What would the world look like if Charles Burnett and Kathleen Collins were spoken of in the same terms as Fritz Lang and Stanley Kubrick? That’s the question at the heart of this edition of Adventures in Moviegoing, in which Justin Simien, the creator of DEAR WHITE PEOPLE and BAD HAIR, sits down with fellow filmmaker Janicza Bravo to discuss the decades-long erasure of Black artists from the cinematic canon, the expectations and constraints faced by contemporary Black directors, and why, in Simien’s opinion, every Black film is an experimental film. Their incisive conversation is presented alongside a selection of some of Simien’s favorite touchstones of Black cinema, including Gordon Parks’s gorgeous coming-of-age odyssey THE LEARNING TREE—the first major studio film made by an African American director—and Collins’s luminous character study LOSING GROUND.
Directed by Kathleen Collins • 1982 • United States
Starring Seret Scott, Bill Gunn, Duane Jones
One of the first feature films directed by an African American woman, Kathleen Collins’s LOSING GROUND tells the story of a marriage between two remarkable people, both at a crossroads in their lives...