Groundbreaking Caribbean Film “RUDE” Returns to the NYC Screen for The Caribbean Film Series, Nov. 7th at BAMcinématek
Special digitally restored screening of Jamaican-Canadian filmmaker Clement Virgo’s 1995 redemption drama.
“Passionately acted, with especially gripping performances,” Stephen Holden, The New York Times
October 11, 2018/Brooklyn, NY – The 1990’s marked a huge renaissance in Black cinema. With Spike Lee smashing barriers less than a decade earlier, John Singleton telling frank yet multi-layered stories of Black life in Los Angeles, and The Hudlin Brothers using their brand of comedy and urban sensibility, the times were ripe for change…and Canada reaped the benefits. In 1995, writer/director Clement Virgo’s first feature film “Rude,” made its theatrical debut, wowing international audiences, and marking a significant milestone in African-Canadian cinematic history as the first full length narrative feature film directed by an African-Canadian, and written and produced by an all-Black team.
Digitally restored in 2017, The Caribbean Film Series pays homage to the Jamaican-born, Toronto-raised Virgo, whose subsequent projects, such as “The Planet of Junior Brown,” “The Book of Negroes,” and his work on the OWN network smash hit “Greenleaf,” continue to transform the wide-ranging ways audiences explore Black life, with a fresh Brooklyn screening of his now classic film.
A vivid triptych on the struggle for redemption on an Easter weekend, “Rude” weaves together the stories of three urban-dwelling Torontonians: young, promising boxer Jordan (Richard Chevolleau), sparring inwardly with his sexual identity after reluctantly participating in a gay-bashing; Maxine (Rachael Crawford, “Love Songs,” and SyFy’s “Alphas”), who struggles with her mental health as she reels in the aftermath of a break-up and an abortion; and the primary story of The General (Maurice Dean Wint, “TekWar”), a talented muralist and former drug dealer newly released from prison, who fights old temptations as he struggles to be a good father and husband. This triad is rhythmically woven together by the voice of Rude (Sharon L. Lewis, director of “Brown Girl Begins”), an underground radio DJ, whose smoky voice and streetwise incantations touch on notions of death, grace, and transformation, and verbalize the collective consciousness of the city in a sultry patois.
“Virgo’s film captures the ebb and flow of events in an inner-city Toronto neighborhood,” says Richard Harrington of The Washington Post. “The challenges faced by his protagonists are universal.” Indeed, with a deliberate focus on the diasporic consciousness residing within Black Canadian identity, buoyed by an eclectic soundtrack of reggae, gospel, and rock music and contrast rich color pallets, “Rude” rides heavy with themes of cultural displacement and relocation felt then, and now, by Black, indigenous, and other non-white Canadians.
Co-presented by the Caribbean Film Academy, BAMcinématek and the Brooklyn Cinema Collective, “Rude,” this screening takes place at BAM Rose Cinemas on Wednesday, November 7th at 7:30pm, and will be preceded by Guyanese filmmaker Gavin Mendoca’s, short music-based film, “How To Build a Treehouse.” A Q&A with Melanie Nicholls King (Actor) and Damon D’Olivera (Producer), follows.
Canada | 1995 | 89 min
This is the Easter weekend. In an inner-city project, three people struggle against their demons and try to find redemption. They are Maxine, a window dresser depressed since she had an abortion and lost her lover; Jordan, a boxer who has indulged in gay-bashing; and ‘The General’, a drug dealer turned artist.
HOW TO BUILD A TREEHOUSE
Directed by Gavin Mendonca
Guyana | 2018 | 10 min
A lone guitarist sits on the Sea Wall, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in Guyana, strumming his guitar. He closes his eyes and begins hearing powerful words in the ancient and native Patamona language, perhaps the voice of ‘Kai.’ When he opens his eyes, he finds himself in a new, unfamiliar place.
About the Caribbean Film Academy
Established in 2012, The Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA), is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and support of Caribbean filmmaking and filmmakers, in the region and the diaspora. CaFA’s work is focused on promoting and sharing the art of storytelling through film from the unique perspective of the Caribbean.
