TALES FROM THE HOOD
1995, Universal, 98 min, USA, Dir: Rusty Cundieff

Chill or be chilled! Executive produced by Spike Lee, this horror anthology with an African-American focus centers on a mortician (a wonderfully creepy Clarence Williams III) who regales a trio of would-be drug dealers with tales of the deceased at his funeral home. Crooked cops, gangbangers and racist politicians rub shoulders in these four stories to create a highly entertaining mix of terror, humor and social commentary. The solid ensemble cast includes David Alan Grier, Corbin Bernsen and Joe Torry.


MADE IN U.S.A.
1966, Rialto Pictures, 85 min, France, Dir: Jean-Luc Godard

Paula Nelson (Anna Karina, in her final Godard film) arrives in Atlantic-Cité from Paris to find out that her former lover and colleague has died. As she investigates, bodies start dropping amid encounters with a gangster and the waters just keep getting muddier. Keep your eyes peeled for a brief but memorable appearance by singer Marianne Faithfull.


IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
2018, Annapurna Pictures, 119 min, USA, Dir: Barry Jenkins

Set in early-1970s Harlem, this adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel is a timeless and moving love story of both a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (newcomer KiKi Layne). She dreams of a future with her artist fiancé, Fonny (Stephan James), but the couple’s plans are derailed when the young man is arrested for a crime he did not commit. As Fonny’s weeks in prison turn to months, Tish draws upon inner strength and the unwavering support of her family to face the challenges of life without her partner at her side and the imminent arrival of the couple’s child. “In BEALE STREET as in MOONLIGHT, the director melds color, music and portraiture to do more than tell a story. By the time he’s finished, he seems to have transcended the conventional tools of filmmaking to work with pure emotion itself.” - Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post.


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