The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
Sidemen: Long Road To Glory
2016, Scott D. Rosenbaum, USA, 81 min. With Pinetop Perkins, Willie Smith, Hubert Sumlin.
- Fri, Oct 20th 8:00pm
- Sat, Oct 21st 5:45pm
- Sun, Oct 22nd 5:15pm
- Mon, Oct 23rd 7:45pm
- Wed, Oct 25th 6:00pm
- Thu, Oct 26th 8:15pm
"An exceptionally entertaining and captivating tribute to the men and their music." — Joe Leydon, Variety
"A loving tribute that never feels indulgently fannish...Very highly recommended." — Joe Bendel, j.b. spins
Three of the most influential musicians you probably never heard of are given their long-overdue due in this behind-the-headliners documentary in the spirit of 20 FEET FROM STARDOM and THE WRECKING CREW. Associated with such blues giants as Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, pianist Perkins, drummer Smith, and guitar hero Sumlin were instrumental in bringing the Delta sound from the Deep South to Chicago, where it became the electrified blues and spawned the revolution known as rock 'n' roll. Rockers old and not-so-old, including Gregg Allman, Keith Richards, and Derek Trucks, testify to their importance, while the three bluesmen relate moving and funny stories of their hardscrabble upbringings, flush times, years in the wilderness, and late-career revival, including a 2011 Grammy for Smith and Perkins (the oldest person ever to win the award). Narrated by Marc Maron. DCP digital. (MR)
The Murder of Fred Hampton
1971, Howard Alk, USA, 88 min.
- Sat, Oct 21st 3:30pm
- Wed, Oct 25th 7:45pm
"It’s the rare film that decades later can seem as timely as it was the day it came out. The searing documentary THE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON is such a film." — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
A compelling mixture of impassioned activism and lucid investigative reporting, this still-relevant documentary began as a portrait of Fred Hampton, the charismatic leader of the then-thriving Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party. The first half of the film depicts the Panthers' incendiary rhetoric and altruistic community programs, but the agenda changes when Hampton is killed in a police raid. While local media are parroting dubious official claims of self-defense, director Alk and his crew rush to the still blood-soaked crime scene, recording crucial evidence that points to a cold-blooded assassination. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation and The Packard Humanities Institute. Courtesy of Carol Gray, William Cottle and Chicago Film Archives. 35mm.
Preceded by THE JUNGLE (1967, Charlie “Brown” Davis, Jimmy “Country” Robinson, and David “Bat” Williams, USA, 22 min.), a depiction of Northern Philadelphia street life made by inner-city high-school students. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation. 35mm. (MR)
2017, José María Cabral, Dominican Republic, 107 min. With Jean Jean, Judith Rodriguez Perez.
- Fri, Oct 27th 8:00pm
- Sat, Oct 28th 5:00pm
- Sun, Oct 29th 4:45pm
- Mon, Oct 30th 7:45pm
- Tue, Oct 31st 7:30pm
- Wed, Nov 1st 8:00pm
- Thu, Nov 2nd 6:00pm
“Exhilarating…it’s enough to give you butterflies in your stomach.” — John Fink, The Film Stage
“High octane, bruising…an authentic, distinctive and watchable blend of the tough and the tender.” — Jonathan Holland, Hollywood Reporter
A violently jealous love triangle festers, and an affair takes wings within the walls of a high-security prison in this startlingly original romantic drama-thriller. Newly arrived prisoner Julián (Jean Jean) quickly learns the survival skills of bribery and intimidation from top-dog Manaury (Ramón Emilio Candelario). When Manaury is transferred, Julián is entrusted with messaging his girlfriend at the adjacent women’s prison by way of “pecking,” a system of hand signals the men use to communicate to women from windows. Redheaded spitfire Yanelly (Rodriguez) rejects the messages but falls for the messenger from afar, initiating a courtship of subterfuge and smuggled love tokens that will ultimately touch off a prison riot. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
1968, D.A. Pennebaker, USA, 78 min.
“Quite simply one of the best rock concert films ever, thanks not only to some great performances, but also to the way it sums up the spirit of the time.” — Geoff Andrew, Time Out London
This pioneer music documentary by cinéma-vérité giant Pennebaker set the template for countless rock concert films to follow, while also capturing the spirit of Sixties counterculture at its grooviest high before the bad vibes set in. The occasion is the three-day Monterey International Pop Festival that marked the beginning of 1967’s Summer of Love. Using tight zooms and shallow focus to imbue the stars with a tactile aura, Pennebaker and his seven-camera crew immortalize a wealth of legendary performers and performances, including Janis Joplin stomping out a ferocious “Ball ‘n’ Chain,” Jimi Hendrix cremating his guitar for “Wild Thing,” and Ravi Shankar mesmerizing the crowd with his sitar finale. 4K DCP digital restoration from Janus Films. (MR)
Bless Their Little Hearts
1984, Billy Woodberry, USA, 86 min. With Nate Hardman, Kaycee Moore.
"This wonderful neorealist look at a working-class black family in South Central LA is worthy of being placed alongside Burnett's KILLER OF SHEEP. Passionately recommended." — Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Billy Woodberry's first (and, to date, only) dramatic feature was scripted and photographed by his colleague in the UCLA-centered "LA Rebellion" movement, Charles Burnett. Although it and KILLER OF SHEEP are individually distinctive works, together they form a powerful statement on African American manhood, labor, and family life in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles during the difficult period between the 1965 and 1992 uprisings. The film centers on Charlie Banks (Hardman), whose position as head of a lower-income family is eaten away by chronic unemployment and his own evasions of responsibility. Woodberry's supremely observant style allows revelatory insights to emerge effortlessly from everyday activities, aided by ultra-naturalistic performances that peak in a celebrated, electrifying domestic argument filmed in an unbroken ten-minute take.
Preceded by Woodberry's short film THE POCKETBOOK (1980, 13 min.), based on a short story by Langston Hughes, in which an abandoned boy's attempted purse-snatching leads to a glimpse of another kind of life. 2K DCP digital restorations from Milestone Film & Video. (MR)