Melvin Van Peebles Biography

Wiki Biography: Charles Lane, perhaps one of the more celebrated American filmmakers, with a host of awards and credits to his name is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Born in New York's South Bronx in 1953 Lane, inspired by Hitchcock films, knew early in his childhood what his true calling was. Lane's passion for film transpired when while in Junior high he made his first film -- a spy spoof -- with a Super-8 camera his father had given him for Christmas. Lane furthered this pursuit with his enrollment for a film degree at State University of New York at Purchase. During his years in college Charles Lane wrote and directed 'Place and Time' a short that won the Student Academy Award. However, Lane grew up in a time when the prospects for African American filmmakers where limited, but during the 1980s a revival for black films that strayed away from the blaxploitation features arose. Then after a brief inspirational conversation with a homeless man on his way back from a boxing match, Lane created his launching vehicle to film making history, 'Sidewalk Stories'. This poignant comedy examined homelessness through the eyes of a street artist played charming ling by Lane himself. Shot on a low budget and plagued with time constraints to meet film submission deadlines 'Sidewalk Stories' was shot in 15 days. The movie was received favorable by critics worldwide, propelling Charles Lane in the forefront of American filmmaking. 'Sidewalk Stories' almost not making the Cannes deadline walked away with the prestigious Prix du Public and a record 12 minute ovation. The success of Sidewalk Stories led to multiple film contracts with Island pictures and Disney's Touchstone. Touchstone proposed a two-picture arrangement, beginning with the feature-length film True Identity. Released in 1991, True Identity was adapted from Andy Breckman's sketch "White Like Me," which was originally conceived for a segment by comedian Eddie Murphy on NBC's popular television show Saturday Night Live. 'True Identity' is a tale of an unemployed black actor who dons a white face to escape a mobster's death threat. True Identity featured British comedian Lenny Henry, Oscar award nominee Frank Langella, Anne Marie Johnson and the late JT Walsh. An underrated performance by Lenny Henry who in the film dubbed a series of American accents that matched his fine comedic timing with Lane's satirical story telling. Lane began work on several projects. The Blue Hour, "a contemporary adaptation of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice [in which Orpheus, whose musical gifts could tame wild beasts, descends to Hell to bring back his dead wife, Eurydice] and Inertia, an "action-comedy-romantic-thriller" were both in production by the spring of 1992.

Melvin Van PeeblesPhotos & Pictures

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TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Sonny Spoon 1988 Comedy
Freakonomics Himself - Narrator 2012
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
Fist of the North Star Asher 1986 Drama, 0, Sport, Game Show
Jaws The Revenge Mr. Witherspoon 1987 Horror, Thriller
Jaws: The Revenge Mr. Witherspoon 1987 Horror, Thriller
True Identity 1991 Comedy
Adieu, Babylone! Himself - Cineaste 1992
Terminal Velocity 1994 0, Game Show
Gang in Blue 1996 Action, Crime, Drama
Love Kills Abel 2000 Comedy, Romance, Thriller
Time of Her Time Thompson 2000 Drama
BaadAsssss Cinema 2002
Redemption Road 2011
Peeples Grandpa Peeples 2013 Comedy, Romance