Executive produced by television and radio personalityTavis Smiley, STAND is an unscripted reality styled piece that follows Smiley and 10 of his friendsas they travel to Memphis 40 years after thedeath of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., visiting landmarks anddiscussing the state of black Americaas it pertains to music, religion and politics.
It is ironic that Hayes appears in the film taped during thelast week of July 2008, not long after he experienced a stroke. Hayes isfeatured in a meeting with Smiley, and his roadmates who include the likes of Princeton professor Dr.Cornel West, Georgetown professor and author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and comedian and activist Dick Gregory. Hayes arrives with his long-time writting partner David Porter, who co-wrote with Hayes many of Sam & Dave's hits. But due to Hayes' failinghealth, he is barely able to speak.
Smiley was surprised and humbled that Hayes showed up. "WhenI walked off that bus and saw David and Isaac standing there, my heart justfluttered as I couldn't believe that Isaac had gotten out of the sick bed,"Smiley says Sunday following a blogger screening of STAND at his home in Hancock Parksection of Los Angeles.
"There is a scene where we take our time and really show himas he tries three or four times to get his foot [onto the curb]," Smileycontinues about Hayes. "I just wanted to show the condition he was in.
"One of my favorite scenes in the movie is just sittingthere talking to him and David. At that point Isaac's speech wasn't fluent buthe's a trooper."
Other music tie-ins are of a more comical tone. Watching theshocking reaction Dr. Michael Eric Dyson gets when he champions Beyonce as anartist who appeals to all generations is hilarious. Another funny segment is seeingSam Moore of Sam & Dave tell the story about the first time they played Madison Square Gardenand Ike and Tina Turner was their opening act.
"We're real cocky, we're Sam and Dave," Sam reflects to Smiley'screw. "We hear this audience, 'Ahhhh ahhhh.' Dave came back. I thought Dave hadseen a ghost. He was white. I said 'What's up man? How's the crowd?' He said, 'Thatb-tch about to kill us out there,'" Sam adds, explaining how Tina Turner's electrifyingstage show was fueling the crowd. Sam and Dave were nervous, not sure how theywould top that performance.
Watching Smiley and his friends take this journey whilediscussing music, politics, and religion is compelling, as they debate theirvarious insightful positions. It's a more accurate portrayal of AfricanAmerican men than what CNN captured in last year's Black In America special.Gotta watch this with my pops. All my folks will get the DVD for Christmas.
I tweeted while screening the film. See retweet highlightsbelow. Also, check out the clip of Paxstereo.com interviewing me about themovie.
My STAND Blogger's Screening Twitter Review
y_billyjohnson: in tavis smiley's back house full ofbloggers getting ready for the STAND screening.
y_billyjohnson: cornel and michael eric dyson arguing overbeyonce and aretha. lol. dyson said b could hang with any generation. nah. lol.
y_billyjohnson: they just roll up to sam moore's house. DOPE.
y_billyjohnson: sam told incredible story about ike and tinaopening for sam and dave and blowing them out. crowd was screaming Tina TinaTina. lol.
y_billyjohnson: sitting with michael eric dyson and watchingCNN special with his brother who is in jail for life.
y_billyjohnson: west and dyson start crying. love that thesedudes are brilliant and down to earth.
y_billyjohnson: they coincidentally were together the nightdyson's cnn segment aired. trip.
y_billyjohnson: eddie glaude said shekinah ministry song 'yes'changed his perspective on christianity.
y_billyjohnson: they are at fisk university ironically wherecornel's parents met.
y_billyjohnson: dick gregory joked that gas prices are sohigh women in the ghetto where it as perfume.
y_billyjohnson: next segment, becoming soul men ofgreatness. isaac hayes is there.
y_billyjohnson: isaac passed not long after taping.
y_billyjohnson: tavis and the guys roll up to Mason Templewhere King delivered his last speech. gregory said King said to him, 'They gonekill me,
y_billyjohnson: gregory didn't know what to say and joked,'Better u than
y_billyjohnson: bebe is in church singing Donnie McClurkin's'Stand.' he's killing it.
y_billyjohnson: this film is a great idea. you know what itis, it is a good version of the cnn special black in america. only cringed once. lol.
y_billyjohnson: made 40 years after the death of mlk. lovedit. you guys have to watch next sunday on TV One. STAND.