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Cinema pioneer to be honored by Newhouse School April 13
Cinema pioneer to be honored by Newhouse School April 13April 06, 2005Jaime Winne Alvarez email@example.com
Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications will host a daylong tribute to cinema pioneer, director, screenwriter and producer Oscar Micheaux on April 13 in Studio A, located in Newhouse II. Micheaux, the first black independent filmmaker, produced more than 40 films from 1919-48.
The event is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the Waverly and Comstock lots.
Richard Dubin, Newhouse professor of television, radio and film, organized the tribute in collaboration with senior television, radio and film major Brian Belovarac. “Despite his brilliant and seminal contribution to cinema, Micheaux remains a marginal figure in most film histories,” says Dubin. “His films explore still-relevant issues of race and culture. The entertainment business is practically still as segregated as it ever was.”
The program will begin at 3:30 p.m. with Pearl Bowser’s award winning documentary “Midnight Ramble,” which traces Micheaux’ career and the development of “race” movies within a segregated industry and society. Bowser will introduce her film and immediately following the screening will present with Dubin “A Conversation on Race and Film,” during which audience participation is encouraged.
Bowser is widely regarded as the world’s preeminent Micheaux scholar. Her appearance at the Newhouse School will be her first public appearance after receiving the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual meeting in London on March 30.
Following dinner, the tribute will continue at 7:30 p.m. with a screening of Micheaux’ 1920 silent film “Within Our Gates,” a potent indictment of racism, lynching and the bigotry inherent in such early American films as “Birth of a Nation.”
During the screening, world-renowned master percussionist Albert “Tootie” Heath, one of the most imaginative drummers in the history of American music, will perform a live, 90-minute score solo improvised to the picture. Heath has appeared on hundreds of recordings with a stellar array of jazz musicians.
The Micheaux tribute is part of “University as Public Good: Exploring the Soul of Syracuse,” the yearlong exploration designated by Chancellor Nancy Cantor. It is also funded in part by The Kaleidoscope Project, a diversity initiative between the divisions of Undergraduate Studies and Student Affairs to broaden the understanding of diversity and promote healthy dialogue about related issues at the University.