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      Kevin Jerome Everson Short Films in Cambridge

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      February 12, 2018


      1350 Massachusetts Ave
      Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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      Kevin Jerome Everson Short Films

      Harvard Film Archive
      24 Quincy Street
      Mon., Feb. 12, 2018, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

      Sugarcoated Arsenic: Co-directed and written by Everson’s UVA colleague, African-American historian Claudrena N. Harold, Sugarcoated Arsenic takes as its starting point a moving speech on civil rights performed by Vivian Gordon during her tenure as the director of University of Virginia’s Black Studies program between 1975 and 1980. Then, as in Emergency Needs, Everson juxtaposes the historical record alongside a nearly identical recreation, in this case starring actress Erin Stewart. The mock-vérité monochrome images of socializing and camaraderie taken on the university campus are some of Everson’s most resonant, and nowhere more so than in the montage of “Black Power” marches that concludes the film.

      Rhino: Revisiting the subject of his 2012 film Rhinoceros, Everson’s latest imagines the final days of sixteenth-century Italian Duke Alessandro de’ Medici, a historical figure of particular interest to the director for being the son of an African servant woman. Working in digital on location in Italy, Everson stages crudely theatrical episodes featuring actors performing as historical figures within modern settings, then intercuts these unorthodox dramatizations with documentary footage of African migrants in the region. The stark juxtaposition, which recalls the work of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, connects ancient history and today’s Europe in a shared plague of intolerance—a sobering outlook at a time when blinkered reactions to refugee crises around the globe run rampant.

      North: A single unremarkable scenario—a man attempts to unfold a map while battling against gusts of wintry wind—becomes a microcosm for a number of recurring Everson preoccupations, chiefly the widespread migration of Blacks from the South to the Midwest following WWII.

      The Reverend E. Randall T. Osborn, First Cousin: Martin Luther King Jr.’s first cousin speaks in an archival clip about race riots in Cleveland in the late sixties, but Everson re-edits the footage to amplify the presence of the black reporter questioning him, multiplying one sympathetic reaction shot to emphasize the procedure involved in moderating the interview.

      Sound That: Everson’s fascination with manual labor institutions in Ohio and his ability to find poetry in the mundane is on full display in this immersive procedural tracking the Cleveland Water Department’s efforts to locate leaks in underground infrastructure.

      Gazette Classification: Film
      Open to: Public and Harvard community
      Category: Film
      Library LocationHarvard Film Archive

      Categories: Film | University & Alumni

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