Durham still packs a punch in a tasteful way…
With all of the sports attention upon the Heels path to the Final Four, Durham’s annual Full Frame Film Festival has taken a undeserved back seat for the weekend itineraries of the local folk. Yet, if you’re caught sleeping-in Saturday morning, April 5th at 10AM, you’re going to miss one helluva documentary film.
Director William Greaves, (No, snapperhead, not the tank of a small forward from Greensboro coming off the bench for the Heels) is being honored with the Career Award by the Full Frame Festival. Greaves is unveiling his classic veritie footage of training and Ali-Frazier trash talking that he captured in 1971 and at the famous fight in Madison Square Garden.
Now, I have no idea about how the footage will be unveiled or how low-to-the-ground and behind-the-scenes footage was shot within the crowd, which as explained in “American Gangster” is just as enticing as the fight itself. However, due to the volatile times of 1966-1971, this fight touched upon race, war, politics, and was easily one and if not the most hyped, anticipated, and biggest fights of all-time.
Just a short tidbit, both Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis were the ringside photographers for the event…Yes, the fight was that big and that cool.
The beauty of this event is that the fight will be shown in entirety, and with the screen in Fletcher Hall at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, I’m drooling to see the fight on a great screen.
Also, as much as I adore the legend of Ali and after devouring the books that have captured this fight in full detail, (Do yourself a favor and check out Mark Kram’s “Ghosts of Manila”, which is one of my all-time favorite books from the Sports Illustrated writer who covered all Frazier/Ali fights.) I believe that Joe Frazier was given a very short-ended stick with his devalued reputation not only in the African-American community but also within the national media.
My hope is that the footage is fair to recognizing Frazier’s legacy as well. With that said, I hope that City of Philadelphia will recognize Joe Frazier as one of their true icons. His rise to excellence is just as inspiring. We don’t know how much longer our great legends will be with us.
Let’s see what goes down…I’ll be there. Ding, ding.