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Dolemite, Eddie Murphy, And Rudy Ray Moore

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Eddie Murphy stars in the Netflix film "Dolemite is My Name." The film introduces audiences to singer, musician, stand up comic, actor and film producer Rudy Ray Moore. Moore found success in the 1970s with a string of Blaxploitation films that began with the 1975 film "Dolemite."

I speak with award-winning comic book writer David Walker, who knew the real Rudy Ray Moore, as well as with independent filmmakers Sanns Dixon and Dante Moran about the dual legacies of Moore and Murphy.

This podcast includes explicit language.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00:00 Watch out. Mr. Here come. This is Rudy. Way more Jeff. I'm the human Todd dog.

Speaker 2: 00:00:07 Get ready to meet Rudy Ray Moore.

Speaker 1: 00:00:09 I chained down thunder Hincapie like I'm so damn strong. It's sometimes frightening. I grabbed the star traveling a million miles a minute and flowed it down to the state's speed limit.

Speaker 2: 00:00:24 Rudy Ray Moore may not be a household name, but all that may change with the release of dolomite is my name, Eddie Murphy's passion project about the singer standup comic actor and film producer, Rudy Ray Moore

Speaker 3: 00:00:49 [inaudible].

Speaker 2: 00:00:49 Beth Armando and welcome to another episode of listener supported KPBS cinema junkie podcast. Today we're going to be talking about two legacies that have Rudy Raymour and Eddie Murphy that have become intertwined in the new film. Dolomite is my name to discuss Murphy's new film as well as the original dolomite film and blaxploitation cinema in general. I'm turning to a trio of people that are previously had on cinema junkie. First I'll be speaking with David Walker, award-winning comic book writer, author, filmmaker, journalist and educator, and then I'll talk with San Diego based independent filmmakers, sands Dixon and Dante Moran. But before we start the discussion, I need to take a short break but I'll go out with a montage of TV ads to bring you back in time to the 1970s and that short-lived film movement known as blaxploitation cinema. When I come back, I'll start my interview with David Walker.

Speaker 4: 00:01:46 You've been profitize, black, low rise and super flat. You been met, hammered and shafted and now we're going to turn you on to some brand new jazz. You are going to be glorified, unified and filled with pride. When you see five on the black hand side,

Speaker 5: 00:02:06 trouble is here. He has $600 suit, drives a $10,000 couch and he carries two guns. One to stop trouble and one to make trouble. Black hell breaks loose. Are you ready for the black street fighter? The black street fighter, he's a fighter for hire and he's paid to take on all comers today. He's going right to the top. He's taken on the system. Hey are you jabbed hustling you stone boxes. You mean watch out cause slaughter is back in town.

Speaker 1: 00:02:47 Call her coffee. Cause if you Jabba shield, creamy

Speaker 5: 00:02:52 blood is red, Udo is blue, sugar is sweet,

Speaker 6: 00:03:00 is sweeter. The fear of the year is here. Dr block and Mr. Hyde or monster, he could not control pet chicken. Oh by his very soul, a screaming demon. Rachel's inside turning to him in mr high and stop a bold black Superman, super strong, super natural and super bad rated all under 17 not admitted without parents. So bring your mama, she'll like it too.

Speaker 7: 00:03:30 David, we've talked before about blaxploitation cinema, which is something that I really love. And Eddie Murphy has just come out with a film about the making of dolomite and about Rudy Ray Moore. So a lot of people may not be familiar with him. So give us a little background on who Rudy Ray Moore was.

Speaker 8: 00:03:51 Oh, Rudy was many things. He was a comedian who was a singer. He was sort of a vaudeville Jack of all trades, but hadn't really made waves in the entertainment world. And then in the early seventies he as a comedian, he adopted this persona, this character named dolomite, which became a really big hit. And sort of an underground big hit, but still a big hit on the lesson. Then parlayed that into a series of really popular comedy records and then made him, made some movies like really low budget movies that became cult hits. And it's just kind of interesting because he's the Rudy Ray Moore and dolomite are sort of these, um, cope figures and, and it's just kind of interesting now that like a couple of weeks from now, everybody's going to know who he is. That's just such a weird thing because for the last, you know, several decades, it's like one of those secrets, you know, I would always say there's two types of people in the world. There's the people who know who Rudy Ray Moore is, and then there's people that never heard of him. And all that's about to change

Speaker 7: 00:04:57 now. He started in music and stand up comedy. A dolomite became a film in the 70s. And explain a little bit about how this film kind of fits into the broader blaxploitation cinema because it's not exactly typical of probably the stuff that most people are familiar with.

Speaker 8: 00:05:19 Yeah. You know, it's a, I mean it came along the, the, the blaxploitation era or movement or genre or whatever you want to call it was, it was pretty short lived. It was like only from about 1970 to 79 really. And, and by 77 it was, it was really on the decline. Dolomite came out in 75 so it movie comes out towards the end of this, this craze that included movies like shaft and Superfly and Foxy Brown. Everybody was sort of riding that bandwagon, trying to capitalize on it. It was a time when, you know, movies that were, were marketed towards a predominantly black inner city audience. They were made dirt cheap and they turned a really good profit for whoever distributed them and produced them and distributed them. And so, you know, dolomite comes along really after, you know, the height of, of the popularity of these movies, which was, you know, probably 72 73 and then 74 things started to wind down.

Speaker 8: 00:06:18 And, and I think on paper it looked like it was a bad move, you know, making, making a movie, especially financing it out of your own pocket, which is what Rudy did. But in some ways it breathed new life very briefly into that time, in that era because nobody, well I shouldn't say nobody had made movies like dolomite. There were some really low budget films that came along and they were made by people who didn't really necessarily know what they were doing, which if you watch the first dolomite, it's clear that they don't know what they're doing. But there's some, there's a certain level, I guess, of heart and soul, which this new Eddie Murphy movie gets into that, that elevated Rudy's and he's above say something like, you know, there's, there's so many bad movies from that era, like speeding up time, or the guy from Harlem or baby needs a new pair of shoes. All these movies that have really in, well, there's a reason why they've gone into obscurity and, and very few people remember them, but, but dolomite has, um, has something special going for it.

Speaker 7: 00:07:23 And the other thing, I was a little bit different, not just in terms of the budget, but a lot of the films that kind of have been remembered and get a lot of play are films like with Pam Greer or Fred Williamson, they tended to be either action or drama, but tended to be a little more, a little more rooted kind of in the real world. And dolomite was this kind of, it didn't feel like on a certain level it kind of was hearkening back to like that kind of vaudeville shtick. And, and it was comedy and it was very kind of broad comedy. So in that respect too, it seemed to not quite fit into what was, what, what seems to be remembered best from that era.

Speaker 8: 00:08:06 Yeah, no, there's um, those, the, the little Rascals with our gang shorts from the 30s, there was always, there's a bunch of ones where like Spanky and those guys, alfalfa would put on a play like in the, you know, wherever the backyard or the basement or something like that. You know, it was always a sort of thrown together slapdash production. And, and that's what those w, you know, the Rudy Ray Moore movies feel like they feel like, um, you know, he got a bunch of people together and I was like, Hey, let's go make a movie. And, and well, that's actually what he did. So there's sort of a similar vibe with, um, the films of Edwood. Yeah. Although I think that the people that worked on Rudy's movies actually made better movies and Edward did. And, and of course the, the writers of this new film dolomite my name, the same guys who wrote the Edwood movie that Tim Burton directed. So, so there's some similarities there. It's, um, but, but yeah, Rudy's movies are, are, are definitely, they're set in their own unique sort of universe, which is, you know, I guess for lack of a better term is the Dole and my universe.

