Milford Graves Full Mantis
Directed by Jake Meginsky with Neil Young • 2018 • United States
Starring Milford Graves
This portrait of renowned percussionist and founding pioneer of avant-garde jazz Milford Graves finds him exploring his kaleidoscopic creativity and relentless curiosity. The film draws the viewer through the artist’s lush garden and ornate home, into the martial arts dojo in his backyard and the laboratory in his basement—all just blocks from where he grew up in the housing projects of South Jamaica, Queens. Graves tells stories of discovery, struggle, and survival, ruminates on the essence of “swing,” activates electronic stethoscopes in his basement lab to process the sound of his heart, and travels to Japan to perform at a school for children with autism. Oscillating from present to past and weaving intimate glimpses of the artist’s complex cosmology with blistering performances, MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS is cinema full of fluidity, polyrhythm, and intensity, embodying the essence of Graves’s music.
Up Next in Afrofuturism
Directed by Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman • 2021 • United States, Rwanda
Starring Cheryl Isheja, Bertrand Ninteretse, Eliane Umuhire
Codirected by Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman, this visually wondrous sci-fi punk musical takes place in the hilltops of Burundi, where a group of escaped colt...
Odds and Ends
Directed by Michelle Parkerson • 1993 • United States
In the year 2096, Black women warriors wage a battle against racial and gender annihilation. In this devastated universe, a fable unfolds on the interplanetary frontlines. Lieutenant Loz Wayard, a courageous young Amazon, learns the price of ...
The Changing Same
Directed by Cauleen Smith • 2001 • United States
In this experimental hybrid between science fiction and noir, Cauleen Smith explores Black alienation and outsiderhood via the story of two aliens stationed on Earth searching for kinship and a sense of purpose.