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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About BFC/A

The Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University was established 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 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 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. View all posts by BFC/A

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