The most revered black films aren't just beloved for all-star casts or compelling plots -- the soundtracks were just as pivotal. From “Do the Right Thing” to “
In a salute at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday, beloved tracks from black cinema classics such as “Shaft,” “The Bodyguard” and “Purple Rain” received an orchestral treatment. Grammy-winning musician/composer Marcus Miller and producer/director
Clips of iconic black actors like Dorothy Dandridge, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte and Sammy Davis Jr. flashed alongside current box-office draws like
Here are five things we learned from "The Academy Celebrates the Black Movie Soundtrack" on Wednesday.
1. Anthony Hamilton and Bilal are undervalued soul men. The instant ubiquity of the themes from “Shaft” or “Trouble Man” can’t be denied and the orchestra, led by Vince Mendoza, tackled them with soulful precision. But Hamilton and Bilal unpacked them both with a suave swagger that reminded us how underrated these guys are. Hamilton shined further when he turned the
3. En Vogue's still got it. The funky divas have gone through more changes than we dare try to count, but the ladies haven't lost any of their signature sultriness. Their cover of the "Sparkle" classic "Something He Can Feel" was a stunner, even if all the original members weren't there.
4. "Happy" is tired. We all love Pharrell William's gleeful pop smash. It's completely perfect and deserving of the accolades it's received (there's some Grammys likely coming its way too). The song is a global phenomenon, but we need a break from it. Williams' hit closed the show courtesy of the night's performers and a slate of cute kids with bright T-shirts and an endless supply of jazz hands. For a night celebrating the black movie soundtrack, capping things off with a sluggish performance of a hit pulled from a kids' flick without a black voice in the main cast seemed odd.