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MoMA (NYC) Presents Marlon Riggs Cinema Tribute (3 Feature Films, 1 day)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 1, 2013 2:33 PM
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'Tongues Untied'

MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) here in NYC is presenting a special 1-day tribute to Marlon Riggs, taking place on Wednesday, February 27.

The tribute, which will include 3 feature-length films by Riggs, will, according to a MoMA press release...

... exemplify his insightful investigations into the ways racism and homophobia were embedded in American television, film, and popular culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. Riggs’s personal and intellectual commitment to frank discussions of the black, gay experience thrust him into the center of the “culture wars” of the 1990s, and revealed him to be an influential proponent for independent voices on television through a campaign to create the independent television Service (ITVS).

This program is presented in collaboration with the Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, and California Newsreel.

The 3 films that will be screened are:

Color Adjustment1991. This winner of the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for electronic media examines 40 years of primetime television and race relations through such programs as Amos and Andy, The Nat King Cole Show, I Spy, and The Cosby Show. Screens at 4pm on the 27th.

Ethnic Notions1987. This Emmy Award–winning film—riggs’s first major work—traces the evolution of racial stereotypes in American cartoons, feature films, minstrel shows, and children’s rhymes that permeated the popular culture over 150 years. Screens at 7pm on the 27th.

Tongues Untied, 1989. Might be the work most know him for. Tongues Untied blends documentary, personal reflection, and fiction into an unconventional narrative about the specificity of black gay identity; in addition to documentary footage detailing North American black gay culture, Riggs also tells of his own experiences as a gay man. These include the realization of his sexual identity and coping with the AIDS-related deaths of many of his friends. Screens at 8pm on the 27th. This will be followed by a discussion with Cornelius Moore of the California Newsreel.

For tickets and other relevant info, visit MoMA's website.

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