L.A. REBELLION: CREATING A NEW BLACK CINEMA
This one-day symposium organized by Allyson Nadia Field (UCLA) and Jacqueline Stewart (Northwestern University) is the first of its kind dedicated to the L.A. Rebellion, a key artistic movement of African American and African filmmakers who studied at UCLA between the late 1960s and the early 1980s.
Presented in conjunction with the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s groundbreaking film exhibition, L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema, the symposium will reflect upon the rich and diverse work of these artists–including Charles Burnett, Ben Caldwell, Larry Clark, Julie Dash, Zeinabu Irene Davis, Jamaa Fanaka, Jacqueline Frazier, Haile Gerima, Alile Sharon Larkin, Barbara McCullough and Billy Woodberry, and more than 40 others–who engaged in an unprecedented collective effort to re-imagine Black images in cinema.
Attendees at this free event will also have the opportunity to see rarely-viewed footage that is being preserved by the Archive. (Continue reading for the symposium schedule…)
8:30 Coffee & Registration
9:00 Welcome & Screening: Allyson Nadia Field (UCLA) and Jacqueline Stewart (Northwestern University)
9:45 Keynote: Clyde Taylor (NYU Emeritus)
10:30-12:00 Panel 1: Black Film and Social Change: Representing Black Culture, Politics, and Labor Before and During the L.A. Rebellion
Chair: Jan-Christopher Horak (UCLA Film & Television Archive)
David James (USC)
Samantha Sheppard (UCLA)
12:00 – 1:30 Break
1:30 – 3:00 Panel 2: Creating Black Film Style: Black Arts, Music, and L.A. Rebellion Aesthetics
Chair: Allyson Nadia Field
Daniel Widener (UCSD)
Morgan Woolsey (UCLA)
Cauleen Smith (filmmaker, UCLA alum)
3:00 – 3:30 Coffee
3:30 – 5:15 Roundtable: L.A. Rebellion: Then and Now
Chair: Jacqueline Stewart
Panelists: Ed Guerrero (NYU); Chuck Kleinhans (Northwestern University Emeritus/Jump Cut); Michael T. Martin (Indiana University); Clyde Taylor (NYU Emeritus); Monona Wali (filmmaker, UCLA alum)
7:30 Screenings: Illusions (Julie Dash, 1982, 36 min.), Fragrance (Gay Abel-Bey, 1991, 38 min.), As Above, So Below (Larry Clark, 1973, 52 min.), and Rain (Melvonna Ballenger, 1978, 16 min.)
Tickets for the evening’s screening are available for purchase at the Box Office. TFT students, staff and faculty get in free.
Beginning in the late 1960s, a number of promising African and African American students entered the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, recruited under a concerted initiative to be more responsive to various communities of color. From that first class through the late 1980s, and continuing well beyond their college days, these filmmakers came to represent the first sustained undertaking to forge an alternative Black Cinema practice in the United States. Along the way, they created fascinating, provocative and visionary films that have earned an impressive array of awards and accolades at festivals around the world, in addition to blazing new paths into the commercial market.
Occasionally called the “Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers,” and perhaps more frequently “L.A. Rebellion,” the group’s significance is too far reaching to be fairly contained by any one name. The exhibition presents more than fifty representative works that range from well-known films securely in the canon to other films seldom seen since school days. This series reveals a panoply of visions that do honor to individuals and the collective. Many films are presented here in new prints and restorations undertaken by UCLA Film & Television Archive.