and Elvis Mitchell, New York Times film critic and documentary interviewee, will immediately follow the screening.

Blaxploitation films took their cue from the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, casting black actors for the first time in starring roles, as heroes instead of victims. These films drew larger African American audiences than any others before or since, yet they have long been relegated to the category of "exploitation" and thus kept outside the canon of cinema history. A bold re-examination of this position, BAADASSSSS CINEMA combines archival material with footage from black action films such as Coffy, Blacula, Superfly, Black Caesar, Foxy Brown, Shaft, Hell Up in Harlem, Sweet Sweetback's BaadAsssss Song along with many others, to argue that blaxploitation films were in fact complex reactions to social situations and inequalities: works that reveled in the ridiculous and gave relief from rage with powerful imagery and humor. BAADASSSSS CINEMA premieres Wednesday, August 14 at 10:00PM (ET/PT) on IFC.

"Films like `Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song' really invented a black audience. Of course, the audience had always been there, but it had never had black actors and films to represent to its own experiences in such an explicit way," comments Director Isaac Julien.

Isaac Julien's films also include the award-winning Looking for Langston (1989), the two-part documentary Black and White in Color (1992), the highly acclaimed The Darker Side of Black (1994) and his feature length biopic Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask (1997). Isaac's recent work includes the short film Three (1999) and The Long Road to Mazatlan (2000).

BAADASSSSS CINEMA is the cornerstone of IFC's on-air festival airing from Wednesday, August 14 to Saturday, August 17. See blaxploitation icon Pam Grier kick some butt in Foxy Brown (Jack Hill/1974) on Wednesday, August 14 at 11:00PM/ET. There was never a dude like Superfly (Gordon Parks, Jr./1972), starring Ron O'Neal and featuring Curtis Mayfield's legendary soundtrack, airs Thursday, August 15 at 10PM/ET. Richard Roundtree is back for more in Shaft's Big Score (Gordon Parks/1972) on Friday, August 16 at 10:00PM/ET. You can catch them all together back-to-back on Saturday, August 17 beginning at 8:00PM/ET.

IFCTV.com will rollout its BAADASSSSS CINEMA content beginning July 15. Site features will include the "Which BaadAsssss Are You" Quiz, in which participants can determine which BaadAsssss icon they most resemble, a BAADASSSSS CINEMA postcard, the "BAADASSSSS CINEMA Kit" Sweepstakes, an exclusive Q&A with director Isaac Julien, in addition to programming descriptions and scheduling information.

The Independent Film Channel (IFC), managed and operated by Bravo Networks, is the first and most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film presented 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free. IFC Originals produces cutting-edge original programming to air exclusively on IFC. IFC continues to expand its programming lineup with original series and independent genre-focused specials. The network's recent, critically acclaimed series and specials include Dinner For Five, With the Filmmaker: Portraits by Albert Maysles, Errol Morris' First Person, The American Nightmare, Crossover and Indie Sex: Taboos.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Comcast Cable is a division of Comcast Corporation (www.comcast.com), a developer, manager and operator of broadband cable networks and provider of programming content. Comcast Cable is the third largest cable company in the United States. Providing basic cable, digital cable and high speed Internet services, Comcast Cable is the company to look to first for the communications products and services that connect people to what's important in their lives. The company's approximately 18,000 cable division employees serve more than 8.5 million customers in six geographic regions.

Comcast Cable serves more than 1.5 million customers in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and The District of Columbia. Comcast, whose Mid-Atlantic Division offices are located in White Marsh, Maryland, employs more than 4,000 people in the Mid-Atlantic Division.
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Date:Jul 16, 2002
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