In his lucid and provocative video essays, Marlon Riggs grappled with African American culture, representation, and identity. This retrospective presents all of his films, in dialogue with works by other filmmakers.Read full description
Black Is . . . Black Ain't
Cheryl Dunye: The Watermelon Woman
Thomas Allen Harris: Vintage: Families of Value
This screening is presented as part of Arts + Design Mondays. Tongues Untied also screens Wednesday, October 23 (with Elena Gross and Vivian Kleiman in conversation; regular admission prices apply).
Riggs’s riveting combination of interviews, performance, stock footage, autobiography, poetry, and dance reveals the revolutionary potential of black men loving black men.
Ken Light, Darieck B. Scott, and Leila Weefur in Conversation
Thomas Allen Harris explores the intersections of race, family, and sexuality in this pioneering essay film, which focuses on three groups of queer black siblings, including the director and his brother.
Jesse Hawthorne Ficks and Marvin K. White in Conversation
Cheryl Dunye’s first feature, on a lesbian video-store clerk and would-be filmmaker who becomes obsessed with the career of an early “race film” star, is “funky screwball comedy in the key of queer” (B. Ruby Rich).
Riggs interrogates how material culture perpetuates racial stereotypes in this powerful and unblinking work. Followed by Color Adjustment, in which Riggs extends his examination to network television.
Introduction by Herman S. Gray
This program puts the work of Marlon Riggs in conversation with that of other artists reflecting on, affirming, and celebrating their identities, including Julie Dash, Isaac Julien, Thomas Allen Harris, and Brontez Purnell.
Brontez Purnell in Person
Tongues Untied is also presented in a free screening on Monday, November 25 (with Ken Light, Darieck B. Scott, and Leila Weefur in conversation).
Riggs’s riveting combination of interviews, performance, stock footage, autobiography, poetry, and dance reveals the revolutionary potential of black men loving black men. With Riggs’s short Anthem.
Introduction by Elena Gross; Vivian Kleiman in Conversation
Perhaps the first feature-length documentary on gay and lesbian identity, and still relevant today, this film features interviews with a diverse group of individuals, including poet Elsa Gidlow, activist Sally Gearhart, inventor John Burnside, civil rights leader Harry Hay, and filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky.
Mariposa Film Group Members in Person
Riggs and Peter Webster’s thesis project reflects on the heyday of Oakland blues in the late 1940s and ’50s, chronicling the city’s vibrant past while revealing an uncertain present. With Karen Everett’s profile of Riggs, I Shall Not Be Removed.
Introduction by Ashley Omoma; Karen Everett in Person
Riggs’s richly textured exploration of black American identity was his final work, completed by colleagues after his death. It features appearances by Angela Davis, bell hooks, Cornel West, Essex Hemphill, and Bill T. Jones, among other luminaries.
Nicole Atkinson Roach, Ryanaustin Dennis, and Chika Okoye in Conversation