Speaker 7: 00:09:13 Well, you mentioned Edwood and there is this sense of that kind of a burning need to make a movie, not really having the money or necessarily the knowledge to do it, but somehow just getting through it. But at least with Rudy Ray Moore, in the end, he was far more financially successful than Edward ever seemed to have been.

Speaker 8: 00:09:34 Yeah, I know Rudy's, you know, I mean, it's funny because if you watch Dolan, I had such a crude movie in terms of a craft and skill and it sort of is a miracle that it, it did well, but then if you watch the next two movies that came after that, that he did the human tornado and a PD wheat straw, the devil son-in-law, those are much better films there. They're technically more well crafted. There's a better sense of of cinematic craft and style. And so he got it. He clearly, he started to get it right at least briefly as opposed to Edward never seemed to get it right. And so it's just sort of interesting because in the Eddie Murphy movie, there's some moments in which they actually recreate scenes from the second movie from human tornado and sort of play it off as it's being from dolomite. But it's really clear, like they scored a touchdown, they won with the first movie and they were like, okay, let's learn from our mistakes, which was really pretty cool.

Speaker 7: 00:10:36 Eddie Murphy had been wanting to make this film for a while. And one of the things that I think makes it work well, which is the same thing that I think worked for the Tim Burton Edwood film, is he comes to it from what seems to be a place of affection and of like really wanting to pay tribute to this guy that he feels may not be remembered in the best way possible.

Speaker 8: 00:10:59 Yeah. There's, you never get the sense that, um, he thinks that Rudy is, is someone, um, that you should be making fun of or, or there, there's never a sense of, um, malice us or anything like that or even mocking. Um, it's, it's, there's this great sense of respect and reverence for, for the person in the work. And that really comes through. And, and it's just interesting to me because, you know, I was, I was fortunate enough to, I met Rudy like 20 something years ago, nearly 25 years ago, and had the opportunity to work with them a little bit, hang out with them and get to know him. And, you know, he was a very different person than the dolomite persona. And, you know, one of the things that we would talk about was, even though he was doing comedy and he was a comedian, he always wanted to be taken seriously within the context of what he was doing.

Speaker 8: 00:11:53 And, and I think that a lot of times people don't necessarily take him or the movie seriously. And some of it wasn't all his fault, you know, um, the, the, when the movies were released on home video back in the 80s, the company that released them never released them in the proper aspect ratio. So they were never cropped properly. And so the boom Mike is in all these shots, right. And it really makes the movie, especially Dole and like the first one look even more amateurish than it really was because in reality you wouldn't have seen the boom Mike nearly as much if they had really stay in the proper aspect ratio. And, and I remember talking to Rudy about that, like it was, it was like there was people that didn't take them seriously in the 70s and then in the eighties and nineties during the home video revolution when people were rediscovering his work, they were rediscovering it in, in some ways in the wrong context.

Speaker 7: 00:12:49 And what did you think of the Eddie Murphy film overall? Did he, I mean we talked a little bit about how that affection comes through, but how did he capture what Rudy Ray Moore was like? I mean, is it accurate in any way? Cause you know, it's a very entertaining film and I'm not sure how much of it is fact-based or how much of it is, you know, kind of [inaudible].

Speaker 8: 00:13:10 Yeah, no, it's, I mean it's, it's a really, really entertaining movie and he, you know, I feel like Eddie Murphy is playing a character more than he's playing Rudy Ray Moore. But that's just, that was sort of my take away from it, but he's still playing him as a very compelling character. I, I, I have trouble with these sort of biographical films that, that try in which the actors really try to embody the person so much as just embody the character of what that person represents to either to them or to the public at large. I don't want to see something that's necessarily so accurate that I might as well just be watching a documentary. That makes sense.

Speaker 7: 00:13:54 [inaudible]

Speaker 8: 00:13:55 um, and, and so Eddie Murphy, I feel like his playing is his doing his idea of what Rudy was so much more so than he, he's actually playing Rudy and, and you know, there's some people who have some problems with it. I, I've, I've talked to a couple of people who've seen the movie and they're like, Oh, he, any sounds just like, you know, a character from another movie. Like, you know, buddy love or something like that. And I'm like, there's nothing wrong with that. But any play who wants to play Rudy the way he wants to play him, which is great. I mean I think it's one of the probably the three best performances Eddie Murphy's ever given in his career. And then if you really are interested, go back and watch Rudy's movies, especially human tornado, which I think is the best of of all of his movies.

Speaker 1: 00:14:38 Yes. I'm the human tornado, Brennan Clinton and Senate. I used an earthquake to mix my milkshake. I eat an avalanche when I wanted ice cream. I punched the hurricane, had made it a, I followed an iceberg and didn't pre [inaudible] NEDA ring in chase and talking trash. [inaudible] myth played, had part of a job stop bumped on muck won by him on tar. NEDA raided on under 17 nine admitted without a pack. Alright, note from Joe Taylor

Speaker 7: 00:15:17 also in a number of the blaxploitation films were made through Hollywood studios and a number of them had white directors, but Rudy's films were really something that he created. And so there was, you know, a black filmmaker behind them, which is different from some of the, the more studio based films.

Speaker 8: 00:15:39 Yeah. And even how initially how the first movie got distributed, you know, him going out and for walling it, you know, renting the theater and showing it also hearkens back to another era of film of black independent film that a lot of people don't talk about. And, and Rudy has never, Rudy in his movies are never placed within a historical context of the black films from the really going back to the twenties but especially in the 30s and forties whether it was a Oscar Micheaux film or a a Spencer Williams or um, you know, eventually white director started making some of these movies too. And Rudy's movies really belong in that, that category, maybe even more so than the seventies blaxploitation movies because it was clear he was influenced by them. And they even follow some of the same story beats as, you know, there's movies like juke joint and, and boy what a girl.

Speaker 8: 00:16:36 And, and all these movies are usually pretty basic. They have a very basic plot. And then there's an excuse for a musical number, couple of musical numbers, a couple of dance numbers and some comedy routines. And, and if you watch like Rudy's movies, they have all of that, right? They don't have, you know, big budgets or anything like that, but it's like, Oh, there's the comedy routine. Oh, there's the dance number. Oh, there's the, there's the music number. And very few film critics or historians have ever talked about it in that context. But I, you know, I remember hanging out with Rudy at a film festival in the early two thousands and we got into this really deep conversation about filmmakers like, uh, Spencer Williams and, and Oscar Micheaux and, and the independent world of film that they came up in in the thirties and forties distribution when theaters were still segregated, when the entertainment world, when they were still the Chitlin circuit and all that stuff influenced Rudy. And him and I talked about that at length. And I wish more people could understand like the larger historical context of, of where Rudy sits

Speaker 7: 00:17:43 and also is there any kind of pushback to his films? Just in the sense that we'll have it just blaxploitation cinema in general. Sometimes I feel like when you want to screen them, you get a little pushback at times saying like, well, you know, these are dated or they don't necessarily always represent the African American experiences. Some people might want it presented. And I don't know if with his films being more comedic, is there also some pushback and in even within the African American community about them not really representing in a way that they want to like remember or bring back or show,

Speaker 8: 00:18:24 okay, well there's, there's always push back, right? There's always people that you know, can find a negative and stuff and you know, and yeah, those movies, they're, they're raunchy and they're, you know, definitely there's a level of sexism and misogyny in them that, um, and they're politically incorrect. There's, there's so much stuff that you, you can't escape it. At the same time. It's like we have to, I'm a strong believer that we have to learn how to contextualize what it is we're watching, what it is we're talking about and not get caught up in. Totally examine it from a contemporary standpoint. Yeah, we examined from contemporary standpoint, but we also have to look at it from, okay, well this was what was going on in 1975 this is how it fits in. And then go from there and, and recognize it. Okay, if these are the things that you're not into, if you're not into say raunchy sex humor, then don't watch the movie. That's the, that's the thing. I, I've had so many people, Oh, I thought it was terrible and I was offended by it. And it's like, well there, there's, you could always turn it off. You don't have to watch it. I mean, I'm the sort of person, if I don't see, if I don't like what I'm watching, I stopped watching it. If I find it offensive, I walk away from it before it gets to the point that I'm, you know, so horribly offended. I'm not going to be able to sleep at night.

