The Bootleg Files: Afrique 50

BOOTLEG FILES 591: “Afrique 50” (1950 French documentary short by René Vautier).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.


Never officially released in the U.S.

It would be welcomed.

In 1949, a newly-minted film school graduate named René Vautier received his first big break when the Ligue de l’enseignement commissioned him to create a nonfiction film highlighting its educational mission in France’s West African colonies. Upon arriving in the French African colonies, the 21-year-old Vautier did not find evidence of French benevolence in Africa. Instead, he witnessed a degree of economic exploitation and repressive rule over people who were slowly simmering in their resentment of colonial occupation. As a decorated member of the French Resistance during World War II and a Communist Party member, he was not about to sit back and just tsk-tsk this situation.

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The WWE Book of Top 10’s [Paperback]

As a list junkie and an old school fan of WWE, “The WWE Book of Top 10’s” is a great new compilation for fans of the sport that tackles all areas of the WWE for fans to debate about. Of course with all lists and books about lists, there is bound to be some anger and or controversy, but first and foremost DK publishing’s “The WWE Book of Top 10’s” is a book meant for fun and intended to evoke conversation among wrestling buffs that can appreciate the novelty of this kind of guide.

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Inhumanwich! (2016)

If you’re a fan of rampaging monster/sci-fi movie tributes like “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra,” or “Stomp! Shout! Scream!” then you’ll definitely love what David Cornelius has cooked up for film lovers. “Inhumanwich!” is a fun and sharp black and white send up of classic sixties monster movies that embraces its low budget working around the limited scenery and small cast to deliver one really fun and funny seventy five minute film. David Cornelius who wrote and directed the film obviously has a keen knowledge of the space exploration horror films, as he conjures up films like “The Blob,” “Robot Monster,” and “The Creeping Terror” for some really good material.

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“Dirty Dancing” 2017: A Truly Awful Remake in an Increasingly Tired Trend

ABC Television’s remake of “Dirty Dancing” is a god awful and ill conceived version of the eighties classic. I don’t say that as a fan of the original, or an eighties kid, but as someone who just can’t abide a truly awful reworking for a film that didn’t need it. Did we forget “Havana Nights” already? ABC goes for an over two and a half hour remake that is just about as listless and ridiculous as you can imagine. For some reason the writers thought it’d be a good idea to add a story frame for the actual story that ensues between Baby and Johnny.

Then there’s a verbatim remake of the original, a goofy melodrama about Baby coming of age, and a musical that stages a bunch of forgettable tunes. Not to mention a relationship drama about Baby’s parents experiencing a crossroads in their marriage. Lest we forget an interracial romance with Baby’s sister falling in love with an African American singer for the country resort, and the steamy torrid love affair between Johnny and a local middle aged resort guest (as played by Katey Segal).

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You Have to See This! The Guest (2014)

Adam Wingard is one of my favorite filmmakers working in film today and he almost always works alongside Simon Barrett, a cuttingly funny and witty man who knows how to churn out a damn good script. Wingard and Barrett pull off some amazing feats together, and “The Guest” is another notch in Wingard’s belt that oddly enough doesn’t get as much mention as his banner horror film “You’re Next.” Granted, I love “You’re Next” and have seen it at least two hundred times since it arrived in theaters, but “The Guest” is such a unique horror thriller with a premise that’s very socially relevant without ever being preachy.

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Sing (2016)

“Sing” is a lot like many of the other movies from Illumination Studios. It’s basically a moving greeting card. It’s cute for a few minutes, and then you’ll eventually find yourself tucking it away and looking for something more stimulating. As per most of the films from Illumination, “Sing” is just a middle of the road film that barely gets by because of the neat animation. “Sing” is cute. And that’s about it. It’s cute. And it packs a humongous soundtrack filled with pop songs both old and new that are meant to basically distract from the fact that it’s a very barebones animated movie with a paper thin narrative, that does little to convey to its audience something more meaningful.

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