Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival, Wendell B. Harris Jr.’s debut feature endures as a brilliant satirical examination of the place of race and class in the performance of American social life. Harris himself stars as William Douglas Street Jr., a real-life con man from Detroit who, disillusioned with working for his father, sets about reinventing himself—and then again, and then again—successfully impersonating a vast succession of journalists, lawyers, athletes, and even surgeons in the process. Harris’s film boldly shape-shifts to match its subject’s own chameleonic transformations, yielding not just a landmark work in American independent cinema but also a singular meditation on the mutability of American identity that’s dense with aesthetic and political ideas. An Arbelos Release. New 4K restoration by Arbelos.
James Baldwin: From Another Place
Sedat Pakay, Turkey, 1973, 12m
This gorgeously filmed document finds James Baldwin in Istanbul musing about race, the American fascination with sexuality, the generosity of the Turks, and how being in another country, in another place, forces one to reexamine well-established attitudes about modern society. New 35mm print, preserved by the Yale Film Archive through a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation, with additional thanks to Cinema Conservancy.