Speaker 9: 00:19:44 [inaudible]

Speaker 7: 00:19:46 well, and it just seems like there's so much to appreciate about him being this, you know, kind of self made man and the way that he pursued this and was able to become successful on the real fringes of the film industry.

Speaker 9: 00:20:01 Okay.

Speaker 8: 00:20:02 Oh yeah, no, I agree. I agree 100%

Speaker 7: 00:20:06 and you know, you mentioned how this kind of, to put it in a context, how it, it references back to some of the early black cinema in terms of where we are now. Is Tyler Perry sort of in that same ground in the sense of, you know, he came to film having built an audience, um, you know, this kind of community based audience and he's making films that he wants to make outside the Hollywood system and it seems like, you know, he's tapped into something very particular and successful for him, but not necessarily of mainstream Hollywood.

Speaker 8: 00:20:43 Yeah. It's funny that you should say that because I, you want to talk about something that I would offend or drive some people [inaudible] crazy is, is if you were to compare Tyler Perry to Rudy Ray Moore, but there's, there's more comparisons there than, than most people are probably comfortable with. And, and, and, and to take it one step further, if you look Tyler Perry, you know, I've never been a big fan of his work, but my, I've always had respect for the business side of things, how he handles things, right? Rudy was never able to make it in the mainstream film world. There was a handful of movies that he appeared in and made those attempts. It never quite worked out. And you know, Tyler Perry, you know, he, he made that one Alex Cross movie and it was just like, Oh no, you know, go, go back, go back to what you're doing.

Speaker 8: 00:21:31 Go back to Medea. You know, like he found a formula that works for me. He's never found, really is, I can't think of anything in which Tyler Perry is found, like the super success in mainstream film, but he doesn't need it. You know, he's successful in his own terms, you know, I think in a different time and different place. You know, maybe Rudy could have done, you know, found that level of success. Maybe not. Maybe it was just the natural progression, but you know, Tyler Perry, that's, people don't talk about Tyler Perry and Oscar Micheaux in the same sentence that often, just like, they don't talk about Rudy Ray Moore and Oscar Micheaux in the same sentence, but yet they should be because they're all a long line of the same tradition. And you wouldn't have had one without the other, without the other, without the other. And, and, you know, to me it's like, it's a no brainer to see it, you know, especially if you look at Tyler Perry's earliest productions, you know, even before he, when he was just doing the plays and video and videotaping those plays and selling those before you really hit it big and started filming stuff.

Speaker 8: 00:22:38 Um, you know, he found, he found his audience and his audience was big enough and was willing to spend enough money to support him and he never overspent. And that's, you know, that's sort of what Rudy did. He made his records first and then use that money that he made from the records and leveraged it and borrowed money to make light. And you know, just when it seemed like it wasn't gonna work out, the film found its audience.

Speaker 7: 00:23:04 Well there's a scene in the dolomite film, the Eddie Murphy dolomite is my name where he's trying to pitch the film and I believe it was one of the white producers says something like, well, you know, you're making this movie for five blocks of people and you know, that's not how you're going to make money. And then Rudy responds by saying, yeah, but there are those five blocks of people in every single city. And it seems like he and Tyler Perry have found like those segments of the population that will support them and understand that that is an audience. And even if you kind of look at it as small, it's like if you multiply it by every city, it comes out to be fairly big.

Speaker 8: 00:23:43 And not only is it an audience, this is the, this is what's really crucial. And I love that moment in the movie that was like one of the movement, right? Like stood up and I was ready to stand up and just start cheering. Right? It was this acknowledgement that, you know what Rudy or what, you know, what the character is saying in the movie and what Tyler Perry has figured out is like, not only is it an audience, but it's an audience with needs. It's people who have, there's things that they want to see. There's, there's things that they're entertained by. Let's give that to them. And to me that was like such a telling moment. And it was so heartfelt to me. And, and because it was that the dismissive way, you know, the, the Hollywood guy is like, you know, it's just for five blocks of people. It's like, yeah, but those, again, those five blocks matter and, and you know, if you've got those five blocks and say, even if it's just, you know, 40 of the 50 States, you know, that's enough to make, make some money.

Speaker 7: 00:24:45 And also, even if it's a smaller audience or whatever size it is, it's an audience that merits attention and, and you know, should be getting films that address their interests and needs and desires.

Speaker 8: 00:24:58 Something that entertains them. That's it. Exactly.

Speaker 7: 00:25:01 So how do you think the Eddie Murphy film is going to do? Do you think it's going to find an audience today?

Speaker 8: 00:25:07 I do. I think so. I mean, you know, Netflix in and of itself has such a crazy model and they're doing a, um, I know they're doing a limited theatrical for it. Um, which I think is pretty smart because I honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if, if, um, if somebody's in that production gets nominated and I won't be surprised if Eddie gets nominated for some, for some awards, you know, whether it's a golden globe or, uh, an Oscar. Um, you know, and I think there'll be, it'll be interesting to see people then watch some Rudy's movies and really, you know, really sort of discover them for, for the first time and see them for what they are. But I was, I went into it with like a lot of apprehension. I, I was like, ah man, you know, if this movie sucks, I'm just going to be so, so disappointed cause this, this is a project that I, the sort of project that I'd wanted to do for a very long time.

Speaker 8: 00:26:00 You know, I always thought that Rudy story would make a really good, interesting behind the scenes sort of thing. And there's a couple other movies from that era that I think would make really good, you know, behind the scenes movies. Um, Mario van Peebles made one about his dad sweet, sweet back's badass song, but I liked dolomite as my name more than I like bad-ass, which I thought was, you know, a decent little film. So I think people are gonna love it. You know, I think that if amongst the other things, you know, people really love Eddie Murphy, it's been a long time since Eddie's done a, a movie that that audiences really get behind and really, you know, remember why we liked him and, and you know, here's a cat who's been for over 40 years. Um, and, and this is like watching this is like, Oh yeah, this is why I fell in love with Eddie Murphy.

Speaker 8: 00:26:53 And it's like, to me it's all of Eddie Murphy. It's Eddie Murphy from Saturday night live that we first fell in love with. It's that, that, that strong charisma he had really early in his career with like 48 hours and trading places. And then it's him when he was really hitting this stride in the early nineties with movies like boomerang. Um, but this is, this is the, the, the sort of, I guess the maturation of Eddie. Right. You know, we've seen him, if we're all old enough, most of us are, you know, the hardcore fans are old enough to remember when he was like 18 years old, 19 years old on, on Saturday night live. And now he's, you know, when he's in his mid to late fifties and he's really come into his own as a, as a performer. And I just, I'd love to see him follow up and do some, some more interesting,

Speaker 7: 00:27:39 well he talked about Rudy Ray Moore in the context of film, but he also seems to have influenced comedians like Eddie Murphy and also you have Snoop dog in the film, uh, and kind of paying tribute to Rudy Ray being acknowledged as kind of this godfather of rap. So it seems like he influenced or that his kind of influence has spread out beyond just film.

