Steve Cannon

Twenty Class Tobacco Suits 1998 Interview with Anthony Murrell by John Farris & Steve Cannon

The interview with Anthony Murrell by John Farris & Steve Cannon is organized from left to right and it continues on the next row.

Part 3 & 4 of the interview (shown below).

Part 5 & 6 of the interview (shown below).

You’re Never Too Old to Blush (An Excerpt from a Memoir by Steve Cannon)

You’re Never Too Old to Blush (An Excerpt from a Memoir by Steve Cannon)

CHAPTER ONE (Spring, ‘62)

I arrived in New York from England in the spring of 1962. Existentialism was in the air and so was the theatre of the absurd. John Osborne's Look Back in Anger and Shelagh Delaney’s Taste of Honey was all the rage in England. In the downtown theatre scene, Harold Pinter, Eugène Ionesco, and Samuel Beckett were the talk of the town. It was also true for the three-penny opera with Lotalinia, Bobby Daren and Louis Armstrong singin’ “Mack the Night.”

Personal Problems presented by Ishmael Reed and Steve Cannon

Produced by non other than the famous Ishmael Reed and the un famous Steve Cannon. The many award winning writer Ishmael Reed and the no award winning writer Steve Cannon. The full movie is now available on kanopy.com. Click here to see the full movie.

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The recent release of Bill Gunn's Personal Problems (Kino Lorber) marks a major intervention in correcting this limited history. Not much has been written about it. Nicholas Forster, a PhD student at Yale University, is writing the first biography of Bill Gunn. The few writings about Personal Problems understandably position it in an auteurist framework of Gunn's oeuvre since he has been neglected by film history. Yet the Blu-ray release of Personal Problems can also be seen as a major intervention in recovering "lost" videotapes representing an important black collective creative contribution of US grassroots videomaking.

As film and media historians like David James, Chon Noreiga, Devorah Heitner, and Cynthia A. Young have chronicled ethnic cinemas and media proliferated within the United States throughout the '60s and '70s in the wake of anti-colonial global resistance, Third Cinema endeavors, the civil rights movement, and student upheaval. The recently established Ethno-Communications Program at UCLA provides fertile terrain for the development of many skilled black filmmakers like Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Julie Dash, and Haile Gerima. But even more broadly, the Black Arts Movement, the Chicano Arts Movement, the American Indian Movement, among many others, inject youth with a desire to produce new artistic forms that not only better reflected their communities, but also were more intertwined with and produced by those communities.

So when Ishmael Reed, Steve Cannon, and Joe Johnson formed a small publishing house named Reed, Cannon, and Johnson Communications Co. to publish and distribute the works by black and other underrepresented authors, they were only one among a sea of independent ventures made by those coming from communities of color to own the creative means of production that allowed for a more diverse art and literature to spread beyond the confines that traditional cultural gatekeepers allowed. As time progressed, Reed suggested creating a black meta soap opera radio play since Steven Cannon hosted a show on WBAI in New York City and Reed hosted a show on KQED in California, where it could be broadcast. According to Cannon on a Blu-ray extra, "We were dissatisfied with the kind of stuff that was coming out of Hollywood, that Blaxploitation, Super Fly and that kind of bullshit. We wanted to do something ... more authentic and more realistic in terms of middle-class black people."

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Hieroglyphics 3rd Eye Vision Review

Hieroglyphics 3rd Eye Vision Review

Hieroglyphics is an Oakland based hip-hop collective that has always thrive to dismantle music by tackling the social consciousness through their scrupulous wordplay. With their extensive knowledge of hip-hop, Hieroglyphics focused more on the lyrical flow rather than the gangster life and always positioned themselves as the alternative to the mainstream and this is best exemplified with their first studio album, 3rd Eye Vision.

History Becomes Her Story (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wins Joe Crowley’s 14th district)

History Becomes Her Story  (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wins Joe Crowley’s 14th district)

If history repeats itself then the story of conquering Hernan Cortes is on the shelf while pol, Joe Crowley‘s hunkering down. She’d said she wouldn’t back the candidate if she should entertain defeat, but campaigned like a potentate, as capable as she seemed sweet.

Finding Modernism in Venice

Finding Modernism in Venice

Canals filled with turquoise water instead of streets bustling with cars and bicycles come to mind when I think of Venice. Joseph Brodsky’s essay Watermark (1993) resonates deeply with the visitor, as does a watery dream conjured by Robert Altman: I was immediately reminded of his film, 3 Women (1977) upon arrival. Brodsky only visited Venice in December for he longed to celebrate the beginning of a new year with “a wave hitting the shore at midnight.” He explained “that, to me, is time coming out of water.”  Brodsky also described the city as being “part damp oxygen, part coffee and prayers” and he described the canal-side structures as “upright lace.” Brodsky, born in Leningrad, was exiled from his homeland due to his “having a worldview damaging to the state, decadence and modernism, failure to finish school, and social parasitism . . . except for the writing of awful poems” (Brodsky went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987). He thought of Venice as the closest incarnation of Eden and “the greatest masterpiece our species produced.”