#Shaft

Episode 69 - David F. Walker

David F. Walker is an award-winning comic book writer, author, filmmaker, journalist, and educator. His work in comic books includes Shaft (Dynamite Entertainment), winner of the 2015 Glyph Award for Story of the Year, Power Man and Iron FistNighthawkFurySecret Wars: Battleworld(Marvel Comics), Cyborg (DC Comics), The Army of Dr. Moreau (IDW/Monkeybrain Comics), and Number 13 (Dark Horse Comics). In 2015, he wrote the novel Shaft’s Revenge, the first new novel starring private detective John Shaft in nearly 40 years. He is also the creator of the critically-acclaimed YA series The Adventures of Darius Logan.

Recognized as a leading scholar expert of African-American cinema who has been interviewed by such news outlets as The Los Angeles TimesNew York Daily News, and BBC, Walker produced one of the definitive documentaries on the topic of Blaxploitation films, Macked, Hammered, Slaughtered, and Shafted. His publication BadAzz MoFo became internationally known as the indispensable resource guide to black films of the 70s, and he is co-author of the book Reflections on Blaxploitation: Actors and Directors Speak. Walker’s most recent book, Becoming Black: Personal Ramblings on Racial Identification, Racism and Popular Culture, was released in winter 2013.

In addition to Macked, Hammered, Slaughtered, and Shafted, Walker has also directed and produced five other films, including the award-winning short film Black Santa’s Revenge. He has been featured on A&E, VH1, AMC, and E!, and he worked to develop a documentary with HBO. His body of work was showcased and honored at the 2012 Oakland Underground Film Festival.

Walker has worked on projects with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, Aaron McGruder (creator of The Boondocks), and director/producer Reginald Hudlin (House PartyDjango Unchained).

As a journalist, Walker served as screen editor and lead film critic for the alt-weekly Willamette Week for seven years. He was the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Society of Professional Journalists Award for excellence in writing. He has written cultural analysis and commentary for MSN, DVD Talk, Giant Robot MagazineSavvy, Cinephiled, and Rap Pages.

As an educator, Walker has taught courses such as documentary filmmaking, writing for comics, and film criticism to youth through the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Northwest Film Center, Documentary Northwest, and Project Youth Doc.

Episode 19 - Shawn Levy (and surprise guest)

Shawn Levy watches movies. Lots of them. Probably more in a year than you will in a lifetime. And in between watching movies he writes about them. A lot. He has also penned seven full books and is hard at work on his eighth. His latest, DeNiro: A Life, is based on Levy's unprecedented access to De Niro's personal research and production materials and explores the legendary actor's process with Levy's characteristic wit and unparalleled film IQ. 

From 1992 until 2013, he wrote for The Oregonian, serving as Film Critic from 1997 to 2012. Prior to that, he was Senior Editor of the late, great American Film magazine. He currently reviews movies for KGW-TV. Shawn has written about film, pop culture, books and sports for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian of London, the Independent of London, the San Francisco ChroniclePremiere, the Village Voice, the Hollywood Reporter, Portland Monthly and many other publications. The dude is a walking film museum. A living shrine to the gods and goddesses of celluloid. 

But movies are only a part of what makes Shawn Levy who he is. He is also a devoted father, a soccer maniac, and a board member of Operation Pitch Invasion, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to filling recreation deserts in and around Portland with new and restored soccer fields and futsal courts. 

In this episode, we discuss which is the good Rocky, what makes a film relevant over time, and how his passion for soccer has made him a more compassionate, empathetic human being. Stay tuned for a surprise visit from another of Portland's legendary film reviewers (and current comic book auteur), David Walker, midway through the episode. Shit gets really wild right around then.