Speaker 8: 00:28:05 He's, it's the world of hip hop. It's the world of film. It's the world of comedy. I would say the three comedians that most get most talk about in terms of black comedians are, you know, um, Richard Pryor, bill Cosby and, and red Fox, Richard Pryor and red Fox being the blue comedians who did the, you know, profanity and sex jokes and, and then bill me being the, um, you know, being remembered for that wholesome comedy, which is kind of crazy now given everything that we know about him. Right. But, you know, there's, there's comedians who are sort of lost in time that people don't talk about as much as they should. Dick Gregory being one, um, Godfrey, Cambridge being one, and then Rudy Ray Moore being one, um, comedians and, and people who study comedy and studying pop culture will know who some of these people are, but, but the mainstream public doesn't. And I, I'm just excited at the possibility, the prospect of people, you know, rediscovering Rudy and, and then also being offended by you. That's the thing. Like, he's, it like some of this stuff is truly, genuinely offensive to me. It's like, it's funnier. Some of his jokes are funny or just because how much they offend people. And, and I'm one of those people who loves to watch people get offended.

Speaker 7: 00:29:26 And you mentioned that Eddie Murphy may get some accolades and nominations for this, but one other person who stands out in this film that was so enjoyable was Wesley Snipes,

Speaker 8: 00:29:37 wasn't he great? You know, he's um, cause he, he plays, he plays dervish Martin who directed dolomite and, and I've sort of been obsessed with the real Martin because he was a character actor going back to the 60s using, you know, Rosemary's baby and, and guess who's coming to dinner. And then he becomes a supporting character actor during the blaxploitation era. Directed some stuff. But he died really young. Doraville Martin died in his early forties like in I think in 1984 or something like that. And there's not a lot known about him. And like, I don't know how accurate Wesley's NICE's portrayal is, but it is so memorable because he just, he plays Doraville as a sort of, you know, drinks a little bit too much, doesn't really care about what he's doing. And, and from everything I've heard, this is what, you know, on a set of dolomite he was not a nice person. Um, and he comes across in some ways almost as the villain of the film, which I think is a really interesting but so hilarious because, um, you know, in Wesley isn't known for doing comedy,

Speaker 7: 00:30:41 but he thought it was so good. And there's also this air about the character of like, I was in Roman Polanski's, Rosemary's baby. I am so much above all of, you know, what's going on in this madness on, on the set. I think a lot of the humor came from that. Yeah. And I mean while he played at the elevator, I'm pretty sure with Mary's baby, it's like that's a whole other class compared to this.

Speaker 8: 00:31:07 Yeah, no, I really enjoy that. I think that's going to be an interesting, you know, I know that like on a personal level, I know Wesley Snipes has been through a lot of stuff the last, you know, 10 15 years and, but it's interesting to see him make, I guess for lack of a better term, you know, I hate to say a comeback, you know, I hate to say that for both Eddie or Wesley Snipes, but I feel like in some ways these, these films are an opportunity for audiences to rediscover both of these actors in a way that's like for older folks like myself, it's like, Oh yep, this is, this is why I liked these guys. And then for younger audiences, I mean it's been 20 years since blade came out. There's, there's people out there who don't really get who Wesley Snipes is or why he meant a lot to audiences. It's been even, you know, almost 30 years since new Jack city and, and even going back to Eddie, it's like, you know, there's some people that only know Eddie Murphy is like the voice of donkey from, from the Shrek movies. And those have been awhile. So, um, I think it's going to be, I think this whole movie is, there's a lot of opportunities for discovery, not just discovery of the subject matter, but also discovery of the talent involved in making it

Speaker 4: 00:32:16 take one marker. Action. Mike, what do you want? FBI, what do you want man? Weighs your warranty. This badge. My warrant. Open up the trunk. It ain't mad. I don't know how I got it. You're going to jail for a long time. You going to have to take me cut that cut. Is there any angle that you could shoot this way? It looks like he's actually kicking him terrorists and not such angle. [inaudible]

Speaker 7: 00:33:02 I went to the screening for this with a couple of filmmakers and one of the things that we all really enjoyed was the actual on the set stuff that behind the scenes look was so much fun because there's so much about overcoming those obstacles of not having money, not having, you know, everybody who may be the most skilled, but having that just burning passion to get something done. And it really captured that.

Speaker 8: 00:33:30 No, I, I thought it was so amazing. And the captured it in a, in I guess for lack of a better term, a respectful way, cause it, you know, again, they could have really, um, played it up. Like these guys were, you know, completely inept and, and sort of losers. Right. But they don't, nobody comes across as level the losers, they come across as people who just like really want to do this, don't quite know how to do it. But they, but they get through it. And, and I mean the fact that, you know, Rudy made as many movies as he did that, you know, he's, you know, sadly he passed away in 2008 so he's been, he's been gone for over a decade. But those movies are nearly 50 years old. The fact that we're, you know, we're still, that we're talking about, and again, we're talking about those movies that people are gonna rediscover them and really start having interesting conversations about that era and that time and what the, the larger blaxploitation era and genre men is, says a lot. Cause I don't, I honestly don't think there's anybody that the exception of maybe Pam Greer. Um, there's very few people who on a personal level were as interesting as Rudy was. I'll probably get in a lot of trouble for saying this, but I've met a ton of those folks. I've known a lot of the actors and a bunch of the filmmakers and you know, Rudy story is, um, is, is pretty, it's pretty amazing.

Speaker 7: 00:34:56 Well, I want to thank you very much for talking about Rudy Ray Moore and then you film about him. But I also want to give you a chance to talk about your own work because you do an amazing amount of stuff. And if people are in San Diego, they often see you at comic con here. But, um, what do you have coming up right now?

Speaker 8: 00:35:14 Oh, what do I have coming up right now? Well, let's see. I'm, I'm co-writing, there's two different series that I've been co-writing. Uh, one of over image comics. I've been co-writing Bitterroot with Chuck Brown, Sanford green as the artists on that. We're getting ready to launch into volume two early next year. We're working on it right now. And that's a, um, you know, a comic about a family of monster hunters that during the Harlem Renaissance. And then over D C I'm co writing a book with my friend Brian Bendis and that's a book called Naomi. And that just, uh, that just wrapped up. We're getting ready to do the sequel to that. Jamal Campbell is the artist and Jamal was finishing up a green lantern book and then we, we jump in back into Naomi. And then, um, and then I'd been babbling in self publishing again, which is where I came from.

Speaker 8: 00:36:03 So I just put out a, a supernatural West are supernatural wrestling comic about wrestlers and werewolves and family dysfunction. And that's called one fall. And that's, um, I put that out with, with the artists and Bret wildly. And so I'm just keeping really busy. I've, there's like three major projects that'll be announced any day now. And um, and Bitterroot just got optioned by legendary. So legendary is making the film of, um, of a bitter root. And Ryan Coogler is set to produce it. We haven't found a director yet, but we're, you know, everybody's working on the screenplay and looking at a 20, 21 or 20, 22 release for the Bitterroot movie. So that's, that's super exciting and, yeah, and just keeping busy, you know, try not to, I don't have to fall into the trap of being too idle.

Speaker 7: 00:36:56 I don't think I've ever seen you idle.

Speaker 8: 00:37:01 It happens. It happens from time to time.

Speaker 7: 00:37:04 All right, well I want to thank you very much. It's always a pleasure speaking to you and talking about blaxploitation films. Uh, I still want to run a film series with you, so one day

Speaker 8: 00:37:15 that would be awesome. I'd love to do that. There's an end. You know what, I think now the, now there might be some actual interest. You know, I, I, I do think that this, the dolomite is, my name is going to, um, I'm hoping it sparks some, some new interest in that era. Um, and, and in an appreciative way, not in a mocking sort of way. That's what's crucial for me.

