Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oscar Micheaux: Going Postal

The 33rd stamp in the Black Heritage series, issued June 22, 2010 honors pioneering filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, who wrote, directed, produced and distributed more than 40 movies during the first half of the 20th century. An ambitious, larger-than-life figure, Micheaux thrived at a time when African-American filmmakers were rare, venues for their work were scarce, and support from the industry did not exist. Micheaux’s entrepreneurial spirit and independent vision continue to inspire new generations of filmmakers and artists.

This stamp features a stylized portrait of Oscar Micheaux by Gary Kelley. The artwork is based on one of the few surviving photographs of Micheaux, a portrait that appeared in his 1913 novel The Conquest.

Although only 15 of his movies are known to have survived in whole or in part, Micheaux has become a cinematic icon. In 1986, he was posthumously awarded a special Directors Guild of America award. In 1995, the Producers Guild of America established the Oscar Micheaux Award to honor “an individual or individuals whose achievements in film and television have been accomplished despite difficult odds.”

Below you can read about the official Oscar Micheaux: First-Day-of-Issue Ceremony (Click the pictures to see bigger versions)

In the program you can see of note are remarks by pioneering black filmmaker and author Melvin Van Peebles and Adjunct Faculty of Film, Columbia University School of the Arts, Geoffrey Fletcher.

Fletcher is the screenwriter of Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire and received an Oscar for Writing (Adapted Screenplay) from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on March 7, 2010. He is the first and so far only African American to receive an Academy Award for writing.

Read more about Oscar Micheaux on Wikipedia here

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