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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.
Series will continue throughout 2022
Home / Perpetratin’ Realism: 1990’s Black Film
In the early 1990s, a new wave of Black filmmakers drew audiences from around the world with their bold exploration of Black rage and desire. These films – dubbed by scholar / critic Manthia Diawara “new Black realism” – featured dynamic portrayals of Black people grappling with the hierarchies of power and the living legacies of white racism, gun violence, and illicit economies. From NEW JACK CITY to BOYZ N THE HOOD, these films were popular and profitable – attracting Black audiences to movie theatres…and sparking panic amongst white neighborhoods and business owners. These same Black audiences became the target of police surveillance and repression.
Despite their mixed critical reception, these films reimagined genre filmmaking (from coming-of-age dramas to heist thrillers and buddy comedies) by exposing the failed promises of racial progress and national inclusion. These stories of Black life, love, and friendship navigated complex and often contradictory representations of Black people – in news media, reality television, sitcoms, music, and fashion. This media landscape collapsed the distance between the image and the real – but Black filmmakers forced open and played in that space.
Perpetratin’ Realism reflects on Black visual culture and actual Black lives from this very same space.
-Dr. Felice Blake, Dr. Keith Harris, Dr. Roya Rastegar
This program was made possible by a generous grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association
$8.00 (member) ; $13.00 (general admission)
Regency Westwood Village Theatre | Q&A with filmmaker Mario Van Peebles
In Bulk Membership Mode