Film

Mass of Images: Black Power Era Experimenta

 
 
Wed, Aug 29, 2018
  • 7PM
 
 
LOCATION:
 
RUN TIME: 72min
GENERAL ADMISSION: $15
MEMBERS: $7.50 (free for Level 4 and above)
 
 
 
 
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Wednesday August 29, 2018
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The boundary-breaking filmmakers of the Black Power era not only introduced revolutionary politics to cinema—they also invented revolutionary new forms to express themselves as illustrated by this selection of works that are as formally daring as they are culturally subversive.

 
Four Women

Dir. Julie Dash
1975, 7min, 16mm

 

A dance film set to the music of Nina Simone; her breakthrough work.

16mm restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

 
Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification

Dir. Barbara McCulloch
1979, 5min, Digital

 

A woman cleanses both herself and the Los Angeles wasteland that surrounds her in this richly symbolic work inspired by Afro-diasporic ceremonies and folklore.

 
 
 
Remembrance: A Portrait Study

Dir. Edward Owens
1967, 6min, Digital

 

Though he made only a handful of films (all before the age of twenty-one), the works of queer avant-gardist Edward Owens display a virtuoso formal mastery, as seen in this portrait of his mother and her friends, which blends pop music with the compositional style of a Renaissance painting.

 
 
Mass of Images

Dir. Ulysses S Jenkins
1978, 4min, Digital

 

Performance artist and video visionary Ulysses S. Jenkins lays bare the psychic trauma wrought by the media’s stereotyped portrayal of African-Americans.

 
 
 
Inconsequential Doggereal

Dir. Ulysses S Jenkins
1981, 15min, Digital

 

Jenkins continues his exploration of mass media saturation in this Dadaist kaleidoscope of VHS-recorded TV flotsam, menacing lawnmowers, footballs, and the artist’s waggling butt.

 
 
Two-Zone Transfer

Dir. Ulysses S Jenkins
1979, 24min, Digital

 

Jenkins—alongside fellow Otis Art Institute student Kerry James Marshall—stages a surrealist minstrel show in this dream-vision exploration of the history of black representation.

 
 
 
A Day in the Life of Willie Faust or Death on the Instalment Plan

Dir. Jamaa Fanaka
1972, 16min, Digital

 

Shot on 8mm, the first film by iconoclastic LA Rebellion auteur Jamaa Fanaka (Penitentiary) is a raw take on the Faust legend, starring the director as a heroin junkie.

 
 
Colored Spade

Dir. Betye Saar
1971, 2min, Digital

 

Lasting 79 seconds and costing under $100 to make, Saar’s film Colored Spade is an assemblage of derogatory images gradually replaced with depictions of African-American power and solidarity.

 
 
 
 
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