June 7, 2005
National Archives to Present "Close Up in Black" Programs June 17-18
Washington, D.C. . . In partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film in its inaugural year at the National Archives, the National Archives presents three programs (June 17-June 18) in conjunction with the exhibit Close Up in Black: African American Film Posters. The exhibit, from the Academy's collection, is on display at the Smithsonian Institution's International Gallery through July 28 and takes a historical look at African American cinema through the vibrant medium of the movie poster. Reservations are recommended for all three programs. Reserve by email (email@example.com) or telephone (202-501-5000).
Friday, June 17-The Negro Soldier
Dr. Thomas Cripps will introduce and discuss The Negro Soldier, which was released in 1944 and produced to demonstrate to black troops their particular stake in the fight against the Axis powers. The film was directed by Frank Capra and Stuart Heisler and produced by the Special Service Division, Army Service Forces, U.S. War Department. Dr. Cripps is University Distinguished Professor emeritus at Morgan State University, where he also served as Coordinator of the University Television Project, and has published a number of books on black film. A 35mm print of The Negro Soldier from the motion picture holdings of the National Archives will be used for the screening. 8 p.m. A desert reception will follow this screening.
Saturday, June 18-Hallelujah
Released in 1929 and directed by King Vidor, this early talkie is the first film from a major studio with an all-black cast. Featuring a musical score of jazz, spirituals, and folk songs, Hallelujah tells the story of a southern cotton-picker who becomes a preacher but retains all-too-human weaknesses. Starring Daniel L. Haynes and Nina Mae McKinney, the screening will be introduced by Dr. Edward Mapp, whose collection of vintage film posters forms the basis of the exhibit "Close Up in Black." Hallelujah will be presented in a new sepia-toned print, made to replicate the film's original release print, courtesy of Warner Bros. and the collection of Martin Scorsese. (109 minutes.) 4 p.m.
Saturday, June 18-Carmen Jones
Dorothy Dandridge received the first Academy AwardŽ nomination given to an African American for a leading role for this 1954 musical that Oscar Hammerstein II adapted from Bizet's opera Carmen. The film also stars Harry Belafonte and Pearl Bailey and was directed by Otto Preminger. Joe Barber, an entertainment reviewer and cultural critic for nearly 20 years, will introduce the screening. Carmen Jones will be presented in a new 35mm Cinemascope print courtesy of Twentieth Century-Fox and the Academy Film Archive. (105 minutes.) 7 p.m.
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For PRESS information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 501-5526.
To verify the date and times of the programs, the public should call the Public Programs Line at: (202) 501-5000, or view the Calendar of Events on the web at: www.archives.gov/calendar/