Looking for Langston
Dir Isaac Julien, UK, 1989, 45 mins, 15
In this lyrical and poetic consideration of the life of revered Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes, award-winning British filmmaker Isaac Julien invokes Hughes as a Black gay cultural icon, against an impressionistic, atmospheric setting that parallels a Harlem speakeasy of the 1920s with an 80s London nightclub. Extracts from Hughes’s poetry are interwoven with archival footage, fantasy sequences, and an imagined love story. The result is a beautiful and ultimately celebratory piece.
The Darker side of Black
Dir Isaac Julien, USA, 1994, 55 mins, TBC
An intelligent and provocative film investigating the complex issues raised by reggae and rap artists, such as ritualised machismo, misogyny, homophobia, and gun glorification. The Darker Side of Black takes a journey to the dance halls and clubs of London, Jamaica, and the United States, bringing together diverse musicians as Buju Banton, Shabba Ranks, and Britain’s Moni Love.