The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture is to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Afro-Americans.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Catch My Soul (1974)

Finally, a long sought out Blaxploitation film has been released on Blu Ray/DVD, "Catch My Soul" (1973). This film, starring Richie Havens as Othello and Lance LeGault as Iago, is based on Shakespeare's play, "Othello", which writer Jack Good delivers a unique perspective of the play. "Catch My Soul" implements a religious perspective with Othello as a Preacher and Iago as Satan. Iago spends majority of his time seducing Cassio (Tony Joe White) and tricking Othello into believing Desedoma (Season Hubly) is being unfaithful.  All throughout the film, musical cuts exemplify scenes that translate to a very groovy spirit that keeps you glued to the film. The soundtrack can be found here, which is fan made by Blaxploitation Pride.  The official release (vinyl only) can be found at discogs. This film is highly recommend and can be purchased at Amazon. Please support the release as these type of rarities because they may become more prevalent in the future.


JustVinnyBlues said...

This is not a blaxploitation film. It's not that genera just because Richie Havens is in it. "Catch My Soul" was a legitimate musical that was produced in the U.S., based on Shakespeare's Othello, with Jerry Lee Lewis playing Iago and William Marshall playing Othello. However, the original production was set in the correct historical period. This film is based on a British production, but the period was reset to a sixties hippie genera. It was directed by Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner). Richie Havens would never appear in a blaxploitation film. That was an American genera which specifically targeted urban black audiences, with titles like "Blacula", "Black Caesar", "Shaft" and "Blackenstein". Unfortunately, there is no film record of the original production, although they did produce an album of the musical score.

I saw the original production and it was fantastic. Richie Havens is in this production because of his musical talent, but this movie was never seen in the U.S. Even the original show was not very successful. In America, by the time this was made, nobody in the U.S. was interested in seeing another hippie movie. I don't think it did much business in the U.K. either, but it certainly was not a blaxploitation movie. I have no idea why they changed the period, because the original production, in my opinion, was brilliant. But that's show business.

Dizzle Man said...

Vinny, thanks for your comment. Much appreciated. By our definition, this is a blaxploitation film. Blaxploitation does not have to be just an American genre. It does not have to be aimed at a particular audience. How the genre is defined is up to interpretation of the individual and we believe Haven's role in this film fits our definition. My not fit for other people, which is totally fine. It's all opinion.

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