Showtime: Wednesday, June 26, 8pm
Cauleen Smith, Drylongso, 1998, TRT 1:21:34
Drylongso (meaning “same old” or “everyday”) is the title of this Cauleen Smith film, made in 1998 during her studies at the UCLA. It takes place in Oakland and follows a young black woman named Pica on her quest to photograph subjects that she calls “a dying breed” – referring to black men. The movie follows Pica through the attrition of the young black men around her and how she balances all of this, along with her family’s struggles.
Showtime: Wednesday, July 3, 8pm
Kandis Williams, Eurydice, 2018, TRT 20:13
Williams’ ongoing Eurydice project confronts the crisis of metaphorical entanglements around the aesthetic and political intersections of loss and art as the formal expression of loss. This screening is of a full performance, stemming from a series of videos, collages, sculptures, and floral arrangements, investigating the relationship between “black identity” and “mainstream culture.” The Greek myth of Eurydice is a vehicle for Williams’ artistic inquiry into this subject.
Pope.L, Obi Sunt, 2015, TRT 40:00
In Goldfield, Nevada on September 3, 1906, Joe Gans fights 42 rounds against Battling Nelson. The fight would be deemed “legendary” and Gans would be rated the greatest lightweight boxer of all time, a title that still stands. However, Gans is still not able to achieve true levels of success or greatness in the United States of America, during his lifetime.
Obi Sunt (2015) weaves images from a rare photo album of the 1906 Gans–Nelson fight, recent footage from Goldfield, Nevada, text, voice-over and the adventure in the desert of a Pope.L character named Mr. Poots. The title Obi Sunt is a play on ubi-sunt (where dat they?)—a Latin phrase meaning “those who came before us.”
howtime: Wednesday, July 10, 8pm
Devin Troy Strother, Alima Lee, Mandy Harris Williams, the worst witch, 2018, TRT 10:30
Shikeith, #Blackmandream, 2014, TRT 44:00
Devin Troy Strother, Mandy Harris Williams, Alima Lee, the worst witch, 2018, TRT 10:30
Concept by Devin Troy Strother, directed and edited by Alima Lee, and written by Mandy Harris Williams, the worst witch speaks allegorically about the mythology of the witch vs the challenges of racial identity and stereotypes. The film carefully approaches the grim reality of the oppressive perceptions of (and the expectations from) people of color — utilizing comedy, and destabilizing the viewing format to counterbalance the weight of the complexities of misrepresentation.
Akeem Smith, Lexus, Benz & Bimma, 2018, TRT 31:11
Lexus, Benz & Bimma is atestament to the vivid fashions of the Jamaican dancehall scene from 1985 to Y2K.While previous examinations on the culture of dancehall have generally focused on the soundsystem, gang or “shotta” lifestyles and the economics of music production, Lexus, Benz & Bimma finds the true locus and enigmatic heart of the dancehall in its women. Dancehall in this context does not refer to a musical genre, but a physical place and the series of interactions performed within it. The dancehall hosts an economy of glances—of admiration, competition and shade. Independent of the outside world, the dancehall woman finds a forum for self-expression and recognition parallel to family life and economic class. She earns her stripes not so much through dancing, as by her sauté and swag (style in the broadest sense): self adornment, creativity and attitude. Sexual expression is central to the economy of the dancehall, but unlike in the outside world the dancehall woman holds power. She is the main event.
Video still: Akeem Smith, Lexus, Benz & Bimma, 2018, TRT 31:11
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