Cinema 53

Cinema 53 is a new screening and discussion series presenting conversation-provoking films by and about women and people of color. A partnership between the historic Harper Theater in downtown Hyde Park and the University of Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry, Cinema 53 brings together scholars, artists, students and audiences from the South Side and beyond to consider how visual cultures reflect, and reflect upon, enduring inequalities and revolutionary futures. Curated by Gray Center director Jacqueline Stewart.

Events

20

Jul

 Jul 20, 2019, 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM
 Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Ave

Third Annual Silver Room Block Party Film Fest: 
“The Bigger Picture:  Chicago Black Media Showcase”
Presented by Cinema 53 as part of  The Silver Room Block Party

A Black media boom is rippling across Chicago, with a growing number of festivals, series and programs springing up across the city, and longtime film venues expanding their platforms for new work. Cinema 53 celebrates this moment with a unique Black media showcase at the annual Silver Room Block Party - an incredible array of film and video works, plus local makers and media programmers on-site throughout the day. Featuring five distinct line-ups from Black Harvest, Collected Voices, Chicago South Side Film Festival, CIFF’s Black Perspectives and Open TV, plus highlights from the South Side Home Movie Project. Meet the directors, producers and programmers from every program on the red carpet at the photo-ready entrance booth in front of the Harper Theater. Free admission and free popcorn!

Past events

6

Jun

 Jun 06, 2019, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
 Harper Theater

**Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event is being rescheduled. Sorry to keep you waiting! Stay tuned to this page for updates**

24

Apr

 Apr 24, 2019, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
 Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Ave, Chicago

Chicago filmmakers Brandon "Manny" Calhoun and Wills Glasspiegel from The Era Footwork Crew screen and discuss a series of short films from their archive that explore and expand upon the history of Chicago footwork. Calhoun and Glasspiegel's work engages footwork as a catalyst for collaborative filmmaking, community organizing and nonprofit activism through the arts. Footwork started as a dance to house music on the west side of Chicago in the 1980s. Today, it's an internationally recognized dance and electronic music. This hour-long screening and group discussion, moderated by UChicago music scholar and Cinema 53 curator Seth Brodsky, will be followed by a Chicago footwork party, DJ'd on vinyl by the originator of the footwork sound, RP Boo.

7

Mar

 Mar 07, 2019, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
 Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Ave, Chicago

What constitutes a “good” school, and for whom? Who is included in the vision of education as the great equalizer, and who is left out? This winter, Cinema 53 curator Eve L. Ewing explores the central role that race has played in the experience of schooling in America with a series of documentaries and discussions. Tonight, Ewing hosts a screening of Tested (Curtis Chin, 2015, 90 min), featuring education experts Pedro Noguera and Diane Ravitch in an award-winning exploration of access to a high-quality public education, affirmative action, and the model-minority myth. Followed by conversation with Tested director Curtis Chin.

21

Feb

 Feb 21, 2019, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
 Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Ave, Chicago

What constitutes a “good” school, and for whom? Who is included in the vision of education as the great equalizer, and who is left out? This winter, Cinema 53 curator Eve L. Ewing explores the central role that race has played in the experience of schooling in America with a series of documentaries and discussions. Tonight, Ewing hosts a screening of Precious Knowledge (Ari Luis Palos and Eren Isabel McGinnis, 2012, 75 min), which follows what happened when Arizona lawmakers passed a bill giving unilateral power to the State Superintendent to abolish ethnic studies classes, and teachers and student leaders fought to save the program using texts, Facebook, optimism, and a megaphone. Film followed by conversation with Ray Salazar, Board Certified CPS teacher and award-winning ed writer. 

24

Jan

 Jan 24, 2019, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
 Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Ave, Chicago

What constitutes a “good” school, and for whom? Who is included in the vision of education as the great equalizer, and who is left out? This winter, Cinema 53 curator Eve L. Ewing explores the central role that race has played in the experience of schooling in America with a series of documentaries and discussions. Tonight, Ewing hosts a screening of American Promise, a rare look into the lives of two middle class Black families as they navigate the ups and downs of educating their sons. From PreK to high school, we see the families struggle with stereotypes and identity, navigate learning differences that later become diagnoses, and ultimately take increasingly divergent paths on their road to graduation. (Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, 2013, 80 min) Followed by conversation with  Amanda Lewis,  Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, UIC.

29

Nov

 Nov 29, 2018, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
 Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Ave

On the fiftieth anniversary of 1968, Cinema 53 presents revolutionary films and films about revolution, co-curated by artist Cauleen Smith and UChicago film scholar Robert Bird. This evening’s screening features Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983, 90m), and will be followed by a conversation with Bird, Smith and UChicago film scholar Kara Keeling.

