HORROR NOIRE: A HISTORY OF BLACK HORROR
2019, Shudder, 83 min, USA, Dir: Xavier Burgin

Based on the acclaimed book by Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman, Shudder TV’s first original documentary feature takes a critical look at a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined and embraced both black filmmakers and black audiences. Beginning with the silent film era, HORROR NOIRE explores the often overlooked and downplayed history of black Americans in Hollywood: the emergence of black leading men in genre cinema in the late 1960s with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and into the ‘70s with BLACULA and films of the blaxploitation era; CANDYMAN and the growing popularity of urban horror in the 1990s; up to the genre’s recent resurgence with movies like the Oscar-winning, critical and commercial hit GET OUT. Clips and in-depth interviews with filmmakers and scholars showcase a who’s who of black horror cinema and underline the power of representation and how horror can become a visceral way to fight racial trauma.


THE IMAGE BOOK
LE LIVRE D'IMAGE
2018, Kino Lorber, 84 min, Switzerland/France, Dir: Jean-Luc Godard

The legendary Jean-Luc Godard adds to his influential, iconoclastic legacy with this provocative collage film essay, a vast ontological inquiry into the history of the moving image and a commentary on the contemporary world. Displaying an encyclopedic grasp of cinema and its history, Godard pieces together fragments from some of the greatest films of the past, then digitally alters, bleaches and washes them, all in the service of reflecting on what he sees in front of him and what he makes of the dissonance that surrounds him. He uses his own voice, reminiscent of Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan in the twilight of their careers, to guide us through the fascinating labyrinth of his mind. As always with Godard, the key issues he raises have to do with the legacy of the last century and its horrors: the incomprehension of Hiroshima and Auschwitz, events that coincided with cinema but have somehow eluded its gaze. And, movingly, he also reflects on orientalism and the Arab world, grounding the new film very much in the present. Winner of the first Special Palme d'Or to be awarded in the history of the Cannes Film Festival, THE IMAGE BOOK is another extraordinary addition to the French master's vast filmography. - Piers Handling, Toronto International Film Festival.


ONE PLUS ONE
1968, ABKCO Films, 110 min, UK, Dir: Jean-Luc Godard

One of the pivotal and, arguably, most controversial works of legendary provocateur Jean-Luc Godard, the film alternates between reflections on contemporary politics and social issues of the late 1960s while providing an unprecedented view of The Rolling Stones’ creative process in the recording studio. Also released as SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, this is the director’s preferred cut without the finished version of that famous song at the end.


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