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We recorded this episode several weeks ago, but given the results of last Tuesday’s election it could not be more prescient. Martin Kessler and Marcus Pinn join Lady P to talk Melvin Van Peebles 1967 debut feature The Story of a Three-Day Pass. Directed by an African-American with the style and panache of a French New Wave film, it perfectly encapsulates the essence of 1960s Parisian chic. It tells the story of an African-American soldier on leave for a few days in Paris. He tours the city by himself feeling lonely and out-of-place, that is, until he has a chance encounter with a young French woman who has came to spend the weekend with him. The pair fall head over heels for each other, but quickly find that love does not conquer all.
This episode directly addresses issues that society continually grapples with – namely the role of casual and systemic racism in contemporary culture. If we were to do this episode again today, the tenor of our discussion would likely be very different. However, the subjects and opinions expressed in this recording still stand.
During these solemn times we give thanks to people like Melvin Van Peebles, someone who overcame tremendous economic and racial barriers, and steadfastly held to his cinematic vision. Let us hope that these efforts were not in vain, and that through art and discourse we can eventually move this ever-stubborn needle forward.
*References this song (RIP Leonard Cohen)