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.
Cinema 53: Sankofa with Haile Gerima and Shirikiana Aina
Screening of Sankofa, followed by conversation with Haile Gerima and Shirikiana Aina
Powerful, moving and highly acclaimed, director Haile Gerima and producer Shirikiana Aina’s Sankofa (1993) is a masterpiece of cinema that continues to have a transformative impact. The film tells a story of slavery and the African Diaspora from the perspective of the enslaved, challenging the romanticizing of slavery prevalent in American culture.
Part one of two nights of film + conversation presented as part of Sankofa City Summer School, convened and moderated by Ben Caldwell and Jacqueline Stewart
Cinema 53: Brick by Brick with Shirikiana Aina and Haile Gerima
Screening of Brick by Brick (1982), followed by conversation with Shirikiana Aina and Haile Gerima.
Director Shirikiana Aina’s prescient portrait of late-1970s Washington, D.C., chronicling the city’s creeping gentrification, the systematic expulsion of poor Black residents, and the community response in the form of the Seaton Street Project, in which tenants banded together to purchase buildings.
Part two of two nights of film + conversation presented as part of Sankofa City Summer School, convened and moderated by Ben Caldwell and Jacqueline Stewart
Lemonade: Screening + Conversation
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/poet Jamila Woods and UChicago film scholar/Cinema 53 curator Jacqueline Stewart.
Cinema 53: Alice Diop and Mati Diop
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 (UChicago Cinema & Media Studies, Romance Languages and Literatures), Jacqueline Stewart (UChicago Cinema & Media Studies, Gray Center for Arts + Inquiry) and Terri Francis (director of the Black Film Center/Archive, Cinema & Media Studies, Indiana University; author, Josephine Baker’s Oppositional Burlesque, forthcoming from Indiana University Press).
Swagger: Screening + conversation with Jennifer Wild, Jacqueline Stewart and Global Girls
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 Wild, Jacqueline Stewart, and Global Girls.
Spirits of Rebellion: Screening + Conversation
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, UChicago film scholar Allyson Nadia Field, and Cinema 53 curator Jacqueline Stewart.
Horace Tapscott: Musical Griot, with director Barbara McCullough and composer Renée Baker
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 conversation with director Barbara McCullough and composer Renée Baker.
Black Panther x Harper Court
The Cinema 53 Summer Series kicks off with a free outdoor movie screening of BLACK PANTHER in Harper Court. Pre-movie DJ set by Rae Chardonnay at 7pm. Movie starts promptly at 9pm. Hosted by Discopoet Khari B. Seating is first come/first serve so early arrival is suggested. BYO chairs and blankets. Wakandian dress is encouraged. Space will be limited at capacity.
Co-presented with The Silver Room and Harper Theater.
Beautiful People, Beautiful Movies: Block Party Film Festival
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, BEAUTIFUL MOVIES:
A 1-day festival of FREE films glowing with our beauty, style and fierceness, presented by Cinema 53 as part of the Silver Room Sound System Block Party.
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.
12:00 Carmen Jones (Otto Preminger, 1954)
2:00 Mahogany (Berry Gordy, 1975)
4:00 Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)
6:00 Rock Rubber 45s (Bobbito Garcia, 2018) with director Bobbito Garcia and Cinema 53 curator Jacqueline Stewart
8:00 Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1973)
++ Spend some time with the beautiful people of our neighborhoods in South Side Home Movie Project’s Video Lounge in the Harper Theater lobby.++
Presented by Cinema 53, with support from the Gray Center for Arts + Inquiry, Harper Theater and The Silver Room.