Ganja and Hess | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Ganja and Hess 

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Dr. Hess Green (Duane Jones) is a black anthropologist who develops a taste for blood after he's accidentally stabbed by a dagger from an ancient civilization. Ganja (Marlene Clark) becomes infected as well, and the two of them become lovers and mutual tormentors in their joint journey toward death. Certainly the most original and intellectually ambitious of all the "blaxploitation" films of the 70s, Bill Gunn's uneven but thought provoking horror film has more of a reputation in Europe than it ever found here, but the ritualistic phantasmagoria created by this strange mood piece--aided and abetted by James Hinton's cinematography--still lingers in my memory 15 years later. The director's own version of the film, with its original African music, will be shown. (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, October 15, 4:00, 443-3737)

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