About The Brooklyn Cinema Collective
The Brooklyn Cinema Collective (BkCC) creates theatrical feature film presentations and supplies media advocacy and consultancy services for Black and POC filmmakers. The BkCC’s services are a direct offshoot of The Luminal Theater, an African diaspora film centered microcinema set to open in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Since 1998 BAM Rose Cinemas has been Brooklyn’s home for alternative, documentary, art-house, and independent films. Combining new releases with BAMcinématek year-round repertory program, the four-screen venue hosts new and rarely seen contemporary films, classics, work by local artists, and festivals of films from around the world, often with special appearances by directors, actors, and other guests. BAMcinématek has hosted major retrospectives of filmmakers like Spike Lee, Chantal Akerman, John Carpenter, Manoel de Oliveira, Luis Buñuel, King Hu, and Vincente Minnelli (winning a National Film Critics’ Circle Award prize for the retrospective), and hosted the first US retrospectives of directors Arnaud Desplechin, Hong Sang-soo, Andrzej Zulawski, and Jiang Wen. Since 2009 the program has also produced BAMcinemaFest, New York’s home for American independent film, and has championed the work of filmmakers like Janicza Bravo, Andrew Dosunmu, Lena Dunham, and Alex Ross Perry. The 12-day festival of New York premieres, now in its tenth year, ran from June 20—July 1, 2018.
Steinberg Screen at the BAM Harvey Theater is made possible by The Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Delta is the Official Airline of BAM. The Brooklyn Hospital Center is the Official Healthcare Provider of BAM.
BAM Rose Cinemas are named in recognition of a major gift in honor of Jonathan F.P. and Diana Calthorpe Rose. BAM Rose Cinemas would also like to acknowledge the generous support of The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, The Estate of Richard B. Fisher, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, Brooklyn Delegation of the New York City Council, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, and Bloomberg. Additional support for BAMcinématek is provided by The Grodzins Fund, and the Julian Price Family Foundation.
Your tax dollars make BAM programs possible through funding from the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The BAM Next Wave Festival is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The BAM facilities are owned by the City of New York and benefit from public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs with support from Mayor Bill de Blasio; Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl; the New York City Council including Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, Finance Committee Chair Julissa Ferreras, Cultural Affairs Committee Chair Jimmy Van Bramer, Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, and the Brooklyn Delegation of the Council; and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. BAM would like to thank the Brooklyn Delegations of the New York State Assembly, Joseph R. Lentol, Delegation Leader; and New York Senate, Senator Velmanette Montgomery.
Special Thanks to Ben Crossley-Marra & Emily Woodburne/Janus Films; Veronica Neely/20th Century Fox; Mary Tallungan/Disney; Kristie Nakamura/Warner Bros. Classics; Harry Guerro; Jim Newman; Brian Fox/Criterion Pictures USA; Diarah N’Daw-Spech/ArtMattan Productions; Chris Chouinard/Park Circus; Steven Housden/Xenon Pictures; Justin DiPietro/IFC Films; Jonathan Hertzberg/Kino Lorber; Dave Jennings/Sony Pictures Repertory
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, BAM Rose Cinemas, and BAMcafé are located in the Peter Jay Sharp building at 30 Lafayette Avenue (between St Felix Street and Ashland Place) in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. BAM Harvey Theater is located two blocks from the main building at 651 Fulton Street (between Ashland and Rockwell Places). Both locations house Greenlight Bookstore at BAM kiosks. BAM Fisher, located at 321 Ashland Place, is the newest addition to the BAM campus and houses the Judith and Alan Fishman Space and Rita K. Hillman Studio. BAM Rose Cinemas is Brooklyn’s only movie house dedicated to first-run independent and foreign film and repertory programming. BAMcafé, operated by Great Performances, offers varied light fare and bar service prior to BAM Howard Gilman Opera House evening performances.
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