ST. LOUIS BLACK FILM FESTIVAL Continues This Week with CARMEN JONES and CAR WASH
The folks behind the St. Louis Black Film Festival Presents a Classic Black Film Festival for Black History Month at Landmark’s Tivoli Theater (6350 Delmar in St. Louis’ Loop) each Thursday in February. Last year the St. Louis Black Film Festival presented a series of new films by black filmmakers, but this year are going back into the vaults and digging out some vintage cinema for audiences with an interest in black history to enjoy on the big screen.
This offerings for this Thursday, February 9th are CARMEN JONES at 5pm and CAR WASH at 7pm.
CARMEN JONES (1954) was produced and directed by Otto Preminger from Oscar Hammerstein’s update of the Bizet opera. It stars Dorothy Dandridge as the title character, a free-spirited, free-loving parachute factory worker whose romantic entanglement with conflicted Joe(Harry Belafonte), who’s engaged to sweet Cindy Lou and about to go into pilot training for the Korean War, kicks off one of the most unique movie musicals in history. The music is definitely a highlight of CARMEN JONES, with memorable songs that include Dat’s Love, Beat Out Dat Rhythm on a Drum, Card Song, Stan’ Up and Fight, and Dat’s Our Man. Familiar faces in supporting roles include Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll and Brock Peters. Dandridge received on Oscar nomination as Best Actress – the first time such a nod was given to a black woman in this category.
CAR WASH (1976) is a very funny, lively and engaging comedy that tells of the day in the life of a close-knit group of black employees who work at a Los Angeles car wash, sort of a black AMERICAN GRAFFITI.With Bill Duke as an angry Muslim, Ivan Dixon as a wise, hard-working parolee, Sully Boyar as the harried owner, Franklyn Ajaye as an amiable dreamer, Tracy Reed as a sweet waitress, Antonio Fargas as a flamboyant homosexual, Lorraine Gary as a stuck-up upper class white lady, Jack Kehoe as an affable cowboy, Pepe Serna as a jovial Hispanic, George Carlin as a flaky cab driver, Lauren Jones as a sad hooker, Professor Irwin Corey as a middle-aged guy who’s mistaken for a pot bottle bomber, Garrett Morris as a jivey hipster, Melanie Mayron as the sexy cashier, Tim Thomerson as a handsome hunk, Richard Pryor as slick hustler reverend Daddy Rich, and the Pointer Sisters as Daddy Rich’s gospel singers, CAR WASH has a great ensemble cast, a loose, funky script that left room for improvisation and a memorable (nonstop) pulsating disco/soul soundtrack which makes the film not only a funny and pleasant diversion, but a document of its’ era.
So head to Landmark’s Tivoli Theater (6350 Delmar in St. Louis’ Loop) this Thursday to take in some black film history during Black History Month. The St. Louis Black Film Festival continues with IMITATION OF LIFE and COOLEY HIGH on Feb. 16; and A RAISIN IN THE SUN and SUPERFLY on Feb. 23. Stay tuned here at We Are Movie Geeks for details on those films.