Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of The Spook Who Sat By the Door
I remember seeing Spook years ago on a rough videotape with horrible audio at the Soap Factory - shortly thereafter it was possible to obtain the DVD, based on a negative long-hidden in some film vault under a false name.
Spook is one of those incredible movies - a 1973 narrative of a black CIA agent turned domestic revolutionary. The FBI bullied United Artists into dropping the film -- based on an earlier book by Greenlee, which covers the global guerrilla strategies more deeply -- and the actors got blacklisted. Why would the FBI have a problem with a film where black gangs organize to demand autonomy, attack the police & seize military hardware?
Another key element, well done for such a low budget guerrilla project: the portrayal of the US military as a domestic civil repression force -- at least roughly similar to GARDEN PLOT National Guard style deployments seen more frequently back in those days. (GARDEN PLOT has been replaced with USNORTHCOM CONPLAN 3502 "Civil Disturbance Operations" as research here has documented)
There are plenty of funny moments in this film as well - the sense of humor strikes like a Cobra.
FULL MOVIE! YAY - The Spook Who Sat by the Door by Director & producer Ivan Dixon, written & produced by Sam Greenlee, 102 mins.
I found this followup documentary via the film Hidden Colors' FB. Need to see this!! Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door | Award Winning, Independent Documentary
Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door is an award winning independent documentary on the controversial and FBI repressed 1973 black film The Spook Who Sat By the Door. The Spook Who Sat by The Door is widely hailed as a cult classic and one of the most important underground black productions of the era. The film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry in 2012.
Through interviews, with author Sam Greenlee, Berlie Dixon, widow of director Ivan Dixon, Academy Award winning editor Michael Kahn, Melvin Van Peebles several actors from the film, investors, academics, Todd Boyd, Ed Guerrero, and Eric Pierson; archival footage and production documents, Infiltrating Hollywood tells the story of The Spook Who Sat by the Door from its inception as a novel to its release and repression.
San Diego Black Film Festival: Best Film, Sacramento International Film Festival: Best Film, Cine-Soul, Athens International Film Festival: Honorable Mention, Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival: Finalist HBO Documentary Competition, Saatchi and Saatchi Producer’s Award, International Black Film Festival of Nashville: Best Documentary, Hollywood Black Film Festival: Honorable Mention.
The Rise and Fall of The Spook Who Sat By The Door :Infiltrating Hollywood -Trailer for Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door, a documentary on the making of the cult film classic. A Film by Christine Acham and Clifford Ward.
// Pt 1 interview //
"The Spook Who Sat By the Door" filmmaker, writer and community activist SAM GREENLEE Answer questions from callers and talks about his LEGENDARY MOVIE. He speaks on the struggle and obstacles when trying to releasing the controversial movie, why they were banned from shooting in Chicago, the reason he and Jesse Jackson dislike each other and more!!!!
// pt 1 of 4 "Project Brotherhood Power Hour" Shot by Lyle Muse
// Pt 2 Spook interview/
Sam Greenlee on black filmmaking today (posted in 2008):
Anyway these items are just excellent. Thanks Mr Greenlee & the actors who got blacklisted as punishment, good careers crushed including lead Lawrence Cook or "Dan Freeman". And screw Hollywood for papering over how they let the government suppress a film without any accountability.
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