The Chicago screenings of the touring L.A. Rebellion Film Series starts, in earnest, next week, until June 7, with Jamaa Fanaka’s 1976 film Emma Mae next Thursday April 25th.
Made before Fanaka’s Penitentiary film trilogy, Emma Mae, which was shot in 1974, towards the tail end of the “Blaxploitation” era, is a true rarity which definitely does not fit the mold of the usual films of the era.
Telling the story of a young, naïve country girl who comes to L.A. and who is lead astray by corrupting evil influences, the film doesn’t follow the usual conventional morality play with Emma being led on the path to ruin.
It is, instead, a genuine feminist self-empowerment film about a feisty young woman who learns to come into her own.
The film will be screened at the Logan Center for the Arts located on the University of Chicago campus at 915 E. 60th St where most of the films.in the series will be shown.
(A few others, such as Zienabu Irene Davis’ film Compensation, will be shown at the Block Cinema on the Northwestern University campus)
And as an extra added treat with Emma Mae, Fanaka’s first film, his short film, A Day in the Life of Willie Faust, or Death on the Installment Plan, which is his experimental take on the Faust legend and Super Fly together, will be shown as well.
And as an extra added treat, yours truly, will introduce the films and tickets are FREE.