The Tuesday Film/Media Series screenings continue on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. with two films that focus on the jazz era, “Shadows” followed by “The Cry of Jazz.”
The Tuesday film screenings feature independent and foreign movies. The two films being shown are acclaimed independent films.
John Cassavetes’s “Shadows” is a 1959 production that was shot with a tiny budget and unknown talent during an era when commercial Hollywood films were becoming less popular. “Shadows” is regarded as one of the major films in the independent movie revolution.
The film follows the tales of three siblings born from an interracial union. Two of the siblings are “passing white” while the third sibling is not. While not regarded as a phenomenal film, “Shadows” treats issues of race and friendship with a blunt perspective that is cushioned by the familial love between the three main characters.
The second film, “The Cry of Jazz” directed by Edward Bland, combines a staged interracial party with footage of Chicago African-American life. Considered radical in 1959, the film offers an in-depth consideration of the African-American role in jazz during the Beat Generation era of the 1950s.
Both films compliment each other nicely and consider the role of race in the jazz era. By entering into a dialogue with race, these films establish themselves as important pieces of art produced outside of the scope of Hollywood during the independent film movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s.