Right On! The Original Last Poets

A fascinating time capsule-shot in 1968, released in 1970–this is a filmed performance by three angry, talented black poets. Gylan Kain, Felipe Luciano, and David Nelson recite their rhythmic, passionate work to Afro-Cuban percussion (with occasional flute and guitar) on a rooftop and other urban ghetto settings, working out a highly politicized poetics that anticipates rap while conveying much of the essence of black-power rhetoric of the late 60s. More than a simple objective rendering of an event, this film is interspersed with cutaways and found footage in a very effective fashion by director Herbert Danska, probably best known for his 1967 jazz feature with Dick Gregory, Sweet Love, Bitter. To be shown on video; the run will extend through August 13. (Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Thursday, August 6, 7:00 and 9:00, 281-4114)

Published on 31 Jul 1992 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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The Swordsman in Double-Flag Town

A visually impressive ‘Scope “western” from mainland China, reportedly the first, directed with flair and economy by He Ping. It may occasionally suggest Sergio Leone in aspects of its spare, confrontational plot, but its subject (Gao Wei as a young hero protecting his child fiancee from bullies) and its style of presenting action (slower and faster than what we are accustomed to in westerns) seems more Asian than European or Hollywood, which is entirely to this picture’s benefit. Whether you take it as pure Chinese or ersatz American or both, it certainly packs a wallop (1991). A Chicago premiere. (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, July 25, 6:00 and 8:00, and Sunday, July 26, 4:00, 443-3737)

Published on 24 Jul 1992 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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Voices From the Front

A powerful and highly informative feature-length documentary by the Testing the Limits collective (Robyn Huff, Sandra Elgear, and David Meieran) about AIDS activism and, more specifically, the self-empowerment of people with AIDS and AIDS-related diseases. Two of the more eye-opening subjects broached here are discrimination against women with AIDS and the drug profiteering that is promoted and protected by the Bush administration. Many people tend to be scared away from documentaries of this sort because of the unpleasantness of the subject matter, but the passion and determination of the activists seen here (including quite a few, such as Vito Russo, who are no longer alive) make this inspiring rather than hopeless–if only because we see that these activists have been far from ineffectual (1990). (Music Box, Sunday through Wednesday, July 19 through 22)

Published on 17 Jul 1992 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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Artful Imitations

Please go to

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1992/07/artful-imitations/

Published on 17 Jul 1992 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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The Swordsman In Double-flag Town

A visually impressive ‘Scope western, reportedly the first from mainland China, directed with flair and economy by He Ping. It may occasionally suggest Sergio Leone in a few aspects of its spare confrontational plot, but its subject (Gao Wei as a young hero protecting his child fiancee from bullies) and its style of presenting action (slower and faster than what we are accustomed to in western cinema) seems more Asian than European or Hollywood, which is entirely to this picture’s benefit. Whether you take it as pure Chinese or ersatz American or both, it certainly packs a wallop (1991). (JR)

Published on 01 Jul 1992 in Featured Texts, by admin

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