For decades, the seven reels from 1913 lay unexamined in the film archives of the Museum of Modern Art. Now, after years of research, a historic find has emerged: what MoMA curators say is the earliest surviving footage for a feature film with a black cast. It is a rare visual depiction of middle-class black characters from an era when lynchings and stereotyped black images were commonplace. What’s more, the material features Bert Williams, the first black superstar on Broadway. Williams appears in blackface in the untitled silent film along with a roster of actors from the sparsely documented community of black performers in Harlem on the cusp of the Harlem Renaissance. Remarkably, the reels also capture behind-the-scenes interactions between these performers and the directors.
MoMA plans an exhibition around the work called “100 Years in Post-Production: Resurrecting a Lost Landmark of Black Film History,” which is to open on Oct. 24 and showcase excerpts and still frames. Sixty minutes of restored footage will be shown on Nov. 8 in the museum’s annual To Save and Project festival dedicated to film preservation…
"Poet, musician (and now Broadway star) Saul Williams has a new project in the works–one that’s especially close to home. Working with his wife actress and filmmaker Anisia Uzeyman have launched a campaign to raise funds to complete their Afro-Punk inspired love story Dreamstates"
DREAMSTATES: An underground portrait of America: haunted, hollow, and contemporary.
…and speaking of dreams, Anisia Uzeyman’s film, Dreamstates looks pretty ill
❝ Cinema is magic in the service of dreams.
Djibril Diop Mambéty
Interview with Djibril Diop Mambety Southern African Film Festival—1993 Africa Film & TV Magazine
Djibril Diop Mambety, director of the award winning Hyenas (click on picture for Real Video clip, "Ramatou’s Arrival”) which played to packed audiences at the recent Southern African Film Festival, talks with Rachel Rawlins about his art, god, and the World Bank.
INTERVIEWER: Just tell me your name and your occupation and how you’d like to be described.
DJIBRIL: My name is Djibril. My first name is Djibril. Djibril is Gabriel, like the angel. If I have to describe myself I can say that I am just a history of a dream.
INTERVIEWER: A history of a dream. What do you mean by that?
DJIBRIL: All my life is a dream. All my friends too.
INTERVIEWER: So you’re a maker of dreams.
DJIBRIL: Kind of.
INTERVIEWER: Hyenas has been very popular here. I understand that at the opening of the Festival you stood up and said that it is about the World Bank. Tell me about that.
DJIBRIL: Its earned millions many millions. It takes place in a poor city, amongst poor people and what I’m saying is : if you want money one of you will have to be killed. The World Bank and it’s International Monetary Fund did the same……with the poor South of the world. They tell the African people “we know that you’re poor but you have too many peoples working and you don’t have enough money to pay them so you have to kill some of them. Then we can give you money. You have to clean up your economy. kill enough people and we will give you money.”
INTERVIEWER: So you think that the people of Africa have accepted this and that they are killing their own people because of the World Bank’s money?
DJIBRIL: Yes, it’s mathematics. Kill and the money will be here…
❝ As a Black woman filmmaker I feel that’s my job: visibility. And my preference within that job is Black subjectivity. Meaning I’m interested in the lives of Black folk as the subject. Not the predicate, not the tangent. These stories deserve to be told. Not as sociology, not as spectacle, not as a singular event that happens every so often, but regularly and purposefully as truth and as art on an ongoing basis, as do the stories of all the women you love.
Quote is from her speech at the 7th Annual Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon by Essence. I really love the "not as sociology, not as spectacle" part. I love this quote so much and admire and enjoy Ava’s work.
(Source: gradientlair.com, via thisisntmyrealhair)