Director: Gordon Parks Jr.
Gordon Parks Jr removes the smoothness from Shaft and reshapes it into diamond strength hardness in Superfly. Shot with pimp-funding, a largely black crew and with the illegal use of street pole electricity, Superfly is the success story of renegade Blaxploitation filmmaking. The definitive precursor to Gangsta Rap's ambiguous glorification of drug power. Curtis Mayfield's Greek chorus style song-score drives the film's message home: drugs are all around and nothing can stop them except your own will. The social repositioned in the individual. Superfly Ron O'Neal realises this. A coked-up black Christ with chest fur and pointed sideburns, he plays the Game and wins. Sets up a big score to enable him to retire in luxury. The real black street dream: get in... then get out. Everything he does is Super. Another black ego out of control, but a solid depiction of black aspiration and cunning. (Ron O'Neal's ego really gets out of control in the sequel Superfly TNT) Pusherman was a No.1 hit in 1972. When Ice-T covered it for I'm Your Pusher in 1988, it was banned on US radio because Ice-T said the word 'Nigga'. Times change. Dumbness don't. - Philip Brophy