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MONDAY - Apparitions: An Assemblage of Black Independent Films

Programmed by: Francesca Fox

Almost 60 years ago, a group of Black film students at UCLA came together to become what is known as the L.A. Rebellion. They were a generation of filmmakers that sought to disrupt conventional Hollywood cinema through their own visual language – creating a new Black cinema. Today, independent Black filmmakers continue to develop their own voices, often acting as writers, directors, and even self-funding their projects. They investigate the beauty in the mundane, what exists within and beyond a world of trauma, white supremacy, capitalism and poverty. The selected films are self-aware, light-hearted, and cinematically astounding. They are landmarks in American cinema and testaments to history and politics. "What’s past is prologue," uttered at the beginning of Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust, is a reminder as to why the visibility and accessibility of Black indie films has been historically diminished. This series pays homage to Black independent cinema throughout the years — their connections, storytelling, and impact.

Daughters of the Dust (1991)

Daughters of the Dust (1991) still

Julie Dash · 112m · DCP

Writer and director Julie Dash’s masterpiece Daughters of the Dust juxtaposes the generational lives of a Gullah family on the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. This beautifully shot film defies the boundaries of time to capture history, memory, and the future’s possibilities as the family struggles with changes in tradition. A project from the filmmakers of the L.A. Rebellion, this film is an underrated gem of American cinema.

Monday, March 18th 7:00PM

Eve's Bayou (1997)

Eve's Bayou (1997) still

Kasi Lemmons · 109m · 35mm

After following suspicions of her father's deceit, ten-year-old Eve Batiste (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and her family must face harsh betrayals and truths. Set in 1960s Louisiana, Eve’s Bayou draws upon the deep roots of the South, voodoo, chattel slavery and the mystique of the bayou. Kasi Lemmons’ directorial debut also features Samuel L. Jackson, Lynn Whitfield, Diahann Carroll and Meagan Good.

Monday, March 25th 7:00PM

Bless Their Little Hearts (1984)

Bless Their Little Hearts (1984) still

Billy Woodberry · 80m · DCP

L.A. Rebellion filmmakers Billy Woodberry and Charles Burnett craft this sensitive portrait of a Black everyday: Charlie Banks (Nate Hardman) navigates the tribulations of joblessness and family life amidst the waning industry of '80s South Central Los Angeles. But when his wife Andais (Kaycee Moore) baselessly accuses him of infidelity, something he never considered suddenly seems like a way out.

Monday, April 1st 7:00PM

Personal Problems (1980)

Personal Problems (1980) still

Bill Gunn · 165m · DCP

Partly improvised and partly written by poet and novelist Ishmael Reed, Personal Problems is an experimental melodrama that captures the lives of Black Americans in 1980s Harlem. The film focuses on Johnnie Mae Brown (Vertamae Smart Grosvenor), a nurse who grapples with her husband’s infidelity and the personal and familial drama that ensues.

Monday, April 8th 7:00PM

Alma's Rainbow (1994)

Alma's Rainbow (1994) still

Ayoka Chenzira · 85m · DCP

Ayoka Chenzira’s restored feature film is a coming-of-age comedy-drama that follows teenager Rainbow Gold’s (Victoria Gabrielle Platt) journey through womanhood in 1990s Brooklyn. Alma’s Rainbow is a love letter to the intricacies of Black women’s lives, rights, and lessons in love.

Monday, April 15th 7:00PM

Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1993)

Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1993) still

Leslie Harris · 92m · Digital

Chantel Mitchell (Arian A. Johnson) is a Brooklyn teenager with dreams of leaving the New York City projects to go to college and become a doctor, defying her friends and family’s expectations. As she plans her escape from becoming ‘just another girl on the I.R.T,' she faces her most personal challenge yet: love. Leslie Harris’ coming-of-age independent film captures how “reality bites” while keeping the allure of teenage dreams alive.

Monday, April 22nd 7:00PM

Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018)

Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018) still

RaMell Ross · 76m · DCP

Academy Award-nominated experimental documentary Hale County This Morning, This Evening observes, over the course of 5 years, filmmaker Ramell Ross’s contemplative intimacies and emotional vignettes of a Black community in the South experiencing triumphs and turmoil.

Monday, April 29th 7:00PM

Drylongso (1999)

Drylongso (1999) still

Cauleen Smith · 81m · DCP

Fearing that Black men might soon cease to exist, Pica Sullivan (Toby Smith) begins to capture portraits of them around her Oakland neighborhoods amidst rising mortality statistics. Cauleen Smith’s Drylongso examines racial injustice and the vitality of community and friendship in this art school feature debut shot on 16mm film.

Monday, May 6th 7:00PM

My Brother's Wedding (1983)

My Brother's Wedding (1983) still

Charles Burnett · 81m · Digital

Pierce Mundy (Everett Silas) is a cynical, working-class man from South Central Los Angeles whose goals in life are nonexistent. When his lawyer brother escapes the family’s dry cleaning business and decides to marry an upper-class woman, Pierce finds himself in conflict with family, friendship and class. Written and directed by Charles Burnett, My Brother’s Wedding is a dark comedy evolved from a 1983 rough edit which premiered poorly to a finished cut made by Burnett in 2007.

Monday, May 13th 7:00PM