The Cinema Legacy program at AFI Fest (Nov. 9-15) celebrates film history and features screenings of recently restored classic and lesser-known films. This year’s lineup is dedicated to female filmmakers and includes two films from CalArts faculty: Drylongso (1998) by Cauleen Smith and Queen of Diamonds by Nina Menkes (1991).
School of Art faculty Smith’s early feature Drylongso premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and won an Independent Spirit Award. Set in Oakland, Calif., the film is a coming-of-age story about Pica, a young art student who comes from a dysfunctional family. To cope, she begins photographing young African American men believing they are an “endangered species.” Some of the men she photographs coincidentally become victims of a neighborhood serial killer.
The film will be presented at AFI Fest on a new 16mm print, courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.
Menkes’ Queen of Diamonds also premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 1991, making Menkes one of the first female filmmakers in dramatic competition. The film was named one of the Year’s Ten Best by the Los Angeles Times, Film Comment, The Atlanta Art Papers as well as many other publications. Shot on location in Las Vegas, Queen of Diamonds follows the everyday life of an alienated blackjack dealer played by Menkes’ sister, the actress Tinka Menkes.
The 35mm film was restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.
The other four films in the program are: The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy (1980) directed by Kathleen Collins; The Juniper Tree (1990) directed by Nietzchka Keene; Meetings of Anna (1978) by Chantal Akerman; and Nitrate Kisses (1992) by Barbara Hammer.
AFI Fest announces its full schedule on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
Posted October 22, 2018 by Elizabeth Liang
Categories: Art, Film/Video