Monthly Archives: January 2018

Curator Greg de Cuir Jr.: Research notes pt. 5

Visiting Curator Greg de Cuir Jr. is in Bloomington for a week-long research residency at the Black Film Center/Archive and a series of programs concluding with his Show & Tell Workshop at the Auxiliary Library Facility on Friday, Jan. 26. Throughout the week, de Cuir will share notes and photos from his residency with our readers on the BFC/A blog. [Post #1 | Post #2 | Post #3 | Post #4]


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Worked on the flatbed again yesterday. No time to watch full-length features. Just sampled the first reels of three films. Larry Clark’s “Passing Through”, which appears to be among the more visually experimental of the LA School films. Michael Campus’ “The Mack”, which I have never seen on film before. Change the name of the game! Ossie Davis’ “Gordon’s War”, an interesting take on the vigilante subgenre.

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Began digging deep into document files yesterday. It turned into a treasure trove of information on early film festival histories in the United States. Black Film Center/Archive was organizing black film festivals in Indiana at the beginning of the 80s. So was the Blacklight Film Festival in Chicago. There was even a black American film festival in Paris at the beginning of the 80s. But the most tantalizing find was mention of a festival of new Cuban cinema in San Francisco in the 70s. It was the first time a delegation of Cuban filmmakers were granted visas to travel to the United States. Will file all this knowledge away in my brain for further inquiry.

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Must admit that Indiana University is pretty impressive in terms of public research institutions. The Auxiliary Library Facility, a huge archival complex that is soon adding another multi-million dollar building, is the third largest archive space in the United States, after Harvard University and Princeton University/New York Public Library. There are 50,000 undergraduate students here at IU Bloomington. That’s a mind-boggling number. The campus is incredibly beautiful. Very spacious, impressive buildings, creeks and streams, a bumper crop of restaurants from all over the world in downtown B-Town, and a palpable belief in research, researchers, and the material and ideological support they need. Plus many, many talented and passionate academics. I think something special is going on here, and just in advance of their bicentennial. Go Hoosiers!

~Greg de Cuir Jr., Friday, January 26, 2018


Greg de Cuir Jr. is the selector for Alternative Film/Video and Beldocs (both in Belgrade, Serbia). As an independent moving image curator, he has organized programs for the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; Los Angeles Filmforum; goEast Wiesbaden; Experiments in Cinema in Albuquerque; and other institutions. He is the managing editor of NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies and has published writing in Cineaste, Jump Cut, Festivalists, Art Margins, La Furia Umana, Politika, and other journals and volumes. De Cuir received his DPhil from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at University of Arts Belgrade.


Spring 2018 Grad Assistant opportunity at BFC/A

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: SPRING 2018 GRADUATE ASSISTANT, BLACK FILM CENTER/ARCHIVE

The Black Film Center/Archive (BFC/A) seeks candidates for a Spring 2018 Graduate Assistant position beginning January 2018.  This is a student hourly position for ~20-25 hours/week paid at $15/hour.  There is potential to extend the position beyond the Spring 2018 term.

The BFC/A Graduate Assistant will report to the Associate Director and Senior Archivist, and work closely with the Director, archives staff, student hourly staff, and campus partners.  Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Researching and writing content and providing design services for the BFC/A’s blog, newsletter, websites, and print publications;
  • Supporting the planning, promotion, and conduct of the BFC/A’s public events, exhibits, and programs;
  • Assisting with processing of new acquisitions and with management of existing collections;
  • Providing reference assistance and collection access to faculty, students, visiting researchers, and others.

Candidates must be enrolled in a graduate degree program at Indiana University – Bloomington.

Qualifications: Excellent written and verbal communication skills; knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud design suite and Microsoft Office; ability to work directly and interact courteously with the public and with students, faculty, and staff; ability to maintain collegial working relationships with supervisors and peers in an archive/research center and teaching environment.

Please send a note with CV and writing/design samples to: Brian Graney, BFC/A Associate Director, at bpgraney@indiana.edu.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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About the Black Film Center/Archive

The BFC/A was established at Indiana University  Bloomington in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people.   The BFC/A’s mission today encompasses within its scope films of Africa and the Diaspora.

The BFC/A’s primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to curate and exhibit black film, ephemera, and memorabilia; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions.

 


Curator Greg de Cuir Jr.: Research notes pt. 4

Visiting Curator Greg de Cuir Jr. is in Bloomington for a week-long research residency at the Black Film Center/Archive and a series of programs concluding with his Show & Tell Workshop at the Auxiliary Library Facility on Friday, Jan. 26. Throughout the week, de Cuir will share notes and photos from his residency with our readers on the BFC/A blog. [Post #1 | Post #2 | Post #3]


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Today was a full day of screening film prints on a brand spanking new flatbed that was easy enough even for me to learn to use. Began with two shorts by Julie Dash. “Four Women” is a breathtaking melange of dance, color, and the haunting melodies of Nina Simone. “Illusions” was a revelation. A story of a mixed race woman with an executive level job in wartime Hollywood. The film shows off a superb level of craft and makes one even more angry that Dash has not had the studio career that she deserves. One of the final lines spoken in the film by the determined woman exec is that “History is what people see on the silver screen.” Rhymes nicely with the quote that ends Cheryl Dunye’s “Watermelon Woman”: “Sometimes you have to make your own history.”

