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The Jungle  /  Several Friends  /  The Pocketbook  /  Grey Area

Several Friends
February 8, 2020 - 7:30 pm
Q&A with film restorationist Ross Lipman and film programmer Paul Malcolm. Intro by filmmaker Monona Wali.

The shorts program will be followed by a conversation between Ross Lipman and Paul Malcolm about the process of putting together the series as a whole, featuring special archival material related to some of their selections.

The Jungle  (1967)

Through a project initiated by Temple University social worker Harold Haskins came this dramatized documentary created by inner city high school students in Northern Philadelphia. With the students creating everything from the credits to the soundtrack, this short is an early example of modern, independent African American filmmaking. With its raw fusion of documentary and fiction, it shows a unique view into street life through the lens of gang members themselves. The Jungle was named to the National Film Registry in 2009.

Preservation funded by the National Film Preservation Foundation.

35mm, b/w, 22 min. Director: Charlie “Brown” Davis, Jimmy “Country” Robinson, David “Bat” Williams.

Several Friends  (1969)

In director Charles Burnett’s first student film, eccentric and endearing young people interact in a variety of everyday settings: outside a liquor store, in a living room, fixing a car. Burnett’s ability to draw out vivid characterizations from an ensemble of actors—as well as his sensitivity to the expressive potential of working class props and spaces—is already in ample evidence. 

35mm, b/w, 21 min. Director/Screenwriter: Charles Burnett. Cast: Andy Burnett, Eugene Cherry, Charles Bracy.

The Pocketbook  (1980)

In the course of a botched purse-snatching, a boy questions the course of his life in this adaptation of Langston Hughes’ short story, "Thank You, Ma'am."

Preservation funded by the National Film Preservation Foundation and Milestone Film & Video.

35mm, b/w, 13 min. Director/Screenwriter: Billy Woodberry. Cast: Simi Nelson, Ray Cherry, David Jenkins.

Grey Area  (1983)

Monona Wali’s UCLA thesis film takes an incident from the lives of an African American woman television reporter and a former Black Panther to explore the state of compromise that African Americans seemingly have to line in to survive in white society. 

16mm, b/w, 38 min. Director/Screenwriter: Monona Wali. Cast: Eve Holloway, Haskell V. Anderson III, Lance Nichols.

All films preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Total running time: 174 min.