Blacklight Film Festival 

The sixth edition of this annual festival of black independent film enters its second week at the Film Center (Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 443-3737), Facets Multimedia Center (1517 W. Fullerton, 281-4114), and the DuSable Museum (740 E. 56th Pl., 947-0600); the 17-day festival continues through Sunday, August 9. Tickets are $5, $3 for Blacklight members (usual members' rates at the Film Center and Facets also apply); series admissions (ten tickets for $25) are also available. For more information, call 922-7772.

BIG GEORGE IS DEAD The funeral of a friend provides the occasion for a group of West Indians to reminisce about their London hustling days; Henry Martin directed this hour-long British feature, which is enjoying its world premiere here. Martin will be present at the Friday and Sunday screenings to discuss his work. (PG) (Film Center, Friday, July 31, 8:45, and Sunday, August 2, 8:00; also DuSable Museum, Tuesday August 4, 7:00)

BLACKLIGHT INTERNATIONAL VIDEO TV commercials, music videos, and selected shorts from France, Britain, and the U.S. comprise this overview of recent black-produced video work. (PG) (DuSable Museum, Thursday, August 6, 7:00)

COAST TO COAST A black Britisher and a white American pack their belongings in a disco van and take their rock 'n' roll show to the hinterlands when the local cops and the Liverpool mob start making things hot for them. With Lenny Henry (described as the British Eddie Murphy), John Shea, and Peter Vaughan; Sandy Johnson directed. (PG) (Film Center, Saturday, August 1, 6:00, and Sunday, August 2, 4:00)

FACES OF WOMEN This debut feature by Ivory Coast director Desire Ecare has gathered some attention for its steamy sexuality (the film was banned in its native country), though Ecare ultimately seems more concerned with establishing connections between economics and emerging African feminism than in providing erotic kicks (not surprisingly, the feminism that emerges owes more to tribal traditions of gender solidarity and rivalry than to modern ideological consciousness). The film divides into rural and urban halves (shot ten years apart), which Ecare ties together with scenes of ritual music and dancing (less "authentic" than the folk sequences in Ababacar Samb's Jom, to which they've been compared: Ecare's Africa is nothing if not a sociocultural hybrid). Naive and ragged by ordinary standards, but a lot of life breaks in where formalism breaks down. (PG) (Facets Multimedia Center, Friday and Saturday, July 31 and August 1, 7:00 and 9:00; Sunday, August 2, 5:30 and 7:30; and Monday through Thursday, August 3 through 7, 7:00 and 9:00)

JESSYE NORMAN A British documentary on the black opera singer; Bob Bently directed. (PG) (DuSable Museum, Wednesday, August 5, 8:00)

JOSEPHINE BAKER: A LEGEND ON FILM A selection of film clips and shorts featuring Josephine Baker, the American black entertainer of the 20s and 30s who spent most of her career in Europe as a result of U.S. racial hang-ups. Scheduled for screening are several short films of Baker in revue performance (including The Siren of the Tropics, on which a young Luis Bunuel assisted), plus a sequence from the 1935 Princess Tam Tam, considered Baker's best straight film role. Eastman House curator Jan-Christopher Horak, who compiled this rare archival selection, will be on hand to introduce the program. (Film Center, Saturday, August 1, 8:00, and Sunday, August 2, 4:00 and 8:00)

MOMENTS WITHOUT PROPER NAME Hour-long autobiographical documentary by black writer, photographer, and filmmaker (Shaft, The Learning Tree) Gordon Parks. (PG) (DuSable Museum, Wednesday, August 5, 7:00)

TOUKI BOUKI This semiautobiographical feature by Senegalese director Djibril Diop-Mambety is often cited as one of the groundbreaking films of the new African cinema of the early 70s. A rural shepherd and a radical student join forces to finance a dream trip to Paris, but the money-raising scams they concoct eventually lead to a series of farcical misadventures (1973) (PG) Film Center, Friday, July 31, 6:00)

YELLOW FEVER TAXIMAN and GOREE: THE GRANDFATHER'S ISLAND Two short films on West African themes. Jean-Marie Teno's Yellow Fever Taximan concerns a Cameroonian cabdriver who tries to make a humdrum job exciting by romancing his female fares, while Taieb Louichi's Goree follows an American musician's journey to an island off the coast of Senegal that once headquartered the West African slave trade. (PG) (DuSable Museum, Monday, August 3, 7:00)

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Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera Northwestern University Block Museum of Art
September 17
Performing Arts
Krampus! Underground Wonder Bar
October 31

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