This salon will be held on Zoom. Watch Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America on Kanopy and then join us for the discussion!
February 4 – Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America (2020) 119 min directed by Gretchen Sorin and Ric Burns
Driving While Black is a new documentary examining the relationship of African Americans to private automobiles. In the process, it becomes an epic on the very concept of freedom in North America. The extensively researched film considers the fraught circumstances of automobile ownership during Jim Crow, where newfound mobility and the threat of discrimination and violence were forever linked. Moving through the years to the present, the film brilliantly reframes Black history in America, concluding with footage illustrating the car's place in contemporary police violence targeting African Americans. (Image used with permission of Kanopy Inc.)
CinemaLit / February 2022 – Black Lives on Film
Black History Month at CinemaLit highlights four films reflecting on the African American experience. Two films are documentaries: 2020's Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America and 2001's One Drop Rule. The feature film Killer of Sheep began as the 1970s master's project of UCLA film student Charles Burnett. It has since gone on to international acclaim as a neorealist masterpiece. Luce from 2019 is a tautly constructed mainstream film taking on tough issues of stereotyping, education, and trauma.
Matthew Kennedy, CinemaLit’s curator, has written biographies of Marie Dressler, Joan Blondell, and Edmund Goulding. His book Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, was the basis of a film series on Turner Classic Movies.
“I don't have a favorite film,” Matthew says. "I find that my relationships to films, actors, genres, and directors change as I change over the years. Some don't hold up. Some look more profound, as though I've caught up with their artistry. I feel that way about Garbo, Cary Grant, director John Cassavetes, and others."
“Classic films have historical context, something only time can provide,” Matt observes. “They become these great cultural artifacts, so revealing of tastes, attitudes, and assumptions.”
Programming in "Civil Rights, Artistic Diversity, Historical Reckoning: Exploring the Film, Literature, and Lives of Marginalized Communities" has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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Future CinemaLit Films
May 27 - 6:00pm
Jun 3 - 6:00pm
Jun 10 - 6:00pm
Jun 17 - 6:00pm