Coming Soon, a Century Late: A Black Film GemBreaking News
tags: film, MoMA
For decades, the seven reels from 1913 lay unexamined in the film archives of the Museum of Modern Art. Now, after years of research, a historic find has emerged: what MoMA curators say is the earliest surviving footage for a feature film with a black cast. It is a rare visual depiction of middle-class black characters from an era when lynchings and stereotyped black images were commonplace. What’s more, the material features Bert Williams, the first black superstar on Broadway. Williams appears in blackface in the untitled silent film along with a roster of actors from the sparsely documented community of black performers in Harlem on the cusp of the Harlem Renaissance. Remarkably, the reels also capture behind-the-scenes interactions between these performers and the directors.
MoMA plans an exhibition around the work called “100 Years in Post-Production: Resurrecting a Lost Landmark of Black Film History,” which is to open on Oct. 24 and showcase excerpts and still frames. Sixty minutes of restored footage will be shown on Nov. 8 in the museum’s annual To Save and Project festival dedicated to film preservation.
“There are so many things about it that are amazing,” said Jacqueline Stewart, a film scholar at the University of Chicago. “It’s the first time I’ve seen footage from an unreleased film that really gives us insights into the production process.”
comments powered by Disqus
- ‘If You Want to Experience Liberation, Black Women Must Be at the Table’
- A Century After a Race Massacre, Tulsa Finally Digs for Suspected Mass Graves
- Historians Will Likely Rank Trump as One of the Worst Presidents
- Black Lives Matter Movement Prods Bethlehem and Other Districts to Review How History is Taught
- During the Civil War, the Enslaved Were Given an Especially Odious Job. The Pay Went to Their Owners.
- Is Evangelical Support for Trump a Contradiction?
- Survival Of The Kindest: Can Our Better Nature Help Us Build A Better World?
- As Monuments Tumble, Are We ‘Erasing’ History? Historians Say No
- Historical Association Schools Teachers on White House History
- MIT Professor Tunney Lee, an Architect, Urban Planner, and Historian of Chinatown, Dies at 88