Date: February 11, 2015
Venue: MoMA (New York)
In the 1960’s, ready or not, change was coming to America. A new revolutionary culture was emerging and those seeking to drastically transform the system believed radical change was not only feasible, but imminent. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change. Whether they were right or wrong, whether they were good or bad, fact is, more than 40 years after the Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California, the group, and its leadership, remain powerful and enduring figures in our popular imagination.
THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION weaves the varied voices of those who lived this story — police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, those who remained loyal to the party and those who left it.
NOW PLAYING at Film Forum (209 West Houston Street, west of 6th Ave., box office: 212-727-8110) and at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas (Broadway between 62nd & 63rd Streets, Info & and tickets: 212-757-2280)
Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako
Written by Abderrahmane Sissako, Kessen Tall
Starring Ibrahim Ahmed
Theatrical Release date January 28, 2015
Run time 97 min
Timbuktu is Mauritania’s first entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.
Photo courtesy of Raga Revelry
Date: November 21, 2014
Venue: Chhandayan Center (NY)
Review by Dawoud Kringle
On Saturday, November 21st a pre-release showing of the documentary Raga Revelry was presented in public for the first time at Chhandayan Center. Directed by Mahesh Nair, and produced by Shreedevi Thacker, the film easily succeeded in the herculean task of taking the music and tradition of Indian Raga, and presenting it in a two-hour documentary; like distilling the essence of an enormous garden into a vial of perfume.
Text by Ned Sublette (from Nedslist)
There’s a nonfiction film playing in NYC this week (and some other cities) that offers a rare view inside Angola, a country that is largely closed to outside reporters.
Jeremy Xido’s Death Metal Angola takes place in Huambo (in the country’s interior, founded as Nova Lisboa, a colonial railroad terminal, in the early 20th century.) Unfortunately for its residents, Huambo was a UNITA stronghold; Jonas Savimbi declared it to be his capital. So it was bombed practically out of existence, from the ground (including street-to-street battles) but mostly from the air, by the MPLA (i.e., by the Angolan government) and was in ruins from about ’94 on. Now the guns are silent; the Angolan Civil War ended in 2002.
Venues: AMC Empire (234 42nd Street, NY 10002) & Landmark Sunshine (143 E Houston Street, NY 10002)
Date: September 26, 2014
Ticket Phones: AMC Empire: 212-398-2597 & Landmark Sunshine: 212-260-7289
When filmgoers watch JIMI: All is By My Side, which opens on September 26 in 16 American cities, they will explore musical and narrative nuances rarely discussed in conversations about Jimi Hendrix’s career. The film, which stars André Benjamin (Outkast) and Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later), was written by Oscar-winner and directed by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave). Ridley tapped Grammy-award-winning music producer Danny Bramson (Almost Famous, Lord of the Rings) as producer and music designer and the two of them fastidiously interpreted the soundscape of the era in a way that will tickle music buffs of the period.
“The film takes place in that lost or underserved year in Jimi’s life,” explains Bramson. “We were well aware of the Hendrix Estate’s long standing reluctance to allow any of Jimi’s original songs for an unauthorized Hendrix themed film. Thus, we never sought out Jimi’s hits that came once he departed Heathrow for the Monterey Pop Festival. The musically fertile environment of John Ridley’s story allowed me to interpret Jimi’s development from playing second lead guitar with Curtis Knight in New York then forming his first group and gigging afternoon performances at the Café Wha?, onto his arrival in London at the height of it’s musical enthrallment with the indigenous American Blues. With the Hendrix standard songs out of the equation, we chose a musical design as an interpretation of Jimi’s development as a guitarist principally, and the English musical and cultural zeitgeist that informed, inspired, and propelled him. The creative challenge was staggering, underscored with the incessant personal responsibility to get it right.”