Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who is that sex machine? Shaft!

What is there to say about Shaft other than he is FREAKING AWSOME! His character is similar to the noir private eyes. His persona is one of two worlds. He is a part of the white and black cultures of New York. His identity is one that is full of the slang of the Harlem slums and the coined wit of the civil rights movements. He does not conform to the white society and suck up. No, He is his own man.

Shaft displays a multiple numbers of cool. He transcends race to interact all races. Shafts prize people are those that everyone interacts with everyday. His values seem to be those of any good man the only difference is in the means that he accomplishes them with. His methods are very noir; by this I mean that his means are a little more rough and dirty. The police cannot go and do the same things with such ease. He is not on the wrong side of the law but he is doing all the things the law can’t do such as move easily throughout Harlem.

Now his sex appeal with the ladies and even the men in one case is completely macho man. He asserts dominance over anyone one in his vicinity with such tools as wits, charm or physical violence. Shaft never has to try with the ladies; he can even catch criminals while seducing them. His competency is another factor that his presence gives off. The style of cloths he wears is 70’s fabulous. I only wish I could pull off the dark brown leather trench coat. That and a brown turtle neck with a leather gun holster.

Shaft is one of those films that I really will never forget. The entire movie was iconic. From the funky intro to the last phone call to the police the movie would be one referenced in film for the next 40 years. The language in it reminded me of a west side story. The language is not fluent but choppy and repetitive. But the roughness of the movie makes for a more memorable movie.


  1. Was it you who mentioned that you had seen the remake/sequel? If that's the case, then which is more successful at capturing cool?

  2. I think that it applied more recent aspects of the new police movies. But I think it failed in the aspect of relating the movie back to the Noir movement.

  3. You're right that the atmosphere of this film is pure cool. From the soundtrack to the man to the city, John Shaft couldn't avoid being cool if he tried.

    How does the portrayal of a gritty life and environment add to someone's coolness?