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Ganja & Hess: Kino Classics Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]
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BONUS FEATURES: Audio commentry by the filmmakers; Restored footage; Featurette: ''The Blood of the Thing'' on the history of the production, photo gallery, Original screenplay by Bill Gunn (ROM Access); Article on the film by Tim Lucas and David Walker (ROM Access)
Top Customer Reviews
Many people call this film "confusing" -- however, it isn't confusing at all. It demands that the viewer make the same leap of faith we make when we read a text and simply "ingest" the action, the characters, and the narrative which is not immediately transparent. You are gonna have to work for it. Wait for it. Keep your eyes and ears open and really pay attention.
This movie does display some of the motifs of this era so there is full frontal male nudity, there are boobies of all body types, there is some stark reality, but this is one of those movies I would have loved to have watched as a young kid... but it is, perhaps, not for the youngun's.
James S. Hinton passed not too long ago and so it is really a joy to watch his cinematography... because it is true, this is an ESPECIALLY beautiful movie.
If you have watched too much Hollywood pap and have lost all sense of imagination, creativity... you should probably pass this one by because it is not giving itself to you the way in which you are used (i.e. it is not spoon-feeding you as much as leading you along a path, beckoning you to enter). However, if you remember and like some story with your entertainment, some meat with your movie, treasure thinking about the ways things happen: Watch this movie. You'll never thank yourself enough.
This DVD release is the full director's cut and that is all to the good. Yet this version of the film is hard to follow unless you have some backstory. For example, without knowing that the main character, a black intellectual, Hess Green, somehow came across a Myrthian dagger and then accidentally (or is it on purpose?) was scratched or stabbed with it by his assistant, George Meda (played by the director himself)--AND that this dagger's touch can bring on vampirism--you would never know how Hess got to be the way he was. The scene in which this is supposedly revealed has such vague exposition that it leaves you scratching your head trying to figure out how things got from point A to point B.
Yet the film also boasts some brilliant dream imagery, some of the best in any film from the 70s, if not since then as well. These dream scenes give the film tremendous power.
But the dream scenes are juxtaposed with other scenes that seem somewhat too long for their purpose, or that don't really go anywhere. For example, in one scene, deleted from the chopped version, Hess talks to his son--who looks to be about 13 or 14--speaking in French to him, asking him about his studies at his private school.Read more ›
To the Editor: (NY Times)
There are times when the white critic must sit down and listen. If he cannot listen and learn, then he must not concern himself with black creativity.
A children’s story I wrote speaks of a black male child that dreamed of a strong white golden haired prince who would come and save him from being black. He came, and as time passed and the relationship moved forward, it was discovered that indeed the black child was the prince and he had saved himself from being white. That, too, is possible.
I have always tried to imagine the producers waiting anxiously for the black reviewers’ opinions of “The Sound of Music” or “A Clockwork Orange.”
I want to say that it is a terrible thing to be a black artist in this country – for reasons too private to expose to the arrogance of white criticism.
One white critic left my film “Ganja and Hess,” after 20 minutes and reviewed the entire film. Another was to see three films in one day and review them all. This is a crime.
Three years of three different people’s lives grades in one afternoon by a complete stranger to the artist and to the culture. A.H. Weiler states in his review of “Ganja and Hess” that a doctor of anthropology killed his assistant and is infected by a blood disease and becomes immortal. But this is not so, Mr. Weiler, the assistant committed suicide. I know this film does not address you, but in that auditorium you might have heard more than you were able to over the sounds of your own voice. Another critic wondered where was the race problem. If he looks closely, he will find it in his own review.
If I were white, I would probably be called “fresh and different.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoy most movies, I was really looking forward to watching this movie,because I had never seen it before. but I can clearly say this was not one is not a keeper. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Bill
I'm told this is a classic, and I sort of believe it, but I sort of have to take it on faith. Ganja, if I got this right, is a doctor of anthropology or some other sort of... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Binky Chottorrhœhia
This is one of the rare movies that slips through the cracks of contemporary accolades. Starring Duane Jones and Marlene Clarke, this film is a complicated creeper. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Ras Benzo
i hadn't watched this film in ages and felt like checking it out again. its a film with alot going on and yet you never know where is quite going and yet it's a... Read morePublished on January 10, 2014 by MAXIMILLIAN MUHAMMAD
When watching he movie I have too apply my 1970s' mindset to fairly review it. This film should be remade and updated because there is a great narrative and plot line.Published on January 8, 2013 by Jeffery Smith