The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
Aya of Yop City
Aya de Yopougon
2013, Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie, France, 88 min.
“Vividly drawn…charmingly old-school…there’s much to feast one’s eyes and ears on here.”—Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter
“Rich in word games, funny, always sharp and lively, makes you smile and reflect.”—Alice Casalini, Cinemafrica
The production team behind THE RABBI’S CAT brings this coming-of-age graphic novel to the screen with all its wry, culturally acute West African humor intact. Never before released in the U.S., AYA OF YOP CITY weaves colorful tales of romantic misadventure around Aya, Bintou, and Ajoua, three lively best friends on the cusp of young adulthood in a working-class Ivory Coast suburb. Even as they party the nights away, level-headed Aya dreams of becoming a doctor, while her BFFs flaunt their assets and lay snares for men with money. A convenient lie scores Ajoua a shotgun marriage to the shiftless son of a brewery magnate, and Bintou gets stars in her eyes when a visitor from Paris flashes his cash. Three dramas connect deliciously by way of the neighborhood grapevine, and comeuppance is just around the corner. Note: Includes adult situations and sexual references. In French with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
1981/2000, Edo Bertoglio, USA, 75 min.
With Jean-Michel Basquiat, Deborah Harry, Arto Lindsay, John Lurie
“An extraordinary real-life snapshot of hip, arty, clubland Manhattan in the post-punk era.”—Brendan Kelly, Variety
“A nostalgic portrait of pre-Giuliani Manhattan, an unruly place full of garbage, graffiti, rubble-strewn lots, unlicensed after-hours clubs and highly idealistic kids eager to make their mark as avant-garde artists and musicians.”—Dave Kehr, The New York Times
Scripted by influential columnist/editor/scenester Glenn O'Brien, this fascinating artifact was shot in 1980-1 under the title NEW YORK BEAT, interrupted by business problems, and completed twenty years later. The real Jean-Michel Basquiat, 19 years old and not yet famous, appears as a fictionalized version of himself. Evicted from his apartment, he wanders charismatically through the Lower Manhattan downtown scene, scrawling soon-to-be-priceless graffiti and listening to now-vintage musical acts, including DNA, The Plastics, Tuxedomoon, James White and the Blacks, and Kid Creole & the Coconuts. New 35mm print. (MR)