Monday, February 1, 2016

Olive Films Celebrates Black History Month with Release of Beloved Beat Street and Sidney Poitier’s Progressive Pressure Point

Chicago – Olive Films, a small company dedicated to bringing independent, foreign, and classic films to life, announced the titles that will be slated for a February 16th release on Blu-ray. These titles include the beloved Beat Street (1984), which introduced New York City’s hip-hop culture to the mainstream as a legitimate form of artistic expression. Also included is Pressure Point (1962), which stars Sidney Poitier as a psychiatrist examining the root causes of racism in his patient.

“Olive Films is excited to celebrate Black History Month," said Olive Films Marketing Director Bradley Powell. "The need for diversity in the films we create, show, and honor is a cause that continues to be worth fighting for. This February, as we reflect, we hope it gives people the opportunity to discover Pressure Point, a poignant and unfortunately overlooked film on the topic of societally conditioned racism. We're also glad that fans of old school hip-hop will be able to rediscover a classic like Beat Street. That movie meant a lot to so many people, and we're honored to help reintroduce it on Blu-ray to a whole new generation of fans."

Beat Street

The upbeat and genuine musical Beat Street carries a lot of cultural and sentimental significance. Although the hip-hop movement was already well established in places like the South Bronx, this film introduced it to mainstream America. Beat Street made a statement that hip-hop was here to stay and legitimized MCing, DJing, and b-boying as valid forms of artistic expression. Many of the artists in the film would soon rise to international fame after its release, including Kool Moe Dee, New York City Breakers, Rock Steady Crew, and Grand Master Melle Mel & the Furious Five. The story follows an erstwhile disc jockey (Guy Davis), a breakdancer (Robert Taylor), and a graffiti artist (Jon Chardiet) who all dream of breaking out of their South Bronx lives. They see a ray of hope when a local composer and choreographer (Rae Dawn Chong) takes an interest in their talent.  Beat Street comes to Blu-ray for the first ever time and to DVD on February 16, 2016.

Pressure Point

The fantastic Sidney Poitier and Bobby Darin team up in an underappreciated film that was ahead of its time in the way it examined issues of racism. Pressure Point unfolds as a young psychiatrist (Peter Falk) asks for help from his seasoned superior (Sidney Poitier) in treating a hate-filled patient. Through flashback, Sidney Poitier’s character recounts his own experiences when he treated a young American Nazi patient (Bobby Darin) who hated black people.  Many films deal with racism superficially, but this film really takes the time to develop its themes carefully and explores racism at its root causes. Pressure Point was unfortunately overlooked at its theatrical release in 1962. Now in 2016, audiences can find its themes more relevant than ever. This will be the film’s first release on Blu-ray, and its anamorphic presentation will be a vast upgrade over the previous non-anamorphic DVD.

Olive Films February Titles ART + FACTS

Beat Street (1984, directed by Stan Lathan, starring Rae Dawn Chong, Guy Davis, Robert Taylor, Jon Chardiet) on Blu-ray & DVD

Moonlight and Valentino (1995, directed by David Anspaugh, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Kathleen Turner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elizabeth Perkins, Jon Bon Jovi) on Blu-ray & DVD

Amos & Andrew (1993, directed by E. Max Frye, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Nicolas Cage) on Blu-ray

Class (1983, directed by Lewis John Carlino, starring Rob Lowe, Jacqueline Bisset, Andrew McCarthy, Cliff Robertson, John Cusack) on Blu-ray

Code 46 (2003, directed by Michael Winterbottom, starring Tim Robbins, Samantha Morton, Jeanne Balibar) on Blu-ray

Mystery Date (1991, directed by Jonathan Wacks, starring Ethan Hawke, Teri Polo, Brian McNamara, Fisher Stevens, BD Wong) on Blu-ray

Pressure Point (1962, directed by Hubert Cornfield, starring Sidney Poitier, Bobby Darin, Peter Falk, Barry Gordon) on Blu-ray

Secret Admirer (1985, directed by David Greenwalt, starring C. Thomas Howell, Kelly Preston, Lori Loughlin, Dee Wallace Stone, Cliff De Young) on Blu-ray

Sleep With Me (1994, directed by Rory Kelly, starring Meg Tilly, Eric Stoltz, Craig Sheffer, Parker Posey, Joey Lauren Adams) on Blu-ray

Speechless (1994, directed by Ron Underwood, starring Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Christopher Reeve, Bonnie Bedelia, Ernie Hudson, Charles Martin Smith) on Blu-ray