Cinema 53: Lemonade with Julie Dash and Jacqueline Stewart

University of Chicago Arts
Above: Julie Dash. Photo: John Nowak/TCM.
Above: Julie Dash. Photo: John Nowak/TCM.

Screening & conversation: January 4, 7pm

Harper Theater
5238 S Harper Ave.
Chicago, IL

The landmark visual album Lemonade (Beyoncé, 2016) draws inspiration from the evocative imagery of Julie Dash, Arthur Jafa and Carrie Mae Weems, and the haunting poetry of Warsan Shire, to protest the invisibility of Black women, and offer a radical, but complicated, revisioning of Black female bodies and struggles. The screening will be followed by conversation with filmmaker Julie Dash and UChicago film scholar/Cinema53 curator Jacqueline Stewart.

Admission is free.

Julie Dash is a filmmaker, author and website creator. Her film studies began in Harlem in 1969, but eventually led her to the American Film Institute and UCLA, where she made The Diary of an African Nun (1977), based on a short story by Alice Walker, which won a student award from the Directors Guild of America. Dash’s critically acclaimed short film Illusions (1982) later won the Jury Prize for Best Film of the Decade awarded by the Black Filmmakers Foundation. Dash’s first feature—Daughters of the Dust (1991)—was the first film by an African American woman to receive a general theatrical release in the United States; the Library of Congress named it to the National Film Registry in 2004. She was nominated for a Directors Guild Award for The Rosa Parks Story (2002) starring Angela Bassett. In 2017, Dash directed episodes of Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Jacqueline Stewart,curator of Cinema 53, is professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, director of the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, and co-curator of the L.A. Rebellion Preservation Project at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. She also directs the Southside Home Movie Project and serves as an appointee to the National Film Preservation Board. She is currently researching the racial politics of moving image preservation and completing a study of the life and work of African American actor/writer/director Spencer Williams. Stewart is the author of Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity, which has achieved recognition from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

This event concludes "Ripples and Waves," a 4-part  series of programs observing the 40th anniversary of the Combahee River Collective Statement, the radical articulation of the tenets and goals of a truly revolutionary Black feminist theory and praxis. Presented in conjunction with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture and the fall Reproduction of Race & Racial Ideologies Workshop series, “From Combahee to #BlackLivesMatter: Exploring a History of Black Politics and Culture,” with support from the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at UChicago.

Cinema 53 is a new screening and discussion series presenting conversation-provoking films by and about women and people of color.  A partnership between the historic Harper Theater in downtown Hyde Park and the University of Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry, Cinema 53 brings together scholars, artists, students and audiences from the South Side and beyond to consider how visual cultures reflect, and reflect upon, enduring inequalities and revolutionary futures.

Cinema 53 winter series: "Women Make Docs"

Thursday, January 25
An Evening with Judy Hoffman—i
n conversation with historian Tracye Matthews and Jacqueline Stewart
From her work in the Alternative TV Movement of the early 70’s, through her projects with Jean Rouch, Albert Maysles, Ronit Bezalel, Michelle Citron, Gordon Quinn and the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation of British Columbia, UChicago’s Judy Hoffman has embodied and championed the collaborative nature of documentary filmmaking. 

Thursday, February 15
Horace Tapscott: Musical Griot, with director Barbara McCullough and composer Renée Baker

LA Rebellion filmmaker Barbara McCullough’s latest film looks into the life of the once blacklisted musical genius Horace Tapscott—the consummate musician, community activist, and mentor to generations of jazz artists. Screening followed by conversation with  McCullough and composer, violist and painter Renée Baker. (Barbara McCullough, 2017, 72 minutes)

Thursday, March 8
Spirits of Rebellion
: Film + conversation with director Zeinabu irene Davis, film scholar Allyson Field and Jacqueline Stewart
In solidarity and dialogue with her fellow L.A. Rebellion filmmakers, Zeinabu irene Davis convenes the group of artists brought together by the UCLA film program—including notable directors Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust) and Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep)—to recall their experiences and historicize their legacy on film and far beyond.  (Zeinabu irene Davis, 2015, 100 minutes)

Previous guests of Cinema 53 include:
Daphne A. Brooks, Kara Keeling,Tempestt Hazel, Coquie Hughes, B. Ruby Rich and Ytasha Womack


December 21, 2017


Harper Theater, Chicago