Friday, January 4, 2013

Los Angeles School films at I House

Starting tomorrow and running through January, the International House will be screening a series of films associated with the "Los Angeles School" of African-American filmmakers to emerge in the 1970s and 80s. The series will include famous titles with new prints, more obscure films, and filmmaker appearances.
As Above, So Below (Larry Clark)

Saturday, January 5th 
Daughters of the Dust (Dir. Julie Dash, 1991, 35mm, color, 112 min.) - New print! Julie Dash's masterpiece, the story of an island family, descendants of escaped slaves, living off the Southern coast of the US in 1902 and contemplating a move to the U.S. mainland. Superb performances, cinematography, music and touches of magical realism grace this unforgettable film, named to the National Film Registry in 2004.
Also showing: Diary of an African Nun (Dir. Julie Dash,1977, 16mm, b/w, 15 min.) - New print! 

Emma Mae (Dir. Jamaa Fanaka, 1976, 35mm, 100 min.) - New print! Emma Mae arrives in Los Angeles from Mississippi replete with rough edges and an exceptional ability to kick ass. Her plain looks and shy demeanor set her apart from other "Blaxploitation" heroines. But when folks underestimate her, she surprises everyone, including her no-good boyfriend Jesse, with her extraordinary physical and emotional strength.
Also showing: A Day in the Life of Willie Faust, or Death on the Installment Plan (Dir. Jamaa Fanaka, 1972, Digital video from 16mm, color, 16 min.)

My Brother's Wedding (Dir. Charles Burnett, 1983/2007, Digital Video, color, 82 min.) - Director's cut! Laid off from his factory job, Pierce (EveretteSilas) marks time working at his family's dry cleaning store, swapping loaded jabs with his brother's upper middle-class fiancé and hanging out with his best friend, recently released from prison.
Also showing: A Little Off Mark (Dir. Robert Wheaton, 1986, 16mm, b/w, 9 min.)

Saturday, January 12th 

Bless Their Little Hearts (Dir. Billy Woodberry, 1984, 35mm, b/w, 84 min.) - New restoration! Bless Their Little Hearts chronicles the devastating effects of underemployment on a family in Los Angeles. Nate Hardman and Kaycee Moore deliver gut-wrenching performances as the couple whose family is torn apart by events beyond their control.
Also showing: The Pocketbook (Dir. Billy Woodberry, 1980, 35mm, b/w, 13 min.) - New restoration!

Compensation (Dir. Zeinabu irene Davis, 1999, Digital video from 16mm, b/w, 90 min.) In two Chicago love stories, set a century apart, a deaf woman and a hearing man face the specter of death, and confront intraracial differences across lines of gender, class, education and ability. Through innovative use of sign language and title cards evoking the silent film era, Compensation is accessible to deaf and hearing audiences.
Also showing: Dark Exodus (Dir. Iverson White, 1985, 16mm, b/w, 28 min.) - New print!

Passing Through (Dir. Larry Clark, 1977, 35mm, color, 111 min.) - New print! Eddie Womack, an African-American jazz musician, is released from prison for the killing of a white gangster. Not willing to play for the mobsters who control the music industry, Womack searches for his musical mentor, Poppy Harris. The film repeatedly turns to various musicians improvising, leading one critic to call it "the only jazz film in the history of cinema."
Also showing: When it Rains (Dir. Charles Burnett, 1995, 16mm, color, 13 min.)

Wednesday, January 16th        

A Different Image (Dir. Alile Sharon Larkin, 1982, 16mm, color, 51 min.) - New print! An African American woman contemplates self-identity, heritage and perception on the streets of the sprawling Los Angeles metropolis.
Also showing: Grey Area (Dir: Monona Wali, 1981, 16mm, b/w, 38 min.) - New print! Cycles (Dir. Zeinabu irene Davis, 1989, Digital Video from 16mm, b/w, 17 min.) Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification (Dir. Barabara McCullough, 1979, 35mm, b/w, 6 min.) - New restoration!

