Harold & Everson: Sugarcoated Arsenic
Admission: $10 general/ $6 Cinematheque members
Advance tickets available here.
Please note: This program is second in a two-part series. The first program, The Island of St. Matthews, screens May 19.
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Based on extensive historical research and embodying a strong sense of place, the films of Kevin Jerome Everson combine scripted and documentary moments with a rigorous formalism, with his filmic subjects inspired directly by gestures, tasks, and conditions of working class African American life. Avoiding traditional strategies of cinematic realism, Everson instead focuses on actions and statements, which are then abstracted into theatrical gestures, re-editing or restaging archival footage, and incorporating non-actor performers enacting fictional scenarios based on their own lives. In these films, historical observations intermesh with contemporary narratives.
Everson appears in person to present a selection of works examining overlooked aspects of American life including: Sugarcoated Arsenic, a fascinating archival re-enactment exploring African American intellectual, social, and political life at the University of Virginia during the 1970s (made with UVA colleague, historian Claudrena Harold); two films on football: Tygers—a glance at the fancy moves by the Mansfield OH Senior High football team and The Release; The E-Z Touch, Model No. 01191940, on how modernist automation has replaced the simplest of tasks; Charlie’s Proof, a portrait of the legendary Charlie Smith of Columbus, Mississippi disagreeing with the filmmaker; Rhinoceros, involving Alessandro de’Medici making a passionate broadcast to rally the people of Florence; and the paired films Fe26 and Sound That, two divergent looks at work, employment and the underground infrastructures and economies of Cleveland, Ohio.
An excerpt from Claudrena Harold and Kevin Jerome Everson’s Sugarcoated Arsenic: