Juke Joint

The Black Cinema House in Chicago whose singular mission is to hold "screenings and discussions of underseen works by film and video makers of the African and other diasporas, and which we have profiled in the past (HERE), and have written about several times, has announced its schedule of July screenings.

Starting tonight on July 5th, the BCH will screen the rarely seen 1962 British film by director Basil Dearden, All Night Long. Set among the world of jazz musicians during one night at a jazz party, the film is unique take on Shakespeare’s Othello in which a jealous drummer (Patrick McGoohan) convinces a musician (Paul Harris) that his singer white wife is cheating on him which would force them to break up and leave Harris’ wife free to join his band.

On Saturday July 6th, there will be a screening of Oscar Micheaux’s 1925 silent film Body and Soul starring Paul Robeson, in his film debut.

In the film, Robeson plays an escaped prisoner masquerading as a pastor who tries to cheat a small-town church of its offerings while romancing the pious young daughter of one of his parishioners. The film is, sadly, one of only three of Micheaux’s 26 silent films to survive.

The music and sound effects for the film will be provided by Experimental Sound Studio.

On Friday July 19th,  as part of their summer long outdoor Movie Under the Stars series, the BCH will screen Spencer Williams’ 1947 race film Juke Joint.

Better known for playing the role of Andy on the TV version of Amos and Andy, Williams previously had a long and interesting career as a screenwriter of several films, and an independent filmmaker, directing some 9 films, including Go Down Death and The Blood of Jesus. Juke Joint was the last film he would directed before taking on the Andy role.  

Spencer plays con artist Bad News Johnson who, with his sidekick, July Jones, pretend to be theatrical experts to get free lodging from Mama Lou Holliday in exchange for helping her daughter Honeydew win a beauty pageant. And of course “shenanigans ensue.

Finally, on Saturday July 27th, Keith Miller’s haunting indie film, Welcome to Pine Hill, which won Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance and Atlanta Film Festivals, will be screened.

The film deals with a reformed drug dealer who is now an insurance claims adjuster, during his days following a grim medical diagnosis. Shocked by the news, he sets out to make peace with those around him, and, in turn, find his own peace beyond the cacophony of New York City.

All the screenings are FREE but you must RSVP at blackcinemahouse@rebuild-foundation.org

For more info go (HERE).