L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema

In spring 2013, three Chicago film institutions joined forces to present the 12-part film series, L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema, an essential retrospective of one of the most important movements in the history of American independent cinema.

The Film Studies Center, Block Cinema at Northwestern University, and Conversations at the Edge at the School of the Art Institute were proud to present 36 titles over 10 weeks, with 10 acclaimed filmmakers in attendance and 3 local hosts to introduce each screening and lead discussion with the directors. Click here for details on each event at the University of Chicago.

Series highlights:
• Julie Dash presents a new 35mm print of her masterful first feature, Daughters of the Dust (1991),
• Charles Burnett presents his director’s cut of My Brother's Wedding (1983/2007),
• Larry Clark presents a new 35mm print of his rarely screened masterpiece of jazz filmmaking, Passing Through (1977), and
• Haile Gerima presents a new 35mm print of his influential first feature, Bush Mama (1975).

Background
In the late 1960s, 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.

Additional filmmakers that presented their ground-breaking work include Billy Woodberry (Bless Their Little Hearts, 1984), Zeinabu irene Davis (Compensation, 1999), O.Funmilayo Makarah (Define, 1988), Ben Caldwell (I & I: An African Allegory, 1979), Monona Wali (Grey Area, 1981) and Barbara McCullough (Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification, 1979).

In addition, local film historians and curators served as hosts to introduce each screening and provide a brief background, including Jacqueline Stewart (co-curator of L.A. Rebellion at UCLA, Northwestern University Associate Professor of Radio/Television/Film, co-editor of “To Emancipate the Image: The L.A. Rebellion Filmmakers), Sergio Mims (co-founder and co-programmer of Chicago’s Black Harvest Film Festival) and Cauleen Smith (filmmaker and multi-media artist, National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture’s 2012 Outstanding Artist).

Sponsors
University of Chicago Arts Council, Franke Institute for the Humanities, Charles Roven Fund for Cinema and Media Studies, Tom Gunning/Mellon Fund, UC Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, Logan Center for the Arts, Conversations at the Edge at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Block Cinema at Northwestern University, Black Cinema House, Department of Film, Video, New Media & Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Presented in association with UCLA Film & Television Archive and supported in part by grants from the Getty Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The series is curated by Allyson Nadia Field, Jan-Christopher Horak, Shannon Kelley and Jacqueline Stewart. Click here for complete details on UCLA’s L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema initiative.