Watch Black Wax
- 1 hr 19 min
Black Wax is a powerful and unique documentary from 1983 that is centered around the legendary poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron. The film was directed by Robert Mugge and features live performances from Scott-Heron, as well as interviews and footage of his life outside of music. From the opening moments of the film, it's clear that Scott-Heron has a magnetic presence that draws people in. He is seen walking around Washington D.C. in the early morning hours, reciting powerful poetry about the state of the world and the struggles of everyday people. This footage sets the tone for the entire film, which is an exploration of Scott-Heron's passions and perspectives.
The live performances captured in Black Wax are nothing short of stunning. Scott-Heron's lyrics are filled with political and social commentary, and his delivery is raw and emotional. The film features versions of his most famous songs, including "Winter in America," "Johannesburg," and "The Bottle." Each performance is accompanied by archive footage or imagery that underlines and reinforces the messages of his lyrics.
Throughout Black Wax, Scott-Heron is surrounded by a cast of fascinating characters. There is Ed Brady, his personal manager, who provides insight into Scott-Heron's personal life and creative process. There is also Robert Gordon, a journalist who tags along with Scott-Heron and interviews him about his life and philosophy. The interactions between Scott-Heron and these two men are compelling, and help to round out the portrait of the artist that the film creates.
One of the most striking aspects of Black Wax is the way that it captures the spirit of the times. The film was made in the early 1980s, a time of political and social upheaval in the United States. Scott-Heron's music and message were part of a greater movement that was seeking to bring attention to issues of inequality and injustice. The footage of protests and demonstrations that are interspersed throughout the film serve as a powerful reminder of the context in which Scott-Heron's art was created.
In addition to the live performances and interviews, Black Wax also features some incredible behind-the-scenes footage. We see Scott-Heron rehearsing with his band, taking breaks in between sets, and generally just hanging out. These moments give us a glimpse of the person behind the music, and help us to understand the passion and dedication that went into his work.
Overall, Black Wax is a must-see for anyone who is a fan of Gil Scott-Heron or interested in the history of American music and culture. The film captures a moment in time that was incredibly important, and does so in a way that is both captivating and thought-provoking. Whether you're a longtime fan or a newcomer to Scott-Heron's work, this movie is sure to leave an impression.
Black Wax is a 1983 music movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 19 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.9.