Love City Picture Show film series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love
Love City Picture Show
Wednesdays, May 3-June 7, 2017 @ 6:30-9pm
$10 General | $5 Students/Seniors | Free MoAD Members
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, MoAD presents a six-part film series exploring how Black culture influenced the counterculture of the time. Conjure up sights and sounds from San Francisco’s legendary 1967 Summer of Love and invariably it will be of long-haired, pot smoking young white people dancing to rock music in Golden Gate Park. They were “the hippies” who defined a youth culture and way of life that challenged and shocked the country’s established mores. The merits of the long-lasting impact on American institutions is still being hotly debated. However what is often unacknowledged is that Black musicians, writers and thinkers in California and beyond helped shape and enrich the cultural developments leading up to the Summer of Love as well as during and immediately afterwards.
The most complete portrait of the stunning guitarist whose audacious style epitomizes the era. The film is full of rare and revealing interviews as well as classic performances released with the support of the Hendrix Estate. It also weaves in quotes by Hendrix spoken by Bootsy Collins (Parliament- Funkadelic). “The moment I feel that I don’t have anything to give musically, that’s when I won’t be found on this planet. I’m not sure I’ll live to be 28 years old… When I die, I’m gonna have a jam session and knowing me, I’ll probably get busted at my own funeral.” (Jimi Hendrix)
In San Francisco, the “Beatniks” were a forerunner to the “hippies”. One of the people sometimes included in Beat anthologies is the poet Bob Kaufman who Amiri Baraka considered a “maximum Beatnik”. Despite that fact that there is a small street named after him in the North Beach neighborhood where he lived, he is not as well known as his contemporaries. Kaufman was a marginalized and enigmatic character (including his reported multicultural origins) whose non-conformist verse, approach to his work and lifestyle marked him as a rebel. His poems are at the center of this film made by one of the key figures in the “L.A. Rebellion” of Black Filmmakers, Billy Woodberry, who will present and discuss his film.
This documentary offers unprecedented access to the life, work and mesmerizing performances of renowned poet and activist Sonia Sanchez who describes herself as “a woman with razor blades between my teeth.” A leading figure in the Black Arts Movement and inspiration to today’s hip hop spoken word artists, Sanchez for over 60 years has helped to redefine American culture and politics. She revolutionized poetry by incorporating street language, a unique performance style and collaborations with jazz musicians. And in 1965, Sanchez moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, teaching some of the first Black Studies courses in the nation and participated in the San Francisco State Strike which succeeded in establishing the country’s first College of Ethnic Studies in 1969. Sanchez supported the programs of the Black Panther Party and contributed articles to its newspaper. Michael Warr, poet and Deputy Director at MoAD will introduce the program and facilitate a discussion after the film.
Sly and the Family Stone’s music was a progressive fusion of soul, funk and rock music that still gets folks dancing and singing along. The racially integrated band was a rarity in the 1960s. Filmmaker Michael Rubenstone tries for over a decade to secure an interview with the legendarily elusive Sly Stone. Along the way he interviews an archivist and Stone biographer, two original band members Freddie Stone and Cynthia Robinson, and the group’s former manager David Kapralik who shows Rubenstone two scrapbooks of Sly and the Family Stone memorabilia. The scrapbooks communicate how the band developed and grew. There is also exciting footage of the band’s remarkable performance at Woodstock in 1969. Filmmaker Michael Rubenstone will introduce and discuss his film.
In the late 1960s Brazil, the avant-garde arts movement, Tropicália emerged as a refreshing – sometimes whimsical, sometimes outrageous – expression of youth culture in the midst of a conservative and repressive military dictatorship. The musical component incorporated traditional Brazilian music, African rhythms, psychedelic rock and other international influences. The most prominent and energetic artists (Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Tom Zé, Gal Costa), who also perform in this film, were from Bahia, the country’s most African state.
For many, the late 1960s was about exploring spiritual consciousness and breaking down boundaries. John Coltrane, who died in 1967 at the young age of 40, was someone whose work exemplified these goals and whose music both transformed listeners and inspired other musicians. Coltrane uniquely introduced South Asian and African musical forms into his compositions. Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the times, Chasing Trane is a reverent and comprehensive personal and artistic biography made with the cooperation of his family and the Coltrane Estate. In addition to rare footage of concerts, television appearances, studio sessions, home movies and never before seen photos, there is commentary about Coltrane’s significance from Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman jimmy Heath, Kamasi Washington, Bill Clinton, Carlos Santana, and Cornel West. Coltrane’s music provides the film’s soundtrack and Denzel Washington reads Coltrane’s words.
This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org