Bless Their Little Hearts

L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema
Saturday, May 25, 2013 - 7:00pm

Filmmaker Billy Woodberry in person! New 35mm restoration!
Introduction by Jacqueline Stewart, co-curator of L.A. Rebellion at UCLA.

Set in the same Los Angeles community depicted in Killer of Sheep, and based on an original scenario by that film's director Charles Burnett (who also served as cinematographer), Billy Woodberry's feature debut — a devastating chronicle of a couple (Nate Hardman and Kaycee Moore) whose family is torn apart by events beyond their control — is both the pinnacle and endpoint of the neorealist strand within the L.A. Rebellion. Though Burnett, already an elder statesman and mentor to the UCLA filmmaking community at age 34, was a crucial generative influence on the film, he left Woodberry free rein to develop the material by himself, and the first-time feature director delivered brilliantly. Whereas Burnett's original scenario placed more emphasis on the spiritual crisis of Hardman's Charlie Banks, Woodberry, along with his stars Hardman and Moore, further developed the domestic relationships within the film; the result is a wrenching portrait of a family struggling to stay alive in a world of rapidly vanishing prospects.
(Billy Woodberry, 1984, 35mm, 84 min, preservation funded by the National Film Preservation Foundation and the Packard Humanities Institute)

Preceded by:
The Pocketbook  -  new 35mm restoration!
A young boy is forced to question the course of his life after a botched purse-snatching, in this adaptation of Langston Hughes' short story "Thank You, Ma'am," featuring music by Leadbelly, Thelonius Monk and Miles Davis.
(Billy Woodberry, 1984, 35mm, 13 min, preservation funded in part by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts)

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. Complete details on UCLA’s L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema initiative here.

University of Chicago Arts Council, Franke Institute for the Humanities, Tom Gunning/Mellon Fund, UC Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, Logan Center for the Arts, Conversations at the Edge, Block Cinema, Black Cinema House.