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Los Angeles Documentary and the Production of Public History, 1958-1977$
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Joshua Glick

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293700

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293700.001.0001

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Wattstax and the Transmedia Soul Economy

Wattstax and the Transmedia Soul Economy

(p.127) 5 Wattstax and the Transmedia Soul Economy
Los Angeles Documentary and the Production of Public History, 1958-1977

Joshua Glick

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on Wattstax (1973) and the different players involved with its creation. The film’s vérité-style footage of Stax artists and fans in the Los Angeles Coliseum, residents in the surrounding neighborhood, along with testimony from comedian Richard Pryor, constituted far more than a standard concert film. The documentary foregrounded a feedback loop between everyday black experience and cultural expression. Wattstax also served as the crucial pivot project for Wolper’s push toward minority subjects, Stax’s attempt to become a film studio, and numerous crew members’ personal efforts to advance their careers.

Keywords:   Stax, Al Bell, Wattstax, Los Angeles Coliseum

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