Black film classics, Shirley Chisholm and 'True Romance'
Explore the Classics of Black Cinema
Celebrate Black History Month by visiting the Institute of Texan Culture's film festival, Classics of Black Cinema, which runs throughout February. Included in ITC's daily admission price is a viewing of A Century of Black Cinema, a documentary that examines 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, hosted by Earley Teal, a Buffalo Soldier reenactor, and Mary Grace Ketner, ITC educational specialist. See From blackface to blackpower in this issue of the Current.
A Century of Black Cinema will screen at 10:30 am and 2pm Tuesday-Saturday, and at 2pm Sunday throughout February, 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 texancultures.utsa.edu.
Follow The Chisholm Trail
In 1972, Shirley Chisholm's unlikely bid for president represented a bold step forward in a bland political showground that would only grow blander with time. Chisholm, already the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, roared through obstacles set before her by fellow politicians and the media to the Democratic National Convention where she delivered an historic speech. Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed, directed by Shola Lynch, features archival footage, interviews with supporters and detractors, and commentary from the congresswoman herself. See Not for Sale, in this issue of the Current.
Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed will screen at 7pm Saturday, February 5 at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, 922 San Pedro (at Evergreen). A panel discussion will follow. Admission is free. For more information, call 228-0201.
Lube the Valentine's Day gears with 'True Romance'
Dir. Tony Scott; writ. Quentin Tarantino; feat. Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Bronson Pinchot, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport, Saul Rubinek, James Gandolfini (R)
Of all the projects Quentin Tarantino has been involved with but didn't direct, True Romance is most worthy of his résumé. It's an imperfect cinematic marriage, as director Tony Scott is better suited for more straightforward exercises in movie machismo; see Crimson Tide and Top Gun. He isn't entirely comfortable in Tarantino's meta-cinematic, wildly clever world, but a mostly perfect cast compensates for the clashing sensibilities: Slater and Arquette straddle the fence between smirkiness and danger with ease, making a cute and surprisingly sweet pair of lovers on the lam. The dialogue sports some very memorable Tarantino-isms and comes outfitted with classic cinematic additions to the QT canon, which are played perfectly here: Walken grilling Hopper in a trailer home; Kilmer's ghost of Elvis and Oldman's dreadlocked white dude; and Brad Pitt's archetypal stoner all set the stage in 1993 for the following year's Pulp Fiction. True Romance makes one wish Tarantino had done a lot more writing before he hit the big-time and decided to focus more on his celebrity lifestyle than on making movies. — John DeFore
True Romance will screen at 7:15pm and 10:15pm Monday, February 7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes, 1255 SW Loop 410. Admission is $2. For more information, visit alamodrafthouse.com/westlakes/, or call 677-8500.