Searching for a New Black Cinematic Vernacular
A showcase of new voices in black cinema that challenge traditional approaches to narrative and formal structure. We invite you to participate in this conversation as we explore alternative methods to tell stories of the African diaspora.
SAVAGE VS THE VOID
by Darren Wallace
digital projection, 19 min
by Julian Walker
digital projection, 17 min
AMIR GEORGE / THE O'MYS / CHICAGO FILM ARCHIVES COLLABORATION
digital projection, 5 min
digital projection, 5 min
by Viktor Le
digital projection, 10 min
by Kinfolk Collective & Adam Dollar$
digital projection, 4 min
Run time: 60 min
Programmed by Kinfolk Collective
Spotlight: Mythotropical Romance
Spotlight is a program dedicated to films that stand on their own as innovative and revelatory. The spotlight program presents individual films from around the world to be discussed, selected by filmfront and the community.
When you watch certain films, there are times you feel carried into a completely different environment. These films are often labeled ‘atmospheric’, for the way in which one is engulfed by an elaborate sensorial environment, image after image, textures of sound after sound. The ground begins to loosen as you progressively transcend the seat you sit in.
TROPICAL MALADY (SUD PRALAD) is a story bifurcated into halves, a storytelling structure characteristically inherent in Apichatpong Weraseethakul’s work. The first half follows the story of Keng (played by Banlop Lomnoi), a soldier sent to a small town in the Thai countryside to investigate the mysterious slayings of local village cattle. Keng meets Tong (played by Sakda Kaewbuadee), a young country boy living in the small town. As their acquainting progresses, a coincidental encounter in the city sets an eventual romance in motion. Keng and Tong begin making their way into the city routinely, the urban outings develop an almost utopian romance. The second half is a mythological dream and soundscape where a soldier (again, played by Lomnoi), sets out into the jungle to look for the shape-shifting tiger shaman (played by Kaewbuadee) that has been killing cattle in the local village. Employing the same actors as the first half, the second seems to function as a reflection and psychological mirror of the first, where the mythotropical romance becomes a search in a labyrinth of foliage, exploring themes of memory, passion and the continual hunt for that “strange animal”, or object of desire.
by Apichatpong Weraseethakul
2004, digital projection, 125 min
Spotlight: Revolutionary Musical Non-Musical
THE CONFRONTATION (FÉNYES SZELEK or alternately translated as sparkling winds) is Miklós Jancsó’s first color film, made in 1968. Slotted to screen at that year’s Cannes Film Festival, the film was never exhibited, perhaps part of the reason why it has remained largely unknown internationally; The festival was cancelled because of the student revolts across France in May 1968. Marrying radical form with radical content, Jancsó’s film dramatizes an encounter between two groups of students—one from a traditional seminary and the other a newly empowered cadre of Marxist youths—on the grounds of a Catholic school in 1947. Influenced by Italian filmmaker Michaelangelo Antonioni, Jancsó created a radical long-take form epitomized in THE CONFRONTATION's elaborate, energetic choreography around song and dance. While Jancsó’s unparalleled visual style is immediately perceptible, the subject of his films often require demystification because of its expectation that the audience knows the ins-and-outs of Hungarian history and cultural politics. On the one hand, THE CONFRONTATION is a manifestation of an age old story: what happens when a group of young radicals are elevated to a position of power once a society is restructured by revolution.
THE CONFRONTATION (FÉNYES SZELEK)
by Miklós Jancsó
1968, DVD, 82 min