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Black Art, Black Artists  /  Festival of Mask  /  Varnette's World  /  Trumpetistically, Clora Bryant

November 20, 2011 - 7:00 pm
Don Amis, Carroll Parrott Blue, Zeinabu irene Davis.

Black Art, Black Artists (1971)

Directed by Elyseo J. Taylor

As the only Black faculty member in UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, Elyseo Taylor was an influential teacher and advocate for students of color. In voiceover dialogue with woodcut printmaker Van Slater, Taylor’s film examines the status of contemporary Black artists.  A visual survey of Black art since the 19th century, punctuated with jazz and blues selections, outlines pressures to prove artistic capability, to suit white and middle-class Black tastes and to make explicit political statements. —Jacqueline Stewart

Cast: Van Slater.

16mm, color, 16 min.

Festival of Mask (1982)

Directed by Don Amis

Filmmaker Don Amis was one of the very few Black student filmmakers at UCLA (including Carroll Parrott Blue and Denise Bean) working in a documentary mode. In this film, preparations, parade and performances from the Craft and Folk Art Museum’s annual Festival of Mask illustrate L.A.’s diverse racial and ethnic communities (African, Asian, Latin American) expressing themselves through a shared traditional form. —Jacqueline Stewart

Black Star Films. Producer: D. Amis. Screenwriter: D. Amis, Jennifer Amis. Cinematographer: D. Amis, Ben Caldwell, Dan Riesenfeld, Don Cropper, Jeff Fazio. Editor: D. Amis. Cast: Carmen Stetson.

16mm, color, 25 min.

Varnette's World: A Study of a Young Artist (1979)

Directed by Carroll Parrott Blue

Filmmaker Carroll Parrott Blue’s profile of L.A.-based painter Varnette Honeywood (1950-2010) presents the artist years before she became famous for works appearing in The Cosby Show’s Huxtable residence. Blue connects Honeywood’s colorful and inspiring scenes of everyday Black life to her active community involvement, including Rev. James Cleveland’s Cornerstone Baptist Church, arts education projects with local youth and a Black artists collective. —Jacqueline Stewart

Producer: C. P. Blue. Screenwriter: C. P. Blue. Cinematographer: Daniel Riesenfeld. Editor: Linda Dove. Cast: Varnette Honeywood.

16mm, color, 26 min.

Trumpetistically, Clora Bryant (1989)

Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis

This film presents a fond and informative portrait of pioneering female jazz trumpeter Clora Bryant, a proponent of West Coast jazz whose early stints with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm led eventually to collaborations with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, among others. Rich with tunes and anecdotes, the documentary handsomely details Bryant’s long journey in music and her influence on generations of musicians. —Shannon Kelley

Wimmin with a Mission Productions. Producer: Zeinabu irene Davis, Marc Arthur Chery. Screenwriter: Z. irene Davis, Lillian E. Benson. Cinematographer: Katherine Engstrom, Willie Dawkins, Charles Burnett, S. Torriano Berry, Yasu Tsuji, Biya Ababulga, Pierre Desir. Editor: L. E. Benson. Co-Editor: Katherine Engstrom. Cast: Clora Bryant, Dizzy Gillespie, James Newton, Helen Cole, Teddy Edwards.

DVCam, b/w & color, 57 min.