Underground Film Journal

Posted In » Screenings

L.A. Filmforum: The L.A. Rebellion: Boundary-Breaking Shorts

By Mike Everleth ⋅ March 6, 2012

Exterior of the Egyptian  Theater in Hollywood, Calfiornia

March 11
7:30 p.m.
Egyptian Theater
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Hosted by: L.A. Filmforum

As part of the Alternative Projections historical project, the L.A. Filmforum presents a selection of short movies from the 1970s directed by African-American filmmakers based in Los Angeles. Filmmakers included in the lineup include Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Ben Caldwell, Jamaa Fanaka and more.  Caldwell, who will be in attendance, and Adam Hyman have curated this screening.

Through the Ethno-Communications Program begun in 1968, the film school at UCLA began building up a strong minority presence within its student body. In a few years, there was a significant number of African-American filmmakers that was dubbed the “LA. Rebellion” by essayist Ntongela Masilela.

This group made politically and socially aware films that sought to provide an authentic reflection of the communities they came from that were not being represented anywhere else on screen. However, while the filmmakers drew from their personal backgrounds, they dramatized their world through non-traditional narrative forms.

The full lineup for this program is below:

Hour Glass, dir. Haile Gerima (1971, Digital video, b/w & color, 14 min.)
A Day in the Life of Willie Faust, or Death on the Installment Plan, dir. Jamaa Fanaka (1972, Digital video, transferred from 16mm blow-up from 8mm, color, 20 min.)
Medea, dir. Ben Caldwell (1973, Digital video, transferred from 16mm, color, 7 min)
Four Women, dir. Julie Dash (1975, 16mm, color, 7 min.)
Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification, dir. Barbara McCullough (1979, 35mm, b/w, sound, 6 min.)
Daydream Therapy, dir. Bernard Nicolas (1977, Digital video, transferred from 16mm, b/w & color, 8 min.)
I&I: An African Allegory, dir. Ben Caldwell (1979, Digital video, transferred from 16mm, color, 32 min.)
The Horse, dir. Charles Burnett (1973, 16mm, color, 14 min.)

Still from I&I: An African Allegory:

Pretty African-American woman looking upward