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Finally watched “Killer of Sheep”, but the way I always wanted to — the proper way, on film. Quite simply some of the best combinations of sound and image by a black film artist in the history of American cinema. Who is making work like this today? Does Burnett have no peers or anyone who would lay claim to his legacy? Maybe that question will be answered as I continue my research.

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~Greg de Cuir, Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Greg de Cuir Jr. is the selector for Alternative Film/Video and Beldocs (both in Belgrade, Serbia). As an independent moving image curator, he has organized programs for the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; Los Angeles Filmforum; goEast Wiesbaden; Experiments in Cinema in Albuquerque; and other institutions. He is the managing editor of NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies and has published writing in Cineaste, Jump Cut, Festivalists, Art Margins, La Furia Umana, Politika, and other journals and volumes. De Cuir received his DPhil from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at University of Arts Belgrade.

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Curator Greg de Cuir Jr.: Research notes pt. 3

Visiting Curator Greg de Cuir Jr. is in Bloomington for a week-long research residency at the Black Film Center/Archive and a series of programs concluding with his Show & Tell Workshop at the Auxiliary Library Facility on Friday, Jan. 26. Throughout the week, de Cuir will share notes and photos from his residency with our readers on the BFC/A blog. [Post #1 | Post #2]


Spent the past two days immersing myself in the cinema of Cheryl Dunye, who I did not previously know anything of. Sort of a revelation for me. Love her use of Brechtian devices, love her affinity for low-fi video, love her fluidity with documentary tactics and techniques. Seems to be a real American pioneer. Hers is an intimate cinema, a very open and inviting cinema. We’re staying in the same hotel. Ran into her outside having a smoke. Got the chance to compliment her and discuss mutual interests. Perfect ending to the evening.

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Gave a talk today. A career talk. Sort of lapsed into narrating my life story. Is that even interesting?  Is my crazy collage of an existence even a worthwhile model? Hope I didn’t steer people the wrong way. Funny. No one asked me the one question everyone asks me, all day, every day, year after year: “Why do you live in … ??”

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Starting my research proper today. Surveying the history of the journal Black Camera. So many great topics, so much interesting writing. I think someone needs to edit an anthology. In some ways the entire lineage of black cinema studies is present in these pages. But, as is the case far too often, and unfortunately, no time for extensive reading. Tomorrow I continue with film-viewing. Ready to fill more gaps in my knowledge. Ready to be amazed by more brilliance hiding in plain sight.

~Greg de Cuir, Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Greg de Cuir Jr. is the selector for Alternative Film/Video and Beldocs (both in Belgrade, Serbia). As an independent moving image curator, he has organized programs for the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; Los Angeles Filmforum; goEast Wiesbaden; Experiments in Cinema in Albuquerque; and other institutions. He is the managing editor of NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies and has published writing in Cineaste, Jump Cut, Festivalists, Art Margins, La Furia Umana, Politika, and other journals and volumes. De Cuir received his DPhil from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at University of Arts Belgrade.

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Curator Greg de Cuir Jr.: Research notes pt. 2

Visiting Curator Greg de Cuir Jr. is in Bloomington for a week-long research residency at the Black Film Center/Archive and a series of programs including today’s Q&A on Curating Film. Throughout the week, de Cuir will share notes and photos from his residency with our readers on the BFC/A blog. [Post #1 here]


 

Presented Avant-Noir, Volume 2 at IU Cinema. My second time traveling this series after Zagreb last year. Good audience. As good as any I’ve had recently for programs of alternative forms of cinema. Professor Michael Gillespie served as discussant. We had a nice rapport. Covered lots of ground in a short amount of time. Plenty of great questions from the public. Felt sad when the conversation had to stop, but happy it spilled out into the cinema foyer and continued.

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School of Fine Arts. Wells Library. Both have rows and rows of lockers that give me flashbacks to my high school days. Saw a Rally’s burger stand today when a colleague drove me around the city. More flashbacks, this time to my college days. Bloomington is growing on me. Will see how Indianapolis does this weekend.

~Greg de Cuir, Saturday, January 20, 2018


Greg de Cuir Jr. is the selector for Alternative Film/Video and Beldocs (both in Belgrade, Serbia). As an independent moving image curator, he has organized programs for the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; Los Angeles Filmforum; goEast Wiesbaden; Experiments in Cinema in Albuquerque; and other institutions. He is the managing editor of NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies and has published writing in Cineaste, Jump Cut, Festivalists, Art Margins, La Furia Umana, Politika, and other journals and volumes. De Cuir received his DPhil from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at University of Arts Belgrade.

