Showing 1 - 2 of 2 posts found matching keyword: illinois

Mom spent most of the past month touring the Western and Midwestern United States, visiting sites like Rocky Mountain National Park, Devil's Tower, Yellowstone, Deadwood, Mount Rushmore, and my personal favorite, Metropolis, Illinois.

It's a bird.... It's a plane.... It's Mom!

Yes, she is wearing gold shoes. She always dresses up when meeting famous people.

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Last week, TCM ran a documentary on early 20th-century filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. I've seen at least parts of a few of Micheaux's films, including his response to Birth of a Nation earlier this year. I didn't include the documentary in my most recent movie reviews because I typically like to work my way through what I watch chronologically. However, we are running out of June, and I really should cover this one before the calendar turns to July.

59/2225. Oscar Micheaux: The Superhero of Black Filmmaking (2021)

As you can see from the title, documentarian Francesco Zippel really plays up the superhuman efforts that Micheaux had to perform to get his films about Black American life and starring Black Americans shown to (mostly Black) audiences. The film focuses on Micheaux's works and achievements but is light on actual biographical details of the man himself, admitting that many aspects of the man's personal life are unclear.

But what motivates me to post this during Superman Month is that Micheaux was born to a freed former slave in Metropolis, Illinois! That was 1884, about 90 years before the city embraced its tenuous connection to the Superman mythos.

The documentary concludes with a lamentation that Metropolitans would choose to erect a giant statue to a fictional hero instead of a true native son. But to be entirely fair, Micheaux was public about the social struggles of his early life in Metropolis, and he left town for good at the age of 17. On the other hand, everyone knows that once Superman moved to Metropolis, he stayed there.

A statue might be a bit much, but at the very least, you'd think they'd give him a plaque. Or a star on the sidewalk. If it's good enough for D.W. Griffith....

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To be continued...


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