Speaker 7: 00:37:37 Well, I feel like we're in a timeframe right now where people are almost looking so hard to find things to be offended by, that they want to kind of tuck things away that don't fit their comfort zone. And I feel like we're losing some things that if you present them in the right context and understand where they come from, like they can be appreciated on their own merits. But I feel like it's hard to show some things. Um, because of that.

Speaker 8: 00:38:07 No, it's difficult. I, you know, I've hosted screenings, um, I've been hosting screenings now for over 20 years, but now we have to get up myself or one of the, if someone I'm working with, we'll have to get up in front of the audience before a movie and go, okay, so here are the things that there's going to be some things that might trigger you, you know? And cause inevitably you're going to get an any own angry email or phone call or someone's gonna protest you. It's like, well, you were screaming Russ Meyer movies here, so you should know that. Um, yeah, that these movies are technically sexploitation movies. So if, if this is something that offends you, leave now, you know, um, it's, and it's interesting to me how, how much people want, you're right. It's like they want to be offended. They want to find a reason to be righteously indignant. And it's like, okay. Um, I think that there's other things he righteously indignant about. Um, and, and if you become indignant about something that you willingly went to go see, especially a film, you know, it's like, then it's kind of like, shame on you, you know, don't, don't ruin my good time.

Speaker 7: 00:39:16 Well, it's also, I feel like there's two parts of that. It's like, I understand people who may object to a film and they have the right to criticize it and to point out what's wrong with it and discuss it. But there's that spectrum where that criticism starts trending towards censoring and making it unavailable and taking away the ability to see those films. And that's like where I find it difficult.

Speaker 8: 00:39:46 I got to draw the line. I'm with you 100%. Yeah, I just, I just watched them. Billy Wilder's the apartment, which is, you know, one of my favorite movies of all time. I, I re watched it for the first time in probably two or three years. Definitely the first time I've watched it since the whole me tune and started and wow, talk about seeing things from a very different perspective. But it's still an amazing movie and it still deserves to be seen and it's still, you know, one of Billy Wilder's best and Shirley McClain is amazing and everybody in it is amazing. And you know, there's a, there's a different understanding of the movie in a, in a contemporary context, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a great movie and we should never dismiss it or try to put it into a box because it doesn't fit with all of our contemporary sensibilities. It's like, okay, well let's examine how we've grown as a society. Let's examine how we've grown cinematically since then. But some people aren't interested in that. They're just interested in, in not being offended and shoving their views down your throat.

Speaker 7: 00:40:52 Well and also if you forget where we come from, if you don't appreciate what the past was like, then it's more difficult to kind of figure out where we are now or why things are the way they are if we've kind of just tucked all that stuff away.

Speaker 8: 00:41:11 Exactly. No, I agree. 100%

Speaker 7: 00:41:14 well, as always, it's a so much fun to talk with you and I hope we can get you down here in San Diego to do some screenings.

Speaker 8: 00:41:23 Yeah, that'd be great. That'd be really cool.

Speaker 7: 00:41:25 That was David Walker. I need to take one more short break and then I'll be back with filmmakers, sands Dixon and Dante Moran to talk. Eddie Murphy

Speaker 10: 00:41:34 in dolomite is my name and the original Rudy Ray Moore.

Speaker 11: 00:41:41 My women is only time. Don't let Mike,

Speaker 10: 00:41:43 you have my name and

Speaker 11: 00:41:52 yes, I'm Googling. I'm the one that killed Monday wins in the hospital. Oh, the photos did a tell five to knock the first fair deal. I'm the one that had the elephant Troost and in trees and all of the ants. When BBD from the first to the left, I'd give him the blast fab that the light path before the F E Bondi up the blade see me uptown, downtown crown down, renown de lady relayed mislead and poly at max match and scrapped black Jack Mack, black, black, black fat and fat Jack. And still coming back. If you please satisfaction, this is the place to find that action.

Speaker 10: 00:42:40 That was the original 1975 trailer for Rudy Ray Moore's Dola mind. So I haven't studio here with me. Sans Dickson and Dante Moran, who are both San Diego filmmakers. And you guys have seen this original dolomite film. Eddie Murphy has a film right now called dolomite is my name. That's about Rudy Ray Moore making that film. But what do you remember of the original dolomite film?

Speaker 12: 00:43:08 Actually, I was very young when I saw it. The thing that I remember the most was the fight at the end with a, I was a Willie Green. And when he finally, when they finally had their big fight, I was not expecting him to rip out his spleen or was it his intestine? And then the, um, I forgot, was he a cop? His friend, when he comes in, he's like, damn, Dola my NAD shoots him. I don't know, for some reason I just, I remember watching that, thinking that that's, that's wrong, but it's great. So that, that's, that's my memory of that film.

Speaker 13: 00:43:45 And Dante, uh, the one thing I definitely remember from a dolomite was the crazy fashion. Uh, you know, and then you would start to see people emulate that fashion around because, uh, I didn't see dolomite until like the eighties, you know, I wasn't allowed to watch anything like that, you know, when it first came out. And so, uh, but he had a big influence on the way people talked, the way people dressed. And I think a lot of people thought, you know, his ideas of, uh, him incorporating, uh, female martial artists gunplay B as talking, uh, you know, brothers who are running stuff, you know, he was the pinnacle of that. A lot of film started to follow, uh, his format and I'm sure he was well by the movie that we saw w starring Eddie Murphy, you know, he was a downplayed, a lot of his ideas were downplayed.

Speaker 13: 00:44:39 A lot of people thought the film was trash. You saw the reviews and you know, he, they were never given any good reviews. It was all about the audience review. And so that, that's one of the things I always look for these days when I'm looking at, you know, Google or Amazon or not Amazon, but, uh, I MDB rotten tomatoes. I look at the audience reviews first because you know, these films are made for the audience and that's what he was doing. He was making a film for his audience and uh, I commend him on that.

Speaker 10: 00:45:07 So dolomite is considered part of the blaxploitation movement that was in the 70s. However, the films from that period that tend to survive more are more of kind of the dramas and the action film stuff like Pam Greer and coffee and Foxy Brown or film starring Jim Brown. And, uh, those are the ones that tend to get remembered better. Dolomite is kind of an oddity within the blacksploitation John or because it was, it was action, but it was also comedy and it was kind of way over the top. So how does this film kind of fit into that John HRA and kind of how do you think it's being remembered?

Speaker 13: 00:45:50 Uh, well I think one of the things that helped it, you know, it's still being remembered now and why someone like say Eddie Murphy would have an affinity for it is it's do it yourself approach, you know, the independent spirit, you know, because he put that together himself. Many of those films that you know are big in the exploitation genre, those are studio films and you know, they have a studio directors, studio production and whatnot and uh, ages winged it, you know, and I think, uh, you get, you're going to get knocked for that because it's not as polished as the other films that are come out. And, uh, there are no real stars. I don't think there were any stars and stuff for what Doraville Martin who played Willie Green and he was in some other films. But other than that, he was the only star in the film. So

Speaker 12: 00:46:43 he was the, he wasn't the elevator guy. Yeah. Rosemary, I'm not to cut you off, but I think as far as where it's, it's funny because when you mentioned doing this, I looked up blaxploitation because, or blaxploitation films because I, when you say blaxploitation films, I think like you said, coffee bug town, cotton comes to Harlem. It was a sweet bags gas song. Did you know Cooley high is considered a blaxploitation film?

Speaker 10: 00:47:12 Well, it also depends who's making the list.

