This week: Brooklyn's BAMcinématek blasts off with the cool-concepted Space Is the Place: Afrofuturism on Film, a series of films running April 3 through April 15 absolutely best described by BAM itself as "a kaleidoscopic, horizon-expanding exploration of alternate and imagined Black futures and pasts in science-fiction, genre-bending global cinema, unorthodox documentary, and innovative music videos."
What can you see at Space Is the Place: Afrofuturism on Film? Perhaps the question is what can't you see? (And rest assured, it's gonna be funky! Among the offerings:
- Dick Fontaine’s Beat This!: A Hip Hop History (1984) kicks off the series, an early definitive survey of the hip-hop movement, including major starts and groundbreaking performances,
- Sun Ra stars in Space Is the Place (1974) as a space pharaoh who travels to Earth and is challenged to a card game against the evil Overseer to decide the fate of the Black race. Let me just repeat that. Sun Ra stars as a space pharaoh travels to Earth and is challenged to a card game against the evil Overseer to decide the fate of his race. (And don't miss Robert Mugge’s Sun Ra documentary A Joyful Noise (1980).)
- Welcome II the Terrordome, Ngozi Onwurah’s 1995 dystopian evocation of a near-future Black history,
- John Sayles’s 1984 The Brother from Another Planet and Wesley Snipes as the titular Marvel Comics super-vampire hunter in Stephen Norrington’s Blade (1998),
Cosmic Slop(1994), a controversial, three-part HBO special that has drawn comparisons to The Twilight Zone and features George Clinton’s floating head as narrator.
- ...and the proverbial corncuopia much, much more of unique and incisive films on the Black experience crossed with high-concept science fiction!
I'm hopin' you won't miss the funkadelic Space Is the Place: Afrofuturism on Film. The Floating Cosmic Head of George Clinton compels you!
Space Is the Place: Afrofuturism on Film runs April 3-16 at BAMcinématek in Brooklyn; see the full schedule and details at the BAM website.