Charles D. Brooks III

  • Jamaa Fanaka – Emma Mae (1976)

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    Emma Mae (1976)

    While writer-director Jamaa Fanaka intentionally frustrates any association with Blaxploitation, he courts the forms of that money-grubbing action subgenre for the purposes of his 1976 film Emma Mae, if only to subvert them. As such, the film occupies a lonely middle ground between such well-remembered grindhouse titles as Black Mama, White Mama (1972) and The Mack (1973) and the scattering of Black family dramas to which the big studios condescended in the early to mid-70s, such as Oscar Williams’ Five on the Black Hand Side (1973) and Michael Schultz’s Cooley High (1975). The latter was a direct influence on Fanaka while he was a student at UCLA’s film program and Emma Mae, his second feature, reflects a similar interest in depicting the texture of African-American community and family life in all its contrasting and contradictory patterns. Read More »

  • James Benning – L. Cohen (2018)

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    “Legendary avant-garde filmmaker and visual artist James Benning returns to the Festival with L. COHEN, one of the year’s most awe-inspiring and transcendent experiences. Benning has described the landscape as ‘a function of time’ and this film elegantly invites us to savour the relationship. Shot in a barren Oregon field, the film’s fixed camera presents us with the deceptively simple: canary-coloured jerry can, twin tires, some rusty barrels, abandoned agricultural machinery, a plain of green grass and overgrown hay, and faint, portentous details in the distance.Read More »

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