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Curator Greg de Cuir Jr.: Research notes from the BFC/A

Visiting Curator Greg de Cuir Jr. arrived in Bloomington yesterday for a week-long research residency at the Black Film Center/Archive and a series of programs beginning with the Avant-Noir screening tonight at the IU Cinema. Throughout the week, de Cuir will share notes and photos from his residency with our readers on the BFC/A blog. 


 

Research residency begins right away at the Black Film Center/Archive, on arrival. Watched the animated short “Glucose” by Jeron Braxton, a former Indiana University student. Premiered at SXSW, playing next at Sundance. Shows talent, plus a sensibility for the political. Will mark him as one for further research.

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Looks like I am assigned a conference room to carry out my research. Very comfortable. Love the big flatscreen. Love even more an oil portrait of a supporting actress from Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” hanging next to it. Arrived as part of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Collection. Provenance unknown, artist unknown. The label on the frame reads “Madame Sul-Te-Wan“. She reminds me of my Grandmother.

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Saw Anthony Mann’s “Man of the West” in glorious 35mm at the even more glorious IU Cinema. Love Mann, mostly for his masterful classic noirs. What an odd, dark Western. Very honest in its brazen excuse to be an extended set-up for a violent confrontation.

~Greg de Cuir, Friday, January 19, 2018


 

Greg de Cuir Jr. is the selector for Alternative Film/Video and Beldocs (both in Belgrade, Serbia). As an independent moving image curator, he has organized programs for the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; Los Angeles Filmforum; goEast Wiesbaden; Experiments in Cinema in Albuquerque; and other institutions. He is the managing editor of NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies and has published writing in Cineaste, Jump Cut, Festivalists, Art Margins, La Furia Umana, Politika, and other journals and volumes. De Cuir received his DPhil from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at University of Arts Belgrade.

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Black Film Center/Archive Visiting Research Fellowships

The Black Film Center/Archive in The Media School at Indiana University-Bloomington is pleased to announce 2018 Black Film Center/Archive Visiting Research Fellowships to support research toward a dissertation, thesis, publication, presentation, or production. These competitive fellowships for visiting researchers residing outside the Bloomington area are intended to advance the study of black film and media and to promote research in the collections at the BFC/A by filmmakers, graduate students, independent scholars, and faculty members at any rank. Scholars and filmmakers currently working or studying at an HBCU are strongly encouraged to apply.

About the BFC/A

Established in 1981, the Black Film Center/Archive is the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about people of African descent around the world as well as recognizing forgotten creators and re-discovering overlooked works and documents.

BFCA Location

 

Location

The BFC/A is located in Bloomington, Indiana.  Bloomington is within a day’s drive of cities including Chicago, IL (196 mi.), Detroit, MI (335 mi.), St. Louis, MO (227 mi.), Nashville, TN (270 mi.), Louisville, KY (105 mi.), Columbus, OH (225 mi.) and more.  For access by air travel, convenient flights are available into the Indianapolis International Airport, located 45 mi. north of Bloomington.

Collections

The resources of the BFC/A include print, graphic, manuscript, and audiovisual research materials.  Collections include the papers of early race film producer and distributor Richard E. Norman; the archives of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, Inc.; research papers from creatives, collectors, and scholars including Camille Billops, James Hatch, J. Ronald Green, and Josef Gugler; original film and video elements from artists including Jessie Maple, Alile Sharon Larkin, Bridgett M. Davis, S. Torriano Berry, and others.  More information about the BFC/A’s collections is available online at http://www.indiana.edu/~bfca/collections/.

Awards

Individual fellowship awards of up to $1500 each will be presented in support of travel, local accommodations, and/or research expenses. Awards must be used within one year of the award date and recipients must conduct research on-site at the archives in Bloomington during the period of their awards.

How to Apply

Applicants are asked to submit a brief research proposal, not to exceed three pages (double-spaced) with a cover page indicating basic information such as name, affiliation, title of the project, and amount requested. Project proposals should demonstrate that the BFC/A’s resources are integral to proposed research topics and creative endeavors. Candidates are encouraged to inquire with BFC/A staff about the feasibility of a proposed topic and research plan before applying.

The proposal should (a) emphasize the relationship of the BFC/A collections to the project, (b) include the length and preferred dates of the visit, which may include the summer months and (c) detail a budget specific to this research proposal which includes travel costs, living and research expenses, and any other source of financial support for this research trip. Applicants are also asked to submit a résumé or CV; for graduate students or other researchers whose résumés do not include a list of publications in their fields of research, two confidential letters of recommendation are also required.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2018

Awards Announced: March 15, 2018

Send applications for the Black Film Center/Archive Visiting Research Fellowship to:

Terri Francis, Director
Black Film Center/Archive
1320 E 10th Street, Wells Library 044
Bloomington IN 47405
bfca@indiana.edu (Visiting Research Fellowships in the subject line)
Phone: (812) 855-6041
Fax: (812) 856-5832