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SBD/Issue 122/Sports Media
Klores' "Black Magic" Documentary Garnering Rave Reviews
Published March 14, 2008
|(l to r) Monroe, Klores And Walt Frazier
At Premiere Of ESPN's "Black Magic"
A MUST-SEE FILM: In Milwaukee, Garry Howard wrote while the documentary "covers a lot of ground, and you can get lost in the verbiage in some spots," it is a "must-see film." The project is Klores "at his very finest" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/12). In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence wrote "Black Magic" is a "no-holds-barred documentary that is really about 10 movies in one." Klores has "done a superb job recapturing this very important era, via rare film footage and interviews with dozens of players and coaches." The project is a "must-see for basketball fans of all colors" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/2). In Detroit, Drew Sharp wrote "Black Magic" is a "historical tool that should be mandatory viewing for every basketball player who sees an unlimited horizon ahead, a reminder of the predecessors who sacrificed wide acclaim for the sake of free expression" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/12). In N.Y., David Hinckley: "Anyone who enjoys the NCAA tournament should know this story, too, and as a nice bonus, it's also fascinating to watch" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/14). In Boston, Tenley Woodman rated the documentary a "B+" and wrote, "Even die-hard fans of the sport will learn something here. ... Klores does justice to a complex subject" (BOSTON HERALD, 3/13). In N.Y., Vic Ziegel wrote under the header, "Score This Film As One That Shortcuts The Hoopla And Goes Right To The Basket" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/10). In Orlando, Dave Darling: "The story moves a bit slow ... and at times the chronology seems muddled. But this is an essential piece of work that basketball fans and history buffs will enjoy" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/14). On Long Island, Neil Best: "Fast moving, it ain't. Neither is it tightly focused. But for the curious and patient, the story ... is worth the investment" (NEWSDAY, 3/8). In S.F., Steve Kroner writes "Black Magic" moves at a "fairly slow pace" during Sunday's segment especially, which focuses on the '40s-60s. There is not "nearly as much highlight footage available as there is for the past 40 years" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/14).
Writer Feels Film Scores With
Coverage Of Off-Court Issues
GETTING THEIR DUE RESPECT: In Denver, Dusty Saunders wrote the film "offers a solid theme: The achievements of many early-day black players and coaches still are unrecognized" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/10). In N.Y., George Willis wrote it was a "special time and a special era that produced special players. Maybe 'Black Magic' will help them get their due" (N.Y. POST, 3/9). Monroe said, "It's unfortunate that we were about 10 years too late telling this story because we lost Coach [Clarence] Gaines and Coach [John] McLendon. But those who learned the valuable lessons they taught are a part of their legacy" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/12).
MORE THAN JUST SPORTS: NEWSDAY's Best noted the documentary features footage of "civil rights era events," including the '68 riot at South Carolina State Univ., later known as the Orangeburg Massacre, which "resulted in the deaths of students but is far less known" than the '70 shootings at Kent State Univ. Klores "knew he risked losing some viewers with long segments such as that on Orangeburg, which is only tangentially related to basketball. But it was a chance he was willing to take" (NEWSDAY, 3/8). Klores indicated that he "hopes his film spurs the appropriate people to reopen the investigation into the Orangeburg Massacre and leads the Basketball [HOF] to open its doors to the sport's deserving black pioneers" (Columbia STATE, 3/4).