Friday, January 23, 2009

Out in Film: Marlon Riggs

Idol worship: Marlon Riggs, director/writer/producer.

- He first gained recognition for his Emmy Award-winning debut Ethnic Notions, which explored black stereotypes.

- His best-known work is the groundbreaking documentary Tongues Untied, which stirred controversy when it was aired on public television. The film won several awards from film festivals, both gay and mainstream.

- Other films of his include Color Adjustment, about television's representation of black people, and No Regret, which features interviews with HIV-positive black men.

- In addition to his work in film and television, he was an accomplished and outspoken activist dedicated to promoting black gay male visibility.

- His final film (released after his death from AIDS-related causes in 1994) was Black Is ... Black Ain't. The documentary, which examined the state of African-America, and the self-hating racism, sexism and homophobia within it, makes its long-awaited debut on DVDnext Tuesday.

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