Film Review Of Wattstax

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Film Review of Wattstax

[Name of the Supervisor]



Movie in a Glance2

Context of Watts Riots3

Tensions in Watts and in Wattstax4

Musical highlights of the movie and facts about the History4


Works Cited6

Film Review of Wattstax


Mel Stuart's “Wattstax” is a documentary film of 1973 which centered on the musical festival of Black American community in Los Angeles, California. This movie was nominated for Best Documentary Film in 1974 for Golden Globe award. The movie is the “Wattstax” is consisted on 102 minute that record the seminar concert which was organized by Stax Organization in Los Angeles. Stax Organization is a black recording company which is grounded in Schlitz Brewing Company and Memphis. It has been observed that white producers of the beer are famous for making Milwaukee. The concert was the climax of the movie which was organized by seventh annual Watts Summer Festival and remarked about the riots of watts in the year of 1965. These minute details are essential to mention as it portrays the first glance of the movie which defines it as a motion picture documentary.


Movie in a Glance

The movie Wattstax is an inspiring version of all black concerts sponsored by the recording of Stax. It has been observed that the movie is mainly based on the interviews of watts residents for discussing about racial issues in the United States. The movie starts with the montage set towards the singing which also includes the clip of riots in the 1965 in watts. This occasion was a somber social event which included light music and much more heading documentary with interludes of music.

In the center of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, around more than 24 groups and solo performers appear on the bandstand. But, there were only few people which brought the emotional climax (Thomas, 1972). The film was full of interviews with many residents of watts, survivors of the architects and riots of its future. The context of the movie was based on the concert which was good enough to excite people by the number of marvelous performers which includes Johnnie Taylor, Carla Thomas, Isaac Hayes and the Staple Singers.

The movie was started with a preface by Pryor, it further scenes the urban life on the streets of Watts, which was associated by the song of dramatics "What You See Is What You Get". The director was not completely satisfied with the entire footage of concert and included the interludes between live shots of urban life and certain songs. It has been observed that director wanted to create some comedic scenes in the movies for giving it a lighter look. Moreover we could also find the discussion on the religion which was followed by the act of "Lying on the Truth “which was interconnected with the clips of the churches around the Watts.

In the concert, the initial song was played "Star-Spangled Banner", which was beautifully performed by Kim Weston (Canby, 1972). It was Jesse Jackson who motivates the audience for raising the courage while reciting the poem "I Am ...