View a selection of key films that have influenced Wangechi Mutu’s work. From iconic cultural figures including African-American performer Josephine Baker to the Afro-futuristic pioneer and composer-extraordinaire Sun Ra, the diverse program also delves into science-fiction and the imaginative world of childhood and infancy.
Please be seated by 2.50pm for a 3.00pm start for the final session
Sunday 7 July THIS SCREENING WILL START AT 3PM
She’s Gotta Have it
Director: Spike Lee
Spike Lee’s breakthrough independent feature ushered in the American independent film movement of the 1980s. It was also a groundbreaking film for African-American filmmakers and a welcome change in the representation of blacks in American cinema. The story centers around the character of Nola Darling a young, self-assured Brooklyn woman who juggles three boyfriends – the polite and well-meaning Jamie, the self-obsessed male model Greer and the comical bicycle messenger Mars (Spike Lee). Nola doesn’t want to commit to any of her boyfriends, cherishing her personal freedom. But as their relationships with Nola grow, each man wants her for himself.
Sunday 2 June
Chasing a Rainbow: The life of Josephine Baker
Director: Christopher Ralling
A documentary on black American singer/dancer Josephine Baker (1906-1974), who immigrated to France where she was a major artist from 1927 until her death.
Sunday 9 June
Fantastic Planet (La planète sauvage)
Colour DVD, Animated
Director: René Laloux
French, with English subtitles
Based on French science fiction novelist Stefan Wul’s Oms en Serie (“Oms by the Dozen”), René Laloux’s Fantastic Planet paints an animated tale of humans kept as domesticated pets by an alien race of blue humanoid giants called Traags. The story takes place on the Traags’ planet Ygam, and follows the narrator, an Om called Terr, from infancy to adulthood, when he escapes his subjugation with a Traag learning device with which to educate the savage Oms and incite them to revolt. As a French-Czech coproduction, this story had much resonance for its makers as an allegory of Czechoslovakia’s invasion by Russian troops in the late ’60s, and had to be completed in Paris due to political pressure. Fantastic Planet won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973.
Sunday 16 June
Sun Ra: A joyful noise
Director: Robert Mugge
One of jazz music’s most entertaining and eccentric figures is profiled in Robert Mugge’s hour long, 1980 profile of the late bandleader-keyboardist-composer Sun Ra. This hour-long documentary features the avant-garde and free jazz of Sun Ra and his Arkestra at various locations throughout their native Philadelphia. The documentary features interviews and performances from a variety of locales, including high atop the roof of the Philadelphia International Center, as well as the Baltimore, MD-based Famous Ballroom and Left Bank Jazz Society Inc.. There is also footage of a special gig at Danny’s Hollywood Palace in Philadelphia. The title of the film is derived directly from Sun Ra’s core philosophy that the sounds he and his fellow musicians create fulfill the Old Testament scripture (Psalm 100) to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
Sunday 23 June
Rabbit Proof Fence
Director: Phillip Noyce
Rabbit Proof Fence marked the first film Australian director Phillip Noyce had made in his home country for over a decade and was one of Australia’s most anticipated films about the Stolen Generation. Based on the novel Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara, This true story follows the journey of three young Aboriginal girls; Molly, Gracie and Daisy, who walked 1500 miles across West Australia’s Gibson Desert after they were abducted from their families by white authorities and forced to live on a remote settlement at Moore River.
Sunday 30 June
The Triplets of Belleville
Colour DVD, Animated
Director: Sylvain Chomet
Written and directed by Sylvian Chomet, the film tells the story of Madame Souza, an elderly woman who goes on a quest to rescue her grandson Champion, a Tour de France cyclist, who has been kidnapped by the French mafia for gambling purposes and taken to the city of Belleville. She is joined by the Triplets of Belleville, music hall singers from the 1930s, whom she meets in the city, and her obese hound, Bruno. The film features an original jazz musical score by Benoît Charest.
Arkestra, Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise (still) 1980, directed by Robert Mugge