Welcome Home Brother Charles / Emma Mae Blu Ray review

Two sardonic genre classics to take home from Vinegar Syndrome this month. Welcome Home Brother Charles sees a young black man arrested and framed for a crime. After he is sent to prison, his life gets worse and he swears revenge. On his release he hunts down those he blames for his pain.He then deals with them in a most unique way.  Emma Mae sees a young country bumpkin, come to the big city. She is living with her city family and starts out as awkward but tough. Then as her time continues the world that seemed so odd becomes normal to her…and even destructive.

Taking comically apart a genre and extracting its detail is a difficult thing to do. Mel Brookes did it very well, as did Lubitsch. In Blaxploitation cinema it was expected to be serious. Take Van Peebles or the films like Ganja And Hess or Blacula. All three play on the genre troupes they are positioned in. All three openly mock them. They also are straight faced enough to be seen as serious.  Welcome Home Brother Charles is far more straight to the face. Satirically capturing the revenge film but through the lens of maleness and manhood (literally). Emma Mae is the female equivalent. A simple woman who is bad ass and bold enough to take what she wants. Sometimes without remorse.

The Disc sees a new scanned, restored print. The 2k on the Blu ray is nice and above the DVD. Does it add much? Yep. Colour correction, depth of focus and on Emma Mae the framing. So enough to make it worth playing the Blu Ray. Jan-Christopher Horak is a must watch. Informed but still the right side of interesting (why not more of him!?!?) The Q and A is very good. Hayes is funny and talks about the work and here experience in it. Rare.

Features Include:

• Region free Blu-ray/DVD combo pack
• Newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm original camera negatives
• “The History of the L.A. Rebellion & Jamaa Fanaka” – an appreciation by Jan-Christopher Horak, Director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive
• Post film Q&A with actress Jerri Hayes from a 2017 screening of EMMA MAE at BAMcinématek in Brooklyn, NY
• Original theatrical trailer
• Multiple original teaser trailers
• Reversible cover artwork
• English SDH subtitles

 

Welcome Home Brother Charles / Emma Mae [Blu-ray/DVD]

 

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Simon Kennedy

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