George Bernard Shaw said that “If you do not tell your stories others will tell them for you and they will vulgarize and degrade you.” With few exceptions, this expression can be applied to Hollywood’s treatment of Blacks from the creation of the industry to now.
Essays on retrospectives and repertory films playing at Metrograph
December 21 Spider Baby
“Whatever Happened to… Spider Baby” asked the theatrical poster for exploitation auteur Jack Hill’s first feature film, shot in the late summer of 1964 but not released commercially until Christmas Eve, 1967.
March 3 I Am Somebody: An Interview with Madeline Anderson
Pennsylvania native Madeline Anderson may not be a household name, but she is a trailblazer in the world of nonfiction filmmaking. In March 2016, Ashley Clark spoke with Anderson about her remarkable, incomparable career.
March 1 Aboard the Human Express
Eduardo Williams’s The Human Surge is a film that knows no boundaries, cycling through formats, shifting from micro to macro scale, and passing through cyberspace in the blink of an eye in the course of gathering together its disparate story threads. As such, it seemed only appropriate to match its first-run stand with a revival of an earlier, formally-audacious city symphony with an unorthodox approach to narrative, Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express. A reminder, we hope, of what movies can be.
February 14 "I Made a Film with Jean Seberg"
A newly-translated letter to Cahiers du Cinema by filmmaker Philippe Garrel in 1984.
February 14 BUSTIN' MAKES ME FEEL GOOD!
'Ghostbusters' is not an outdated Reaganite fantasy at all, but a hero story more suited to our time than any of the Marvel Comics.
December 26 Not Easily Pleased
Early in our friendship, I made the mistake of telling Patricia Highsmith that I loved Hitchcock’s adaptation of her first novel, Strangers on a Train. I wasn’t sure the friendship would survive the night.
December 21 RFK '64
Haunted by enemies both real and imagined, Robert Kennedy was a patrician without a court in 1964.
November 12 Up and Down the Ladder: Excerpt from an Unpublished Manuscript c. 1933
Francis Ford wrote his memoir when he found himself virtually unemployable at the coming of sound. A copy of this memoir exists in the collections of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences; it doesn’t read half as bitter as one might expect.
November 10 Bitter Victory: On Ezra Edelman's OJ: Made in America
Why did a few hundred teenagers in Cincinnati, far from USC or Brentwood or even Buffalo, feel this amount of investment in the O.J. Simpson murder trial? Why did people all over the country feel the same psychic involvement? And how did we think we knew which side represented justice?