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Special screenings 

Institute of Texan Culture's Classics of Black Cinema festival heads a long list of upcoming cinematic treats

A Century of Black Cinema

Celebrate Black History Month at the Institute of Texan Culture's Classics of Black Cinema festival. Included in ITC's daily admission price is A Century of Black Cinema, a documentary examining the impact and experiences of African-American entertainers through a combination of archival film footage and interviews with actors and directors. The ITC will also screen six feature films during the festival. `See "From blackface to black power," February 3-9, 2005, and below.`

A Century of Black Cinema will screen at 10:30am and 2pm Tuesday-Saturday, and at 2pm Sunday throughout February. All films in the series will be shown at the Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 S. Bowie. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for children. For more information call 458-2330 or visit

Harlem Rides The Range
Dir. Richard C. Kahn; writ. F. E. Miller, Spencer Williams; feat. Herb Jeffries, Lucius Brooks, Miller, Artie Young, Clarence Brooks, Spencer Williams, The Four Tones (NR)

An all-black Western from 1939, Harlem Rides The Range tells the story of singing cowboy Bob Blake (Herb Jeffries) and his sidekick Dusty (Lucius Brooks) as they valiantly defend a uranium mine from the villainous Bradley (Clarence Brooks). Blending traditional Western roles with music and comedy, Harlem Rides The Range came 30 yeas before Paint Your Wagon.

Harlem Rides The Range will screen at 6:30pm Thursday, February 17

Emperor Jones
Dir. Dudley Murphy; writ. DuBose Heyward, based on the play by Eugene O'Neill; feat. Paul Robeson, Dudley Digges, Ruby Elzy. (NR)

Paul Robeson reprises his role as Brutus Jones for the film version of the Eugene O'Neill play. Brutus leaves home to become a railroad porter, is imprisoned, and eventually flees to an island and an ill-fated, self-declared reign as emperor. The film marks a first for Hollywood, casting a white actor in a supporting role to a black lead, and is one of Robeson's few screen roles.

Emperor Jones will screen at 6:30pm Friday, February 18.

Within Our Gates
Dir. Oscar Micheaux; writ. Micheaux; feat. Evelyn Preer, Flo Clements, James D. Ruffin, Jack Chenault (NR)

Made five years after D.W. Griffith's Birth Of A Nation, Within Our Gates examines Reconstruction in the South from the perspective of a black schoolteacher. Micheaux is a landmark director twice over, having been the first African-American to produce a feature film, in 1919, and also the first African-American to produce a "talkie," in 1931. Silent, with live music.

Within Our Gates will screen at 6:30pm Saturday, February 19.

Palo Alto college celebrates Black History Month

As part of their Black History Month celebration, Palo Alto College is screening two documentaries on noted African Americans. Rachel Emanuel's Journey for Justice: The A.P. Tureaud Story, documents the life and work of the late New Orleans NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund attorney. Tureaud handled most of the civil-rights cases filed in Louisiana from the early 1940s through the 1960s, including suits to integrate state public universities and schools and to loosen restricitons on voter registration. The documentary was co-written with Denise Barkis-Richter of the Palo Alto communications department. Ken Burns' two-part Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson explores the life of the first African American - a son of former slaves - to earn the Heavyweight Champion of the World title.

Journey for Justice will screen at 2pm Monday, February 21. Part I of Unforgivable Blackness will screen at 11:25am Tuesday, February 22; Part II will screen at 11:25am Thursday, February 24. All screenings will be held in the Palo Alto College Performing Arts Center, 1400 W. Villaret. Admission is free. For more info, call 921-5077.

The St. George Silent Film Festival

Do you enjoy the cinema, but wish there weren't so much chatter? St. George Episcopal Church and the St. George Fine Arts Series are putting on their Silent Film Festival just for you. Every film will be shown in the 16mm, reel-to-reel projector format on a big screen with musical accompaniment provided by New York's Biograph Players. The evening's programming begins with Chimp the Fireman, a humorous short, and continues with Charlie Chaplin in The Immigrant. Closing the evening is the legendary Harold Lloyd in Grandma's Boy, playing a coward who overcomes his fear with the help of a magic charm. Concessions will be available, and seating is limited. See related story, page 22.

The St. George Fine Arts Series Silent Film Festival will screen at 7pm Saturday, February 19, at St. George Episcopal Church, 6904 West Avenue. Admission is $12 advance; $15 at the door; $7 under age 12; maximum $35 per family. For information call 342-4261.

Que Viva Mexico
Dir. Sergei M. Eisenstein; writ. Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov (NR)

The first installment in Artpace's "The Forgotten Ones" series curated by local artist Jesse Amado, Que Viva Mexico is Eisenstein's uncompleted semi-documentrary of Mexico and its people, financed in part by author Upton Sinclair. Though four edits have appeared over the years, Luiz Becker and the Mexican Picture Partnership, Ltd. have created a new cut of the film from the original negatives and guided by Eisenstein's original manuscripts.

Que Viva Mexico will screen at 6:30pm Thursday, February 24, at Artpace, 445 N. Main. For more information, call 212-4900.

Dir. Helen Lesnick; writ. Lesnick; feat. Natalie Anderson, Athena Demos (NR)

When two best friends and ex-lovers plan a reunion, their current girlfriends are left out in the cold, eventually turning to each other in a passionate affair that puts the stability of their ongoing relationships to the test. Part of the Diversity Center's 2005 Midweek Movie Mixers program, Inescapable is a candid portrayal of love and lust.

Inescapable will screen at 6pm Wednesday, Feb-ruary 23, at the Diversity Center, 531 San Pedro. Admission is free. For information call 223-6106.

Firemen's Ball
Dir. Milos Forman; writ. Forman, Jaroslav Papousek, Ivan Passer, Vaclav Sasek; feat. Jan Vostrcil, Josef Sebanek (NR)

A wild but harmless retirement party for a dying fire chief spins out of control in a hilarious collision of villagers, firemen, beauty contestants, and more. Firemen's Ball, Milos Forman's first color film, is a benchmark of the Czech New Wave. Its sharp, comic critique of communism led to it being banned by Czech authorities and prompted the director to continue his career in Hollywood.

Firemen's Ball will screen as part of the McNay Museum's Metaphor And Irony 2 exhibit on Thursday, February 17 at 7:30pm. Admission is free. For more information call 824-5368.

Los Grandes Comicos del Cine Mexicano

The Instituto de México presents Los Grandes Comicos Del Cine Mexicano as part of their "Movies At The Institute" series. The films highlight the comic side of Mexican film, and feature a broad variety of comedic approaches from 1951 through 1979. All films will screen at the Instituto, 600 HemisFair Park. $2 suggested donation.

El Fayuquero
Dir. Miguel M. Delgado; feat. Eulalio Gonzalez, Rosenda Bernal, Miguel Manzano (NR)

Prolific director Miguel Delgado's El Fayuquero is a comic crime caper in which a smuggled television leads to a cat-and-mouse pursuit.

El Fayuquero will screen at 4pm Sunday, February 20.

El Organillero
Dir. Gilberto Martinez Solares; writ. Martinez Solares, Antonio Espino; feat. Espino, Veronica Loyo, Armando Arriola (NR)

An organ grinder (Espino) falls in love with his neighbor, the gifted singer Rocio. To prove his love he works day and night to buy her a piano.

El Organillero will screen at 7pm Wednesday, February 23

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