Passing Through

We’ve been covering the touring L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema film series as it makes its way across the country; and after showing in Toronto, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and in New York, it's now Chicago’s turn.

As explained in the introduction for the 12 film series selected from the from the much larger film program that played at UCLA, the L.A. rebellion developed in the aftermath of the Watts Uprising and against the backdrop of the continuing Civil Rights Movement and the escalating Vietnam War, a group of promising African and African American students entered the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Now referred to as L.A. Rebellion, these mostly unheralded artists created a unique cinematic landscape, as—over the course of two decades—students arrived, mentored one another, and passed the torch to the next group. Their fascinating, provocative and visionary films have earned an impressive array of awards and accolades at festivals around the world, in addition to blazing new paths into the commercial market.

And among the filmmakers who came of out this movement were established filmmakers such as Julie Dash, Charles Burnett, Ben Caldwell, Halie Gerima, Zeinabu irene Davis, Jamaa Fanaka, Barbara McCullough, Larry Clark and O. Funmilayo Makarah.

The Chicago screenings started last weekend with a sold out show of short films, including films by Caldwell, McCullough and Makarah, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, followed by a Q and A with the filmmakers at the Black Cinema House.

However the rest of the film series starts on Thursday April 25th and continues through Friday June 7th at the Logan Center for the Arts, on the campus of the University of Chicago, and at the Block Cinema, located on the campus of the Northwestern University in Evanston.

Yours truly will host the April 25 screening of Jamaa Fanaka’s film Emma Mae, and I will be hosting screenings of film shorts programs on May 18 and May 30.

The other screenings will be hosted by: Northwestern University professor of Radio/Television/Film Jacqueline Stewart, who is also co-curator of the L.A. Rebellion series at UCLA and the co-editor of the upcoming book To Emancipate the Image: The L.A. Rebellion Filmmakers; and filmmaker/multi-media artist, Cauleen Smith, who is the recipient of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture’s 2012 Outstanding Artist.

Seating is free

To find out more about what the films are (such as Larry Clark’s Passing Through pictured above) and when they will be screened go HERE and HERE.

This is a great and important film series and if the reaction from last weekend is any indication, it’s going to be extremely popular. Those of you in the Chicagoland area have NO excuse not to miss it.