Speaker 12: 00:47:15 That's true too. That's true too. But I saw it on several. Yeah. And that's for me, I guess when you ask how does it fit in, I guess it's just another take on the black experience because um, I guess ultimately were blaxploitation films were, was kind of the overcoming though, the man, the white man or just the system or whatever. I mean they, depending on where it's at, you know, in the South there was more, you know, the man is a racist whereas up North, you know, it was more the man in the system. Um, but I feel like with Dola my, yeah, it was just a black experience, but it wasn't as polished. It was very much a B film. But I feel like just dedication, love and ambition got that film to where it was so

Speaker 10: 00:48:12 well based on the Eddie Murphy film, you get a little of that ed would vibe in the sense it's somebody who really wanted to get into the film industry and to make a film. And despite the fact that he had a lot of financial hardships and didn't really have the support of the studio system, he was just bound and determined to get something made.

Speaker 12: 00:48:38 I think the difference between him and ed wood, and I don't, I don't know that much about Edward, I'm realizing, but I feel like Edwood thought of himself as a film maker. Yeah. And I feel like w Rudy Ray Moore, he wanted to be famous. Yeah. And this is, this is going off of what I saw in the movie and I think how it worked for him was he wanted to be famous, um, via this film. So I mean, talking about the Eddie Murphy film, he was willing to rely on others to get him there. He wasn't a control freak. And you know, talking about the, the, the film that Eddie Murphy did, that's the thing that jumped out to me was just the production process because me and Dante, we both done films and you know how important it is to keep just doing a short, just doing like a two to three days, shoot on a short, you can lose your crew. So doing a feature where there's not a great script does not a great talent. And it just, in his situation, you had a director who was checked out, which is massive, yet he's still kept everyone like motivated and they wanted to see this done. That's huge.

Speaker 14: 00:49:56 We want this thing. It'd be wrong to tell it like it is on the streets. Yeah. Lots of pimps and hoes and cussing and Kung food karate for this level, let Kung Fu and karate, you know, karate. No, but I'm a fast learner. I can learn how to chop me a month. Yup, yup. Yeah. You know what, we should have all girl come through on me. [inaudible]

Speaker 15: 00:50:17 um, you know, there's, there's plenty of stories, opportunity Rudy,

Speaker 14: 00:50:22 across this nation in the cities are being plagued by violent crime. I feel the hasn't stepped up its whities fault. The may is corrupt and that's an exorcism, goddammit. And extra says, yeah. You know that who are mothers in the L yeah. I don't know how that fits into our urban motif.

Speaker 13: 00:50:42 Rudy Ray Moore. Um, he was, I would think like, you know, you can think of him in terms of being the original Robert Rodriguez, you know, Robert Rodriguez was my influence and inspiration in to being a filmmaker. I saw, uh, um, El mariachi and then when I read this book, I'm just like, this is what I want to do. Cause I mean, I've always been into films, but you're always being told this is what you have to do. And it's always going to be financially, you know, uh, impossible for you to get there. Where this guy is saying, no, you don't need to do any of that stuff. All you need to do is go out and make the film that you want to make and somebody will find it. And when you hear words like that, you know, it causes you to, to go out and it's like, you know what, I'm gonna find myself whether I win or lose, I at least going to get out of the house and make the attempt. And uh, like you were saying, you know, being too stupid to quit. I was very naive, you know, and filmmaking and that's why I jumped into it, you know, both feet. And then once I'm in there, there's no getting out. But plus I'm obsessed with it. So, uh, this is something that I w I want to do until the day I pass. And I'm never gonna quit.

Speaker 10: 00:51:56 Black exploitation films came up in the 70s. This is kind of the time when Hollywood was discovering that there was a black audience out there and they could actually make money by tailoring films for that audience by either having a, the lead actors be African American or maybe the director like Gordon parks. But a lot of those films were popular because like, Pam Greer had this sense of kind of female empowerment to a degree, or you got to see Fred Williamson kind of stick it to the man. Dolomite a little more problematic because of the fact that he's depicting characters who might be pimps or prostitutes or are dealing with kind of a different realm of experience that kind of looking back on or even at the time was not as fully embraced by some people.

Speaker 13: 00:52:52 Well, I think, uh, he was probably given maybe a little bit more Slack, if you will, because it was a comedy. You can get away with a lot of stuff if you do parodies. And, uh, nobody took him seriously. And I think a lot of people thought he was going to fail initially. And so it's just like, you know, Hey, we're not even gonna bother with this guy. And then all of a sudden he becomes successful. Um, and he had the four wallet. Uh, and then after that, I mean, it's pretty much like today, Hollywood will find you if you do the work on YouTube. So if you have a million followers, you have so many viewers on your, on your videos and whatnot, you can get a meeting, whereas you are a very talented artist. Uh, you are, you can make a movie in your sleep, however, you don't have the followers. You don't have the high ratings on the content. It's very hard to get looked at. And so, uh, he basically had to do that by four walling. He brought Hollywood to him.

Speaker 10: 00:53:51 And, and in case people don't know, four walling means he had to rent the theaters and pay for his film to be shown and gamble on the fact that an audience would come to him and allow him to make a profit on that. And that's a little more risky than if a studio distributes your film.

Speaker 12: 00:54:08 Yeah. Um, it's fun. You, you, um, with your question because I was reading an article a few weeks ago about, um, I forgot who put it up, but there was a report that was done maybe four years ago and it was on, um, black spending at, I can't remember if was worldwide or just in the United States, but basically it summarize that businesses by ignoring the black community are leaving like $1 trillion every year on the table. And surprise surprise, after that report came out, you see more black films, you see more of a focus on black audiences and just multiple multiculturalism going back to blaxploitation films. I think that's where they were at the time where it was, there's money in this and it's cheap so we can spend, would you say a hundred grand and make 2 million? I take those odds any day.

Speaker 10: 00:55:04 I'm just curious about that film in particular in the context of blaxploitation. Is it a film that it was popular then? It definitely found an audience then, but is it more problematic for people to kind of screen it now?

Speaker 12: 00:55:18 So what I was gonna say is, I feel with that it was a chief film, it was successful and then kind of like what we're seeing today, you could make a franchise out of it and those are cheap and those are successful as well. I think that's one of those things where, and I feel like every group kinda has that, um, where it's like, we can joke about this but you can't. And I feel like dolomite falls into that. So I'm sure when they came out, black audiences loved it. It's kinda like what in, in the Eddie Murphy movie where the, um, I think it was the producer told them, I can only sell this or the people that were by this, there's only like five blocks of them. And he said, yeah, but there's like five blocks worth of these people in every city and that's all it takes. You know, he wasn't, again, he wanted to be famous, but he, I don't know, maybe he was just a bit delusional and it worked out for him. But I feel like he, in being a senior and being a comedian, you feed off the crowd and I feel like doing performances,

Speaker 16: 00:56:24 you're more aware of what works than doing a movie. So, and he, he got through that movie pretty quickly. So I feel like it was very much of the time and it worked, but times have changed. So now I could see, nowadays I can see both sides. I can see that it's offensive. Um, why are we showing this? Let's ban it and hide it forever. But you can still look at it and laugh. Um, especially just as a film in general. I mean, you've seen a black dynamite made fun of all the boom, you know, I mean if you watch that movie, you see the boom so much and if you've ever worked on a set, like that's the ADR and I'm sorry, the, the DP loses his mind anytime the boom comes in to the frame. So it's just, I feel like it's something that if you're talking about the subject matter, yes. Stereotypical, yeah, it is violent as hell is very sexist. But I feel like you have to remember that it's of its time. So I'm going to say no, it's not problematic.

