Friday, April 12, 2013

Meet Charles Burnett and see his films...

The Westside Theatre Foundation is presenting A Weekend with Charles Burnett (the man and his films ) April 26, 27, & 28 at the Strand Theatre in downtown Vicksburg.

Writer/director Charles Burnett, was born in Vicksburg in 1944. As a young man, he moved with his family to Los Angeles, returning to the South periodically to visit relatives. Daniel Boone, film programmer for the Strand Cinema recently said, “bringing Charles Burnett home to Vicksburg has been a longtime dream of mine. He deserves our attention. Even though most of his films are not set in the South, they are informed by his connections to Vicksburg, and they give us insight into our home and its people. I am excited about the possibility of the community recognizing one of our artists.”

His first feature, Killer of Sheep (1978) was one of the first 50 films to be selected for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, and was chosen by the National Society of Film Critics, as one of the 100 Essential Films. He was the recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 1988, and the IMDB says of him: “(Burnett is) ...considered one of America’s greatest filmmakers...” Milestone Films, distributor of some of his films, describes his work this way: “Charles Burnett’s films focus on everyday life in black communities in a manner unseen in American cinema, combining incredibly lyrical elements with a starkly neo-realist, documentary-style approach that chronicles the unfolding story with depth and riveting simplicity.”

Programs at the Strand include screenings of 4 feature length films as well as shorts and a compilation of excerpts from the work of this celebrated director. Mr. Burnett will share insights about his life and work at discussion sessions at the screenings Friday and Saturday.

Friday, April 26 A Conversation with the Director 7:30 PM - The Strand
An interview with Mr. Burnett will be punctuated by some of his short films and lluminated by clips and trailers from his features. Immediately following the program the audience will convene in the lobby to meet and visit with Mr. Burnett and enjoy dessert.

Saturday, April 27 - 5:30 PM (Supper & a film)
Killer of Sheep (1978) “ of the most famous and acclaimed films by an African-American filmmaker.” - Milestone Films Stan is doing his jobs: husband, father, employee at a slaughterhouse. But isn’t there more to life? After the film the director will answer questions and join the audience for a buffet supper in the lobby..

Saturday, April 27 - 7 PM (Supper & Film)
To Sleep with Anger (1990) “Harry Mention (Danny Glover), an old friend from the rural south, arrives on the doorstep of a Los Angeles family, wreaking subtle and not-so-subtle havoc on their lives. The family is headed by a retired farmer (Paul Butler) and his midwife spouse (Mary Alice), whose two married sons (Carl Lumbly and Richard Brooks) are in constant conflict.” - The Chicago Reader This screening will be preceded by a buffet supper with the director, who will introduce the film. Film will start at 8 PM

Sunday, April 28 - 5 PM (Film only)
My Brother's Wedding (1983) “...a tragic comedy that takes place in South Central Los Angeles. The story focuses on a young man who hasn't made much of his life as of yet, and at a crucial point in his life, he is unable to make the proper decision, a sober decision, a moral decision.” - Charles Burnett.

Sunday, April 28 - 7 PM (Film only)
The Annihilation of Fish ( (1999) “...touching yet hilarious...The efforts of widowed landlady Mrs. Mulroone (Margot Kidder) and her oddball senior citizen tenants Fish (James Earl Jones) and Poinsettia Cummings (Lynn Redgrave) to combat loneliness and find a reason to keep on living are the themes of this brave, absurdly ridiculous, yet heartwarming golden years romantic comedy.” - Film Threat (This film is unreleased and will be shown by special arrangement with the rights holder.)

  For more information or online ticketing: Advance tickets also available at Highway 61 Coffeehouse at 1101 Washington Street. (601 529 7252).