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.

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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