L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema

Ashes and Embers (1982)
October 7, 2011 -
December 17, 2011

"A priceless cinematic time capsule...as an L.A.-specific filmic event it's unlikely to be surpassed in the near future." —LA Weekly

"The L.A. Rebellion Returns" —Los Angeles Times

"A major curatorial initiative."Frieze Magazine

Download the exhibition catalog (PDF)

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. In this exhibition, we proudly present more than fifty representative works that range from well-known films securely in the canon, to others 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. 

Series programmed by Allyson Nadia Field, Jan-Christopher Horak, Shannon Kelley and Jacqueline Stewart.

“L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema” is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.

Thanks to: Getty Research Institute; Ann Philbin, Hammer Museum; Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum; Black Film Center/Archive, Indiana University; Charles Silver, Museum of Modern Art; Ayuko Babu, Pan African Film Festival; Grover Crisp, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Debra Zimmerman, Women Make Movies; Dennis Doros, Amy Heller, Milestone Films; Harris Tulchin; Larry Dodge; Cauleen Smith and the filmmakers of the L.A. Rebellion.

Past Programs & Events

Image Title Date and Time Location Buy Tickets
L.A. Rebellion Closing Night Celebration December 17, 2011 - 8:00 pm
The Rosa Parks Story (2002) The Rosa Parks Story (2002);
Selma, Lord, Selma (1999)
December 17, 2011 - 4:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Emma Mae (1976) Emma Mae (1976);
Belly Dancing: A History & an Art (1979)
December 16, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Compensation (1999) Compensation (1999);
Dark Exodus (1985)
December 14, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
The Annihilation of Fish (2001) The Annihilation of Fish (2001) December 11, 2011 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Passing Through (1977) Passing Through (1977);
When It Rains (1995)
December 10, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Harvest: 3,000 Years (Ethiopia, 1976) Harvest: 3,000 Years (Ethiopia, 1976) December 9, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
To Sleep With Anger (1990) To Sleep With Anger (1990) December 7, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
A Different Image (1982) A Different Image (1982); Creating a Different Image: Portrait of Alile Sharon Larkin (1989); Dreadlocks and the Three Bears (1991); Your Children Come Back to You (1979) December 2, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Trumpetistically, Clora Bryant (1989) Black Art, Black Artists (1971); Festival of Mask (1982); Varnette's World: A Study of a Young Artist (1979); Trumpetistically, Clora Bryant (1989) November 20, 2011 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Sankofa (1993) Sankofa (USA/Ghana/Burkina Faso/Germany, 1993);
The Diary of an African Nun (1977)
November 19, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Cutting Horse (2002) Cutting Horse (2002);
The Horse (1973)
November 13, 2011 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
As Above, So Below (1973) Illusions (1982); Fragrance (1991); As Above, So Below (1973); Rain (1978) November 12, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Fragrance (1991) "L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema—Symposium" November 12, 2011 - 8:30 am - 5:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Killer of Sheep (1977) Killer of Sheep (1977);
Several Friends (1969)
November 5, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Welcome Home, Brother Charles (1975) Welcome Home, Brother Charles (1975);
Gidget Meets Hondo (1980)
October 28, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
I & I: An African Allegory (1979) Medea (1973); I & I: An African Allegory (1979); Child of Resistance (1972) October 27, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Ashes & Embers (1982) Ashes & Embers (1982); Hour Glass (1971) October 23, 2011 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Bless Their Little Hearts (1984) Bless Their Little Hearts (1984);
The Pocketbook (1980)
October 22, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Define (1988) Ujamii Uhuru Schule Community Freedom School (1974); Define (1988); Excerpt from Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing (2003); Shipley Street (1981); Brick by Brick (1982); Rich (1982) October 21, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Penitentiary (1979) Penitentiary (1979);
A Day in the Life of Willie Faust, or Death on the Installment Plan (1972)
October 14, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
My Brother's Wedding (1983/2007) My Brother's Wedding (1983/2007);
A Little Off Mark (1986)
October 13, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification (1979) Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification (1979); L.A. In My Mind (2006); Shopping Bag Spirits and Freeway Fetishes: Reflections on Ritual Space (1981); Cycles (1989); A Period Piece (1991) October 9, 2011 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
I & I: An African Allegory (1979) "L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema—Filmmaker Panel" October 9, 2011 - 4:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Bush Mama (1975/1979) Bush Mama (1975/1979);
Daydream Therapy (1977)
October 8, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Spirits of Rebellion: Black Film at UCLA (2011) Spirits of Rebellion: Black Film at UCLA (2011) October 8, 2011 - 4:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Daughters of the Dust (1991) Daughters of the Dust (1991);
Four Women (1975)
October 7, 2011 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater