Coffy Break

Back in the freewheeling 1970s, Pam Grier was the hottest -- and coolest -- woman in movies. Rough, tough, and occasionally out-of-control scary, she was a fierce force of nature in inner-city revenge flicks such as Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974). Blaxploitation was lucrative and often funky (check out Curtis Mayfield’s stellar Superflysoundtrack, as well as Isaac Hayes’ more-famous Shaft score) but it wasn’t very respectable, and Grier -- the genre’s one true queen -- did amazingly well to preserve her dignity amid the gun-toting carnage, jive talk, and bare skin. Never one to be underestimated, Grier went on to transcend typecasting and big hair to carve out a four-decade career in front of the camera. Tonight’s tribute, Pam Grier Is Live and in Person!, features an over-the-top musical number staged by drag impresario Peaches Christ, an audience-participation “Soul Mama” costume contest, an anything-goes interview with Grier, and a house-rocking revival of Coffy. Come early (3:20 p.m.) for Quentin Tarantino’s languid, loving crime caper Jackie Brown, an Elmore Leonard adaptation that plays like a grown-up Valentine to its lead actress.
Sat., March 17, 8 p.m., 2012

 
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