Saturday, January 19th 

As Above, So Below (Dir. Larry Clark, 1973, 16mm, color, 52 min.) - New print! A rediscovered L.A. Rebellion masterpiece, Larry Clark's film comprises a powerful political and social critique in its portrayal of Black insurgency.
Also showing: I & I: An African Allegory (Dir. Ben Caldwell, 1979, 16mm, color, 32 min.) - New print! Ujamii Uhuru Schule Community Freedom School (Dir. Don Amis, 1974, Digital Video from 16mm, color, 9 min.) Medea (Dir. Ben Caldwell, 1973, Digital Video from 16mm, color, 7 min.

Your Children Come Back to You (Dir. Alile Sharon Larkin, 1979, 16mm, b/w, 30 min.) - New print! A single mother ekes out a living from welfare check to welfare check, struggling to provide for her daughter. She is faced with the decision to look after her personally, or allow her sister-in-law to provide "more than enough" to go around.
Also showing: Fragrance (Dir. Gay Abel-Bey, 1991, Digital video from ¾" videotape, b/w, 38 min.) Shipley Street (Dir. Jacqueline Frazier, 1981, Digital video from 16mm, color, 25 min.) Rich (Dir. S. Torriano Berry, 1982, 16mm, b/w, 22 min.) - New print!

Black Art, Black Artists (Dir. Elyseo J. Taylor, 1971, Digital video from 16mm, color, 16 min.) A visual survey of black art since the 19th century, punctuated with jazz and blues selections, and a running commentary by woodcut printer Van Slater.
Also showing: Bellydancing - A History & an Art (Dir. Alicia Dhanifu, 1979, Digital Video from 1" videotape, color, 22 min.) Festival of Mask (Dir. Don Amis, 1982, Digital video from16mm, color, 25 min.) Four Women (Dir. Julie Dash, 1975, 16mm, color, 7 min.) - New print! Define (Dir. O.Funmilayo Makarah, 1988, Digital video, color, 5 min.)

Saturday, January 26th 

Child of Resistance (Dir. Haile Gerima, 1972, 16mm, b/w and color, 36 min.) Inspired by a dream Haile Gerima had after seeing Angela Davis handcuffed on television, Child of Resistance is an abstract and symbolic film that follows a woman imprisoned as a result of her fight for social justice.
Also showing: Brick by Brick (Dir. Shirikiana Aina, 1982, Digital video from 16mm, color, 33 min.) L.A. In My Mind (Dir: O.Funmilayo Makarah, 2006, Digital video, color, 4 min.) Rain (Dir. Melvonna Ballenger, 1978, Digital Video from ¾" videotape, color, 16 min.) The Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing (excerpt) (Dir. Carroll Parrott Blue, Kristy H.A. Kang; The Labyrinth Project, 2003, Digital video adapted from DVD-ROM, color, 10 min.)

Bush Mama (Dir. Haile Gerima, 1975/1979, 16mm, b/w, 97 min.) - New print! Introduced by director Haile Gerima A powerfully moving look at the realities of inner city poverty and systemic disenfranchisement as experienced by Dorothy, a pregnant welfare recipient in Watts, played by the magnetic Barbara O. Jones. Motivated by the incarceration of her partner T.C. and the protection of her daughter and unborn child, Dorothy undergoes an ideological transformation from apathy to action. 
Also showing: Daydream Therapy  (Dir. Bernard Nicolas, 1977, Digital Video, b/w and color, 8 min.)

Presented in association with UCLA Film & Television Archive and supported in part by grants from the Getty Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The series is curated by Allyson Nadia Field, Jan-Christopher Horak, Shannon Kelley, and Jacqueline Stewart. Co-sponsored by Scribe Video Center, Temple University Department of Film and Media Arts, and Philadelphia Weekly