For the sixth season of Modern Cinema, SFMOMA and SFFILM present a decades-spanning program exploring African American filmmakers navigating inside the Hollywood machine and operating outside its boundaries. Black Powers: Reframing Hollywood features work from pioneers such as Melvin Van Peebles, Gordon Parks, and Bill Gunn, whose films of the 1970s were revolutionary and counter to prevailing ideas about Blackness, alongside the resistance-fueled Black independent film movement coming out of the LA Rebellion. Continuing into the 1980s, the series explores the relationship-driven films of Spike Lee and Kathleen Collins that shone a light on a variety of experiences in Black America and inspired a new wave of independent filmmaking. The big budget hits and independent classics of the 1990s paved the way for contemporary directors like Barry Jenkins, Ava DuVernay, and Ryan Coogler, whose films were met with wide acclaim in Hollywood and beyond, demonstrating a full spectrum of compelling stories directed by a growing list of African American filmmakers.
Modern Cinema, co-presented by SFMOMA and SFFILM, is an ongoing film series exploring the dynamic forces interacting between cinema’s past and present.
Films and schedules may be subject to change.
Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund.
Community support for Black Powers: Reframing Hollywood is provided by the Museum of the African Diaspora.