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“Movements in Cinema: History of African – American Film” Presented by Professor Artel Great via Webinar from New Canaan Library

April 22, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


For nearly 125 years, Black cinema has served as an avenue for creative expression, cultural affirmation, and a reimagining of what freedom really means in America. Yet, the separate-and-unequal attention Hollywood pays to Black cinema has left most moviegoers largely unaware of its rich tradition. New Canaan Library welcomes Professor Artel Great, who will present an in-depth discussion of Black cinema as part of the Library’s Movements in Cinema series. The live webinar and will be held on Thursday, April 22 at 7 PM EST. Zoom sign in information will be provided upon registration at newcanaanlibrary.org.
Artel Great, PhD, will discuss the diverse history and “key movements” of Black Cinema, such as “uplift films” of the early 1900s, the Black star movement in Hollywood, the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, Blaxploitation, the L.A. Rebellion, the ‘90s Black New Wave, and beyond. Additionally, he will cover how Black cinema functions aesthetically, how it is meaningful for audiences, and how it operates in different political, social, and cultural contexts. Professor Great will focus on films that highlight the rituals, culture, politics, complexities, and contradictions of American life from multivalent Black perspectives. Films to be discussed include: Body and Soul, Raisin in the Sun, Dutchman, Losing Ground, Cooley High, The Spook Who Sat by the Door, Bless Their Little Hearts, and more.
Dr. Artel Great is an Independent Spirit Award-nominated filmmaker, Black cinema scholar, and historian of race and popular culture. He is the George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in African-American Cinema Studies and Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at the San Francisco State University, School of Cinema. He is the author of the landmark essay “Black Cinema Matters” in The New Republic and co-editor of the forthcoming book Black Cinema and Visual Culture: Art and Politics in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge). Professor Great is currently at work on a new manuscript exploring Race, Resistance, and Black Political Humor. His directorial debut feature, Love Like Winter, is an official selection at several national film festivals, and is part one of his planned “Love Cycle,” a tetralogy of films chronicling Black love in America. Dr. Great was nominated for Best First Feature Director at the 29th Annual Pan-African Film Festival held from Feb 28-March 14, 2021.


April 22, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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New Canaan Library