8

Nov

 Nov 08, 2018, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
 Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Ave.
Chicago IL

On the fiftieth anniversary of 1968, Cinema 53 presents revolutionary films and films about revolution, co-curated by artist Cauleen Smith and UChicago film scholar Robert Bird. This evening’s screening features Putney Swope (Robert Downey Sr., 1969, 85m), a scathing, hugely energetic and scattershot satire, and will be followed by a conversation with Bird, Smith and Northwestern University film scholar Aymar Jean Christian.

18

Oct

On the fiftieth anniversary of 1968, Cinema 53 presents revolutionary films and films about revolution, co-curated by artist Cauleen Smith and UChicago film scholar Robert Bird. This evening’s screenings feature Finally Got the News (Stewart Bird, Rene Lichtman & Peter Gessner with League of Revolutionary Black Workers, 1970, 55m), Congo Oye: We have come back (Bill Stephens, Paul and Carole Roussopoulas with Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver, 1971, 45m) and will be followed by conversation with Bird, Smith, Jonathan Flatley and Matt Peterson.

21

Jul

 Jul 21, 2018, 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
 Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Ave, Chicago

Bask in the gorgeousness of screen idols Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte in Carmen Jones, and their superfly successors Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams in Mahogany. See the lush, Beyoncé -inspiring cinematography of Djibril Diop Mambety’s Senegalese classic Touki Bouki and Julie Dash’s dazzling Daughters of the Dust. And don’t miss the Chicago premiere of Rock Rubber 45S, a star-studded portrait of the life and free-lance virtuoso of dj, author and hip-hop culture orchestrator Bobbito Garcia, who will be in attendance.

28

Jun

 Jun 28, 2018, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
 Harper Court

5235 S. Harper Ct, Chicago

The Cinema 53 Summer Series kicks off with a free outdoor movie screening of Black Panther in Harper Court.

31

May

 May 31, 2018, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
 Harper Theatre

5238 S Harper
Chicago, IL

Part urban fantasy and part ethnographic group portrait, Swagger (Olivier Babinet, 2015, 84 min) focuses on a dozen teenagers getting by in the streets, projects and schools of Aulnay-sous-Bois, a suburb of Paris that made the headlines during the riots of 2005. Screening followed by a conversation with Jennifer WildJacqueline Stewart, and Global Girls.

10

May

 May 10, 2018, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
 Harper Theatre

5238 S Harper
Chicago, IL

Quartier Lointains: Screening and conversation with Claire Diao and Josza Anjembe

29

Mar

 Mar 29, 2018, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
 Harper Theatre

5238 S Harper
Chicago, IL

Cinema 53 kicks off its spring series, Intimités: Everyday Life in Contemporary Afro/French Cinema, with a screening of films by Alice Diop and Mati Diop, followed by conversation with Jennifer Wild (University of Chicago, Cinema & Media Studies, Romance Languages & Literatures), Jacqueline Stewart (University of Chicago, Cinema & Media Studies, Gray Center for Arts + Inquiry), and director of the Black Film Center/Archive, Terri Francis.

8

Mar

 Mar 08, 2018, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
 Harper Theatre

5238 S Harper, Chicago, IL

In solidarity and dialogue with her fellow L.A. Rebellion filmmakers, Zeinabu irene Davis convenes the group of artists brought together by the UCLA film program—including notable directors Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust) and Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep)—to recall their experiences and historicize their legacy on film and far beyond. Screening followed by conversation with Davis, University of Chicago film scholar Allyson Nadia Field, and Cinema 53 curator Jacqueline Stewart.

15

Feb

 Feb 15, 2018, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
 Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Ave.

LA Rebellion filmmaker Barbara McCullough’s latest film looks into the life of the once-blacklisted musical genius Horace Tapscott—the consummate musician, community activist, and mentor to generations of jazz artists. Screening followed by a conversation with director Barbara McCullough and composer Renée Baker.

4

Jan

 Jan 04, 2018, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
 Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Ave.

The landmark visual album Lemonade (Beyoncé, 2016) draws inspiration from the evocative imagery of Julie Dash, Arthur Jafa and Carrie Mae Weems, and the haunting poetry of Warsan Shire, to protest the invisibility of Black women, and offer a radical, but complicated, revisioning of Black female bodies and struggles. The screening will be followed by conversation with filmmaker Julie Dash, singer, songwriter, and poet Jamila Woods and Cinema 53 curator Jacqueline Stewart (University of Chicago, Cinema & Media Studies).