The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
Search DAARAC's Archive

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Aaron Loves Angela (1975)

"Aaron Loves Angela" (1975) is a cult classic romance film starring Irene Cara and Kevin Hooks. This gem of a movie is culturally rich. It's also a coming-of-age film as the movie's story is about two teenagers in love and how they navigate their conditions to be with each other. However, what I enjoy most about the film is the cinematography and the striking imagery of the 1970s inner city of New York City. So many black cult films released in the 70s did a fabulous job of capturing the environment and atmosphere of the filming locations. 

"Aaron Love Angela" was all over New York City, with most of the film shot in Harlem. I'm from a small southern country town in North Carolina, so seeing NYC in such an honest way was mesmerizing, and we also saw the relationships between the Black and Spanish communities. I heard of Spanish Harlem, but this film was one of the first examples of highlighting the connection between the two neighborhoods. Even more so, Gordon Parks Jr. was the director, and JosĂ© Feliciano produced the movie's soundtrack, further exemplifying the cultural bonds.  

Kevin Hooks and Irene Cara eventually led incredible careers after this movie, so seeing them so young and full of potential was compelling. Robert Hook (father of Kevin) starred in the film along with the reliable Moses Gunn. This movie is so NYC that Walt Frazier made an appearance. Unfortunately, this movie is about as old as the Knicks' last championship (shoutout to Earl the Pearl, Winston-Salem State Alumni). 

R.I.P Irene Cara (March 18, 1959 – November 25, 2022).

Director: Gordon Parks Jr.
Writer: Gerald Sanford

Starring Moses Gunn, Kevin Hooks, Irene Cara, Robert Hooks, Ernestine Jackson, Leon Pinkney, Charles McGregor, Wanda Velez
Aaron (Kevin Hooks, Sounder, A Hero Ain't Nothin But A Sandwich) is a gifted black ball player in Harlem, N.Y., whose father (Moses Gunn, Shaft, Amazing Grace) expects Aaron to have the basketball career he never had. Angela (Irene Cara, Sparkle, Sister, Sister) is a Puerto Rican girl from Spanish Harlem who lives alone with her mother. When Aaron and Angela fall in love, they worry that their racial difference will cause friction between their family and friends and decide to meet secretly. The plan works until they discover their love nest is also host to significant drug deals.