Charles Burnett/The Black Independent Movement (2 Screenings) at Miami Beach Cinémathèque

Wed 21 Feb, 2018

Ad Hoc Cinema and Miami Beach Cinematheque present Charles Burnett and the Black Independent Movement. Looking back on the movement that inspired the work of American vanguard filmmaker(s) Charles Burnett and his contemporaries, Billy Woodbury, Julie Dash, etc., with a very special double feature of two “rarely screened” newly restored cult classics from the LA Underground film scene–during the 70s and 80s–known as the Black Independent Movement.

Killer of Sheep (1977), one of L.A. Rebellion’s most widely celebrated films over the course of many years.  Its extended 16mm production (completed piecemeal on spare weekends beginning in 1972) led to initial critical acclaim at the Sundance and Berlin film festivals in the early 1980s and acceptance into the National Film Registry in 1990. Although it was restored in 35mm in 2000 by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the momentum might have waned if it wasn’t for the gravitational force of filmmaker Charles Burnett’s captivating vision of Watts in post-manufacturing decline, a community heroically finding ways to enjoy and live life in the dusty lots, cramped houses and concrete jungles of South Los Angeles.

Bless Their Little Hearts (1984) represents the closure and pinnacle of a neorealist strand within what’s now described as the L.A. Rebellion, which dates to Charles Burnett’s Several Friends (1969).  Billy Woodberry’s film chronicles the devastating effects of underemployment on a family in the same Los Angeles community depicted in Killer of Sheep (1977), and it pays witness to the ravages of time in the short years since its predecessor.  Nate Hardman and Kaycee Moore deliver gut-wrenching performances as the couple whose family is torn apart by events beyond their control.  If salvation remains, it’s in the sensitive depiction of everyday life, which persists throughout.


Wed, Feb 21, 2018, 7 PM

*Hosted by Torrance Gettrell of Ad Hoc Cinema in discussion with special guest Jason Jeffers, co-founder of Third Horizon Collective and Caribbean Film Festival. Discussion will take place between the two screenings.

Miami Beach Cinematheque
1130 Washington Ave,
Miami Beach, FL 33139
305 673-4567

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