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Poster for Wattstax
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Director: Mel Stuart Run Time: 103 min. Format: 35mm Rating: R Release Year: 1973

January is gonna be jumpin’ and jivin’ when The Deuce comes alive for the New Year with WATTSTAX!! Summer of 1972’s all-day LA Coliseum musical/cultural celebration mechanic’d and roster’d by Memphis’s Stax Records, in seven-year remembrance of the 1965 Watts Rebellion… A crowd-stirring cavalcade of music and merry mayhem and mind-blowing costuming!! With off-stage forays into the streets, bars, nightclubs of the Watts real-world – highlighted by the frenetic lightnin’ riffin’ of a young and furious Richard Pryor serving as the film’s resident “Greek Chorus”…

Incendiary! Incisive!! Inspiring!!! And (generally) sensitively mounted by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory‘s director (!?!) Mel Stuart – who sets the concert in its larger context – against the back-drop of “everyday life” and struggles within the still-shaken and still angry voices of the southern LA’s Black working-class gutted subdivision…

While the original 1973 Times Square audience were all busy doin’ the Funky Chicken in the aisles of the Lyric Theatre, they were also unknowingly jipped out of the concert’s crescendo of Isaac Hayes’s Theme From Shaft/Soulville due to MGM’s money-grubbing “rights issues” – a mis-deed rectified by your buddies at The Deuce… we’re showing a recently re-struck, re-righted, and rightfully electrifying print!!!