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Emory University on Wednesday (January 29) continues its weekly series of free film screenings under the theme of “African Americans in American Film.” The spring 2020 program, called the Emory Cinematheque, began January 22 with a centennial screening of Oscar Micheaux’s silent classic Within Our Gates and continues this week with Otto Preminger’s innovative musical Carmen Jones (1954) — an update of the Bizet opera Carmen — with a cast that includes Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll and legendary dancers Alvin Ailey and Carmen de Lavallade.

Actor-activist-director Ivan Dixon.

The series includes work by writer-directors Julie Dash, Barry Jenkins, Kasi Lemmons and, perhaps less well-known, actor-activist-director Ivan Dixon.

The screenings are open to the public and run through April 22. All are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays in White Hall, Room 208. Four of the titles — A Raisin in the Sun (1961), An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), Enemy Mine (1985) and HBO’s Watchmen (2019) feature Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., who will attend those screenings and take part in post-screening discussions.

The lineup follows. Need more details? Go HERE or call the film and studies department at 404.727.6761,

FEBRUARY 5 | A Raisin in the Sun (1961): An iconic and groundbreaking adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s Tony Award-winning play explores the lives of the Younger family, who stand to inherit $10,000 after the death of the family patriarch. Sidney Poitier and Claudia McNeil reprise their Tony-winning roles as a son and mother with vastly different ideas on how to spend the money. Ruby Dee, Diana Sands and Louis Gossett Jr. also reprise their Broadway performances.

FEBRUARY 12 | Claudine (1974): Diahann Carroll is Claudine, a poor, single mother of six, living in New York City and working as a maid in the suburbs. As a welfare recipient, she must hide any signs of material gain including her soon-to-be boyfriend (James Earl Jones), a trash collector with a problematic past.

FEBRUARY 19 | The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973): Actor-activist-director Ivan Dixon’s seldom-seen action drama follows a black man who plays Uncle Tom to gain access to CIA training, then uses that knowledge to plot a new American Revolution.

FEBRUARY 26 | An Officer and a Gentleman (1982): A young man (Richard Gere) must complete his work at a Navy Officer Candidate School to become an aviator, with the help of a tough gunnery sergeant (Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr.) and his new girlfriend (Debra Winger).

MARCH 4 | Enemy Mine (1985): During a long space war between humans and the reptilian Drac race, the lives of two wounded enemies (Gossett, Dennis Quaid) become dependent on their ability to forgive and trust.

MARCH 18 | Daughters of the Dust (1991): Writer-director Julie Dash’s groundbreaking film explores the lives of three generations of Geechee women living in a Gullah community off the coast of South Carolina at the turn of the 20th century. Former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions, the Peazant women are in conflict over the next phase of their lives.

MARCH 25 | Love Jones (1997): Writer-director Theodore Witcher’s romantic drama explores the complicated relationship between a slam poet (Larenz Tate) and  a talented photographer (Nia Long) as they pursue artistic careers in Chicago. It showcases the Windy City’s black middle class, and black cultural practices that underscore the couple’s angst-ridden definition and pursuit of love.

APRIL 1 | Slam (1998): Ray Joshua (Saul Williams), a gifted MC and poet trapped in a Washington, D.C., war-zone housing project known as Dodge City, follows the call of the streets and falls in love with a fellow poet (Sonja Sohn) while realizing the impact of his choices on his future. Marc Levin directed the drama, written largely by hip-hop artist Bonz Malone.

APRIL 8 | Eve’s Bayou (1997): A daughter witnesses her father’s extramarital dalliances and begins a chain reaction that could tear her family apart. Writer-director Kasi Lemon’s first feature film explores the ties that bind and what happens when they begin to unravel, while giving audiences a dramatic look into Creole culture. The cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Lynn Whitfield and Jurnee Smollett-Bell.

APRIL 15 | Medicine for Melancholy (2008): Academy Award-winning director Barry Jenkins’ first feature film explores 24 hours in the tentative relationship of two young San Franciscans dealing with being a minority in a rapidly gentrifying city and what happens when they try to build something meaningful out of what was supposed to be nothing.

APRIL 22 | Watchmen, Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2 (2019): Set in an alternate history in 1985, police officers wear masks to protect their identities from a skeptical public and superheroes are forced to live on the margins of society. Based on the groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name, the series explores the ongoing racial and political tensions in society, how we got here and if real freedom is ever possibile. With Gossett, Regina King, Don Johnson and Tim Blake Nelson.

 

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