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February 2022, Week 3


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Christopher JON Sieving <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 15 Feb 2022 17:44:26 +0000
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My monograph on Bill Gunn's landmark Black art-horror film GANJA & HESS is now available from Indiana University Press. For further information, please link to<> or Or, please message me directly ([log in to unmask]) if you have any questions about the book!

BILL GUNN'S Ganja & Hess
Christopher Sieving
Bill Gunn's GANJA & HESS (1973) has across the decades attained a sizable cult following among African American cinema devotees, art house aficionados, and horror fans, thanks to its formal complexity and rich allegory. PLEADING THE BLOOD is the first full-length study of this cult classic.
GANJA & HESS was withdrawn almost immediately after its New York premiere by its distributor because Gunn's poetic re-fashioning of the vampire genre allegedly failed to satisfy the firm's desire for a by-the-numbers "blaxploitation" horror flick for quick sell-off in the urban market. Its current status as one of the classic works of African American cinema has recently been confirmed by the Blu-ray release of its restored version, by its continued success in screenings at repertory houses, museums, and universities, and by an official remake, DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS (2014), directed by Spike Lee, one of the original picture's longtime champions.
PLEADING THE BLOOD draws on Gunn's archived papers, screenplay drafts, and storyboards, as well as interviews with the living major creative participants, to offer a comprehensive, absorbing account of the influential movie and its highly original filmmaker.

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