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The American Cinematheque is a member-donor-volunteer supported 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization whose mission is to celebrate the experience of cinema.
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Since it began screening films to the public in 1985, the American Cinematheque has provided diverse film programming and immersive in-person discussions and events with thousands of filmmakers and luminaries, presenting new and repertory cinema to Los Angeles.
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Los Feliz 3 | New Restoration
Home / Now Showing / WATERMELON MAN
Melvin Van Peebles’ only foray into Hollywood filmmaking, WATERMELON MAN is one of the most audacious, radically conceived works to be financed by a major American studio in the 1970s. Comedian Godfrey Cambridge delivers a virtuoso performance (initially in whiteface) as Jeff Gerber, a loudmouthed, bigoted white insurance salesman whose sitcomlike suburban existence is jarringly upended when he wakes up to discover, in a wild spin on Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, that he has become a Black man. What ensues is a ferocious satire of society’s racist double standards that gradually transforms into an empowering portrait of awakening Black consciousness, executed with a mix of acerbic irreverence and deadly serious political commentary by a relentlessly subversive Van Peebles.
DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Repertory