21 May 2002 | ColemanDerrick
Effective screenplay of the music industry then and now
While it has been more than ten years since I have seen That's The Way of The World, I can say that anyone who sees the picture will appreciate it, and its view of the music industry. Harvey Keitel plays a record executive who appreciates the talent of a band played by Earth Wind and Fire. However, the record company is forcing him to promote a white popular act(based primarily on The Carpenters). While Keitel's character stays true to his heart, the overall message of the movie is that popular culture, expressed by music and images, maintains a discriminatory profile of American culture. If you see this movie, realize that it was made before disco became truly popular in the USA.
Another point to mention is that the movie deserves a look, but suffered because it was hard to market. Yes, unfortunately in 1975, American society was still segregated. Black music was marketed to blacks only, while popular music was either rock/heavy metal or melody music. Because white audiences were not as familiar with EWF, they did not care that they were in the picture. On the other hand, this was at the climax of the blaxploitation era, and the soundtrack and appearance of EWF were hyped to black audiences. However, when people saw the film and realized that the group only make brief appearances, they turned away.
My point is that because of the racial attitudes of American culture in 1975, the movie was not appreciated as it should have been. So when you watch it, please do so with an open mind. One of the more refreshing things about it is that it is a drama with more substance than style, and easy to get into without always being reminded that you're watching something from the 1970s.
Charles Stepney, who was involved in the making of the motion picture, was a close associate of Maurice White. He was involved in EWF's music leading into this project.