Speaker 13: 00:57:32 Dante, do you want to chime in on that? Do I find dolomite being problematic? Absolutely not. I mean, if you listen to the radio alone, man, I mean, do you have people driving around with the little eight year olds playing all kinds of very, very, you know, interesting music and so, uh, yeah. Dolomite that compared to what we, what we have today, that's nothing. It is vulgar. Yeah. I mean, it's very vulgar and so, but that's his audience. Uh, like, uh, sands was saying, you know, by him doing the tours, being a singer, being a stand up, uh, a comedian, he knew what the audience, what the audience wanted, what they, I guess you could say needed. As far as, uh, breaking away from the typical studio dynamics. I know one thing, a lot of people who enjoyed the blacks exploitation, uh, genre, uh, like say they were in their 20s or whatnot during that era.

Speaker 13: 00:58:29 They loved it because it was different. It showed a different black audience. I love Sidney Poitier, but I also, you know, uh, love Fred Williamson, you know, and it gives you something different because like we had talked about before, you know, those movies stirred up a lot of mess, you know, uh, within like the neighborhood, if you a person, you know, uh, one year you're dressed like Sidney Poitier, but then all of a sudden these movies coming out, now the, uh, shirts are open, people got the chest hair showing the pants are tight and what that, you know, and it's like the hairs out and people's walk, their swagger after shaft came out, everybody was walking differently. You know, you got black dudes wearing leather coats in summertime in Michigan, you know, so you know that that's an influence right there. And so you have, uh, the people who are in power, let's say, uh, the preachers, the churches and whatnot, they are starting to lose their grip on the youth because of these beings, these movies because of the music. Uh, it was very interesting and very interesting time. And so, uh, and dolomite was one of those people, whereas you could get his albums on eight track and people would be driving through the neighborhood. They'd be playing this music guy. You had the cool Modi's. I mean, this is a little bit later, but you know, all these people are influenced by Rudy Ray Morris stand up by his movie movies.

Speaker 12: 00:59:59 You know, and it's, it's funny something you said, I totally, I totally cut my attention is when you're young, you always want what's, you know, anti subversive, whatever. And that's the other thing because, um, what you like, it's, it's funny growing up and getting older because just looking at my friends, you remember the nineties, early nineties, we were, we were assholes. And we like, you know, all, you know, Nirvana to flock. Like, whereas now it's kinda like, Oh man, this rap music is so bad. I don't think that rap music nowadays is worse than it was back then. And I don't think what was bad in the 90s was worse than, um, what he was doing. And the reason I say that is it's one thing when you're just putting on a show trying to sh be edgy or you know, whatever. But there was a lot of truth in what he was doing.

Speaker 12: 01:00:55 He was building a character [inaudible] but there was a lot of truth in that, a lot of pain in it. It was kind of a, if, if you're going to hold me down, you know, I'm going to go out swinging of thing like that was, it was very rebellious. His um, his character and I feel like that is more offensive, which especially, you know, nowadays for some reason then if it's just kind of, you know, constructed just to make money. I don't know if that makes any sense. Typically it's just kinda like, typically the truth will offend people way more than a lot, if that makes more sense.

Speaker 7: 01:01:38 Now, Eddie Murphy had been working on a project about Rudy Ray Moore for quite some time. That film is finally out and we got to see it. So it's in part a biography of him in his later life, right before he makes dolomite and his kind of obsession with bringing this to the screen and the challenges he faces. So what did you think of the film? Did you enjoy it?

Speaker 13: 01:02:03 I liked it. I liked it a lot. I thought, uh, I mean I've always liked daddy and I like to see him in more dramatic roles, you know, where he can, you know, show, uh, more of his acting skills. I mean, granted you had like the nerdy and like coming to America where he's playing multiple characters and whatnot, but you saw, uh, meaning levels of emotion just coming out of this one character and the, you know, the ups and downs and us as filmmakers, we don't really understand that, you know, you can get really beat down in this industry and especially if you have an love on obsession for what you're doing for a script, uh, with, and Eddie Murphy, you know, he's been around for what, nearly 30 years, over 30 years. 40 years. Yeah, almost 40 years. And yet he's still having problems bringing this to the screen.

Speaker 13: 01:02:56 So imagine if you're, you know, someone, this is your, your first film and you're trying to convince a bunch of people to, you know, do this project for free or for, you know, next to nothing. It's, it's very difficult and you were saying on a short, you can lose your, your crew within a day. So, uh, I liked it. I liked the, the passion that was put into it. You can terribly tell that, um, Eddie had a respect for Rudy and that's the one thing I like, you know, nothing is worse than hearing an actor saying that he's never seen the source material on the new role that he's about to adventure on. You know, and it's like, what is this? So you can tell that Eddie did his, uh, research, did his homework and had a lot of respect for Rudy. So yeah, I enjoyed it.

Speaker 16: 01:03:41 I loved it. And I think Dante nail, um, what I loved about it, I'm a sucker for any film that shows film production, especially in a way that I relate to. Also, I'm a sucker for the, I guess internally or eternally optimistic character, even though I love dark movies. Well, and again, it's because, and Dante, you're going to hate me, but the Rodriguez approach to filmmaking, I'm not a fan of, and I've never been a fan of it because I feel, well, no, because the thing I love about filmmaking is that it's a team effort and you, I don't care how good of a director you are or actor or whatever you, you need everyone else you need at 80 you need that VP. You need the gaffer to know how you know it's you. It's a, it's a team effort. And I actually thought it was actually the thing that really sold me on Rudy Ray Moore or his portrayal over Rudy.

Speaker 16: 01:04:44 Ray Moore was Wesley Snipes character. I forgot the, I forgot the, the actor he was betraying. But I think we, we've all been on film sets and you know what it's like to see a director lose a set and it's, it's very, you know, if you're on like a 10 hour shoot and everyone's checked out within the first hour, it's painful. Everything moves slow. It, you see it in end, it's just bad. So for him to, to rally everyone constantly through the end of a, that had no budget, that was very inspirational for me. Again, it's because I've been there before. I know what it's like to see that boat at the top and at the bottom. I don't know, I just, because it's just so easy to, um, just throw in the towel and going in. He basically wagered his future. Right? It was his rights for all of his, cause he was a success and he wagered future royalties, right. To get this movie done. And it's funny because I remember when I first started going into film though, first thing you always hear is don't use your own money. Whereas nowadays it's kinda like, why not? And I've always felt that way. And I liked the, he felt that way. And typically when you look through the history of Hollywood, all of these movies that you know come out of nowhere, it's typically the director betting on themselves. So Yama sucker for stories like that.

Speaker 7: 01:06:10 Now you brought up Wesley Snipes, so let's have a moment to praise him. So by the way, he was playing doorbell, Martin Darvill Martin, so, Oh my God, just so people have a context for this. So in the film he plays this actor that Rudy Ray Moore wants to get in his film, but knows that because this film doesn't have much weight to it, he offers him the chance to direct it even though the guy probably had no real talent for that in particular. And so he's on the set every day looking a little high maybe. And not, not, not, not, not quite invested in the project in quite the same way that Rudy is. But, um, it was a great performance. So entertaining. It's so good to see Wesley back. Yes.

Speaker 16: 01:07:04 And if you've ever worked on a film like that way, cause he, I feel like he still nailed the actor that was above it all. Yeah. Have you ever worked on a shoot where an actor is directing? It's interesting. Um, but just the fact that he was, he was so above it all, but when you actually see what he's doing, it's not that great. Oh no. Again, he, I, because I've seen it firsthand watching him do it was just amazing.

Speaker 7: 01:07:33 And Dante, you, um, brought up the fact that Eddie Murphy had this affection for Rudy Ray Moore and one of the things they do at the end of the film is after you've seen Eddie Murphy's version of dolomite, we get some actual footage from the dolomite film

Speaker 11: 01:07:50 coming to this be ADA at this next subtraction is the shop that will put you in traction. Dola my star in me, Rudy Ray Moore as double the mind and that bad. Doraville Martin as Willie Green. Don't let them go have them dolomite [inaudible]

Speaker 7: 01:08:11 and it was pretty amazing how

Speaker 16: 01:08:16 he captured all that.

