Summer cinema: UCLA Film & Television Archive screenings
The UCLA Film & Television Archive celebrates summer with a diverse big screen lineup boasting new international restorations, television and nitrate treasures from the Archive’s vaults, and special programs highlighting women in silent film, African American artists Larry Clark and Amiri Baraka, Hollywood maverick Wayne Wang, cinematographer Agnès Godard, Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat and others.
“This season’s rich and varied programming — from newly restored films by women across the globe to TV programs produced in response to the 1965 Watts Rebellion — introduces the public to some remarkable stories,” said May Hong HaDuong, director of the Archive, a division of UCLA Library. “The Archive continues to lift up voices on the margins with offerings that spotlight a leading member of the L.A. Rebellion film movement, a groundbreaking Asian American director and visionary works from women behind the camera.”
Screenings are held at the Billy Wilder Theater. All programs are free through June 2023, thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor.
This program celebrates new film restorations while offering the occasion for new encounters with — and new appraisals of — works that may have fallen from public consciousness for any number of reasons. This edition of “Second Sight” showcases new digital restorations of films by women working in Australia, Cuba, Oregon and Japan: Clara Law, Sara Goméz, Penny Allen and Kinuyo Tanaka.
In person: Penny Allen, July 23.
Founded in the wake of the Watts Rebellion of 1965, the Watts Writers Workshop (1965–73) left an indelible literary and artistic imprint well beyond the borders of Los Angeles. Presented here are two recently preserved local TV programs from 1967 and 1968 that showcase Black artists from the workshop reciting their poems and prose, with commentary by Oscar-winning writer and workshop principal Budd Schulberg (“On the Waterfront”) and Harry Dolan, executive director of the Douglass House Foundation, a 1960s-era creative workshop nonprofit.
In person: Daniel Widener, a UC San Diego professor and author of “Black Arts West: Culture and Struggle in Postwar Los Angeles” (2010). Widener will be joined in conversation by poet Kamau Daáood, who will also read from his own work.
July 17–Aug. 14
The Archive and the Hammer Museum present a free Sunday matinee series of new and classic family-friendly films from around the world. Summer offerings include a July 17 screening of “Wolfwalkers” (2020), an animated feature set in Ireland, and an Aug. 14 screening of “Wadjda” (2012), about a plucky 10-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia.
July 30–Sept. 8
This year-round series showcases works from the Archive’s extensive holdings, which comprise one of the largest moving image collections in the world. Included are rarely screened gems presented in original and restored prints. On July 30, the Archive spotlights Amiri Baraka (1934–2014), a leading member of the 1960s Black Arts Movement and a polarizing figure at every turn of his multifaceted career as a poet, playwright, critic, scholar and activist, with a screening of works written or inspired by Baraka: “Medea” (1973) and “Dutchman” (U.K., 1966).
Then, on Aug. 7, the Archive presents a classic Hollywood double-feature — “Meet John Doe” (1941) and “Magic Town” (1947) — followed on Sept. 18 by “Daughter of Shanghai” (1937) on a 35mm nitrate print from the Archive’s vaults. Created as a star vehicle for actress Anna May Wong and featuring two Asian American leads in an era when white actors often played Asian characters, “Daughter of Shanghai” represented a fresh departure, with a plot centered on the villainy of its white characters.
This series focuses on the prolific French-born cinematographer Agnès Godard, whose four-decade career began in 1982 when she worked as a second assistant camera for directors Joseph Losey and Wim Wenders. The Archive will screen feature films directed by longtime collaborator Claire Denis, Agnès Varda, Erick Zonca and Ursula Meier, which showcase Godard’s ability to evoke nuanced mood through colors and tones and her exquisite sense of framing.
Cinema’s First Nasty Women
This program presents a selection of rarely screened European and American silent films that reveal and revel in the spirit of rule-breaking, anarchic women on screen from the earliest, silent years of the medium. “Cinema’s First Nasty Women” is curated by archivists and scholars Maggie Hennefeld, Laura Horak and Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi for Kino Lorber in advance of the release of Kino Lorber’s four-disc DVD/Blu-ray collection.
The Outfest UCLA Legacy Project is a collaborative effort between the Archive and Outfest to collect, restore and showcase queer film and video. The series presents Nice-born writer-director Yann Gonzalez’s short “Islands” (“Les îles,” France, 2017) and his feature-length “You and the Night” (“Les Rencontres d’après minuit,” France, 2013).
With an expansive vision of cinema and its possibilities informed by his work as a painter and photographer, Larry Clark became a leading member of the L.A. Rebellion, a group of Black filmmakers at UCLA who forged new cinema aesthetics that could be responsive to the spiritual, cultural and political needs of the Black community. The Archive presents a weekend-long survey of Clark’s filmography.
In person: Larry Clark will attend each screening.
Directed By Wayne Wang
Wayne Wang has had one of the most eclectic careers in Hollywood, with a resume ranging from independent international co-productions to big-budget dramedies, including films the New York Times noted “daringly chronicled Chinese life in a time when it was unthinkable in American cinema.” The Archive and American Cinematheque present 12 features directed by Yang over six nights, beginning his with landmark independent feature “Chan Is Missing” (1982) and continuing with films like “The Joy Luck Club” (1993), which brought Yang international acclaim, “Blue in the Face” (1995) and “Maid in Manhattan” (2002).
In person: Wayne Wang, Sept. 16 and 17.
Visual artist Shirin Neshat has explored the dualities of diasporic identity as an Iranian woman living in the West across multiple disciplines, including photography, video, theater and film for over 30 years. The focus of a recent career retrospective at The Broad (“Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again”), Neshat has been featured in solo exhibitions at museums and galleries around the world. The Archive presents a two-night retrospective of Neshat’s feature films, beginning with “Women Without Men” (2009) and “Looking for Oum Kulthum” (2017), both of which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and culminating with the Los Angeles premiere of her latest film, “Land of Dreams” (2021).
In person: Shirin Neshat, Sept. 30.
The Archive’s Virtual Screening Room, launched during the pandemic, will continue to offer online access to a broad spectrum of Archive-curated programs, including “TV Snapshots: An Archive of Everyday Life” on Aug. 25. In this illustrated talk, Lynn Spigel, a professor at Northwestern University, will discuss her new book “TV Snapshots” (Duke University Press), which examines snapshots of people posing in front of their TV sets from the 1950s through the early 1970s. The talk will be followed by a screening of two rare television programs: “Photographic Horizons” (DuMont, 1948) and “Symphony of Fashion” (KTLA, 1961).
For details, updates, registration information and important health guidelines, please visit cinema.ucla.edu.
Schedules and guest speakers subject to change.