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MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM
2020, Netflix, 94 min, USA, Dir: George C. Wolfe

Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Academy Award winner Viola Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious cornet player Levee (Chadwick Boseman) - who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry - spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives. Adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth.


COOLEY HIGH
1975, Park Circus/MGM, 107 min, USA, Dir: Michael Schultz

Like AMERICAN GRAFFITI, this deeply felt recollection of adolescent life on Chicago’s near North Side in 1964 deals with girls, school and police troubles as a group of high-school seniors prepare for life after graduation. The chums are Preach (Glynn Turman), who loves to read poetry and history and wants to become a Hollywood screenwriter, but who has the worst grades in the school; and Cochise (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), the high school basketball star and suave lady-killer. Preach has to contend with love problems in the form of Brenda (Cynthia Davis), school problems with emphatic teacher Mr. Mason (Garrett Morris) and law problems with street toughs Stone (Shermann Smith) and Robert (Norman Gibson).


GREMLINS
1984, Warner Bros., 106 min, USA, Dir: Joe Dante

When Billy (Zach Galligan) breaks the cardinal rules for the keeping of his rare new pet — no water, no food after midnight and no bright light — chaos is unleashed in his idyllic small town. What was once cute and fuzzy-wuzzy transforms and multiplies into a horde of dangerous, mayhem-loving creatures. With Hoyt Axton, Phoebe Cates, Dick Miller, Corey Feldman and Glynn Turman.


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