Speaker 13: 01:08:19 [inaudible] I enjoyed it. I don't know what the budget was, but it looked like, you know, they put some, some time, some money into it. And uh, again,

Speaker 17: 01:08:30 uh,

Speaker 13: 01:08:30 my name is doll. My name is dolomite is a Polish version of the, you know, the exploitation, uh, genre. Uh, he w I would think that would be something, you know, um, Larry Cohen's name would come up at the end of that if that name, if that movie Eddie Murphy's movie was made back in the 70s because of the production and whatnot. But, uh, again, rough and ready, uh, I'll take it, you know, if you have the independent spirit, if you, if I hear a story like, yeah, I mortgaged my house, like the SoulCycle, SoulCycle sisters date to get American Mary maid, I will see your film just to see, you know, a, what did you do, you know, what upsets you so much that you put your future,

Speaker 17: 01:09:15 you know, on the line.

Speaker 13: 01:09:19 I think that says a lot about a person and it's unfortunate that I think that film making spirit has really gone away.

Speaker 16: 01:09:28 You're talking about the filmmaking spirit. I don't know. I don't know if it's, cause we were talking about this earlier, I don't know if it's dead. I do think there's something to it being easier. And that, again, going back to the, the, the dolomite film, um, shooting on film makes you really, you, you, you have to have everything set. You know, you can't shoot a scene and then just do playback with, with film, you can't do that. So, and it's a totally different way of lighting. Whereas with digital it's just, it's a little too easy. And that's just, I don't know. I don't, I don't want to say that we've lost that indie spirit. I just think that it's a little too easy. And it's like anything, like, you hear people complain about sports and music, anything that gets big becomes easier over time. And the Barre barrier to entry is no longer a skill.

Speaker 16: 01:10:32 It's just saturation. And I think that's where we are now. There are still great films being made. There's just so many bad films being made. You have to Wade through them. And that's what works against you because a lot of filmmakers, um, still believe that the way to get discovered is, you know, just making something, putting it online or going to a film festival while you're playing in film festival. The film festival makes money. Maybe you'll get discovered, but maybe not because there was a big writeup on, um, films. Um, like all the hits from Sundance. Yeah, they're all losing money. So it's, and I guess maybe this is outside of the indie spirit, but maybe not so much where if you're making a film and you want to be a film maker, you have to think, well, this film gets me to the next film and I feel like where we are right now, it's just, okay, I've got this camera that, you know, autofocus and, you know, minimal lighting and I got a hot actress or hot actor lead, whatever. Maybe they have some juice behind them and I just put it out. But who's the audience? You know? And I don't know. I feel like with Dola my, I feel like he worked all that out. Like, he already knew it was already, it was already mapped out. And I feel like that makes the process so much easier if that's how you approach it.

Speaker 13: 01:11:52 It's it that makes the, uh, the process of making the film much easier. But then you have to go to the distribution and that's where he ran into a lot of, uh, problems. Um, I, I totally agree with you. Um, we definitely have an oversaturated market. Um, and even with auto-focus, minimal lighting cameras and stuff like that, there's still a lot of crap coming out because nobody learns how to use the camera.

Speaker 16: 01:12:18 [inaudible] I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off, but it's funny you, you know, you're talking about distribution and saturation because he actually ran into that then too. Yeah. Remember he was saying there's too, there's too many blaxploitation films coming out. So it's like, what is it about your film that would make us want to put it out? And it wasn't until he four walled it and it made money. And I mean, again, we've heard this story

Speaker 13: 01:12:40 a million times. Well also, he didn't follow the formula. You know, by that time there had already been a formula. You know, you have to have this, you have that. I mean, you have Pam Grier in your film. Yeah. Come on in. We got you a, or have anybody that even looks like Pam Greer. And basically he was using people that he knew, you know, the neighbors and whatnot. Uh, people that I'm sure Hollywood would think would be abandoned misfits. And unfortunately, you know, Hollywood didn't understand that this is pretty much a good depiction of America, you know, a better depiction than, you know, you don't see Pam Grier's walking around everywhere

Speaker 10: 01:13:17 now with Eddie Murphy, who's got a lot of [inaudible], he has a lot of fame and he has a lot of followers. So when someone like him decides to make a film, looking back on someone like Rudy Ray Moore, you know, we have a younger generation that seems to not know anything that was made before their date of birth. Uh, how does this, how do you think this is going to play out? Do you think it will make people more aware of just his films or maybe make them, even think of going back and looking at some of these other films, or at least placing these films kind of into a context to let us know why we are where we at now?

Speaker 13: 01:13:54 I think like a, the people who grew up with a Rudy Ray or like the black exploitation era, I definitely gonna check it out. You know, if you're an Eddie Murphy fan, you're going to check it out. If you like black films, you should definitely check it out. But I think they're going to be a lot of white who watch this film because there were a lot of white people who love the exploitation genre. There were a lot of white people that want to tell other white people to go F themselves. You know, just like, you know, dolomite would do it just like Fred Williamson would do it. Um, like you were saying, it was in the North, there was, it was about the system and a lot of people who felt, you know, downtrodden, you know, a foot on the neck. Uh, responded to the film, you know, regardless of, you know, the color, uh, or um, social standing of the people on screen, you know, they felt the representation in their words. And so, uh, I think there could be a resurgence. I, I definitely think you're gonna S uh, hear some of the soundbites on some of the songs coming out. You're going to see a lot of that.

Speaker 12: 01:15:00 Yeah. That's where I was going to go. I feel like if a, and actually full disclosure, I was like that when I was young. I didn't know anything beyond the 70s when I was younger. It, it, it wasn't until college that I really expanded, you know, my, um, my knowledge, but I feel like with, with, uh, my name is dolomite. Um, that's why I like the scene at the end where he's talking to the kid and I think even when the movie ends they, there was text on the screen about um, how he influenced rap cause he told, I mean it is, it's, that was a big duh but I feel like, um, if there's a connection with the younger people today, that'll probably be it. It, they may check him out just to hear what he says, like Dante said so they can put it on an album or in a YouTube video or something. Um, because one thing I'm realizing is with film, a lot of the great films, they're not like new films. They're not necessarily great there. They've just ripped off stuff that not a lot of people have seen. So. So he go, go deep and you can probably get a nice sound bite.

Speaker 2: 01:16:09 All right, well I want to thank you both very much for talking about the original dolomite and Eddie Murphy's version of that.

Speaker 12: 01:16:17 Thank you. Thanks for having us. Thank you.

Speaker 3: 01:16:27 [inaudible]

Speaker 2: 01:16:28 that was Dante Moran along with sands Dixon talking about Rudy Ray Moore and Eddie Murphy. Thanks for listening to another episode of cinema junkie podcast. I hope the show will inspire you to seek out some of Rudy Ray Morris films to appreciate his place in both blaxploitation cinema and in film history in a broader sense. And also to look for Eddie Murphy paying tribute to more in the new film. Dolomite is my name. It starts streaming on Netflix on October 25th and we'll also have a limited theatrical run. So till our next film fixed on Betha, Mondo, your residence in a mud junkie cinema junkie comes out every other week till our next film fixed on Betha. Mondo your, and I'm a junkie.

Speaker 18: 01:17:43 [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible].

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Cinema Junkie

Satisfy your celluloid addiction with the Cinema Junkie podcast, where you can mainline film 24/7. This film and entertainment series is run by KPBS Film Critic Beth Accomando. So if you need a film fix, want to hear what filmmakers have to say about their work, or just want to know what's worth seeing this weekend, then you've come to the right place