R.I.P. Melvin Van Peebles

Originally published on Dark Horizons by Garth Franklin

Highly influential Black filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles has died. Peebles passed away in his home on Tuesday night at the age of 89.

Van Peebles, a novelist, playwright, musician, and artist, influenced many contemporary filmmakers like Spike Lee and John Singleton along with his own son Mario Van Peebles.

Van Peebles’ influential films include “The Story of a Three-Day Pass,” “Watermelon Man” and “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song”. He crafted the Tony-nominated musicals “Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death” and “Don’t Play Us Cheap”.

He also served as an actor in various films and series including “Last Action Hero,” “Boomerang,” “Posse,” “Terminal Velocity,” the infamous “Jaws: the Revenge” and the mini-series version of “The Shining”.

A box set of Van Peebles cinematic works titled “Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films” will be released by The Criterion Collection next week.

Source: THR

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