Death of actor Max Julien, herald of “blaxploitation”

The actor died on January 1 at the age of 89. In the 1970s his first film roles became the sociological symbol in the United States of the importance of African Americans in the world of cinema.

In the United States his first roles in Psych-Out (1968) then especially in The Mack (1973) made him the herald of blaxploitation, that sociological and cultural current of the early 1970s which marked the importance taken by African-Americans in cinema across the Atlantic. Actor Max Julien, but also a sculptor and stylist in his spare time, died on January 1 at the age of 89.

The American comic book writer David F. Walker paid tribute to him on the social network Instagram: “I got to know Max in 1996. He was an exceptional man. Our conversations remain etched in my memory. He was brilliant, witty and charismatic.

Maxwell Banks, his name for the city, was born on January 1, 1933 in Washington. Attracted from his early years by the stage, he took his first steps off Broadway, the famous Shakespeare In The Park festival created by Joseph Papp. After his successful apprenticeship on the New York stage, Hollywood noticed him and gave him increasingly important roles. In 1968, he played one of the leading roles alongside Jack Nicholson in Psych-Out by Richard Rush. Gifted jack-of-all-trades, he also embarked on documentary filmmaking. He will go to Rome to shoot Trestevere, – the district of the Eternal City located near the Tiber – which became a symbol of the libertarian spirit of the 1960s and 1970s in Italy.

In 1973, he played Goldie the first role of The Mack by Michael Campus. His character, as cynical as he is charismatic, apparently moved by the lure of profit alone, is crying out for the truth. Become the icon of the African-American community which is still seeking its place in America, Max Julien will subsequently become a model for the stars of rap. In many pieces, leaders of the genre like Snoop Dog will not hesitate to take again, often in the form of samples, lines of this cult film. The latest is none other than the over-hyped Jay-Z, who in a freestyle of some seven minutes will chant as a direct and nostalgic tribute to the “Mac” by Mickael Campus: “ I Mack like Goldie, go back like the oldies …

Mac (The Mack ) by Michael Campus in 1973, with Max Julien, Richard Pryor, Juanita Moore …


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *