The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
2017, José María Cabral, Dominican Republic, 107 min. With Jean Jean, Judith Rodriguez Perez.
“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)