Looking for Langston
DIRECTOR: ISAAC JULIEN
CAST: BEN ELLISON, MATTHEW BAIDOO, AKIM MOGAJI
Isaac Julien in person
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, British artist Isaac Julien’s lyrical Looking for Langston fuses archival newsreel footage of 1920s Harlem with original scripted scenes shot in lush black-and-white, in order not only to recreate the atmosphere of the Harlem Renaissance as it exists in the popular imagination, but to specifically highlight the essential role of Black queer identity in that artistic and social movement. The film draws from the works of Langston Hughes (played by Ben Ellison) and James Baldwin, among others, and provocatively imagines the speakeasies of the period as havens for the free expression of Black gay culture and desire.
Screening co-presented with Performa.