Movie Blog: Black Film Festival Celebrates 10 Years

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(credit: Warner Bros.)

(credit: Warner Bros.)

Eric Henderson Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson joined the WCCO.COM web team in June 2006 and currently...
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It’s been 10 years since the Twin Cities Black Film Festival’s inauguration, but they’re throwing back twice as long to open this year’s edition.

The 2012 TCBFF — which is hosted and sponsored by the Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul — opens with a screening of the 1992 musical-thriller The Bodyguard in honor of its late headliner Whitney Houston, whose final screen performance — in the otherwise hollow Jordin Sparks remake of Sparkle — appeared and quickly disappeared from theaters last month.

The Bodyguard was Houston’s biggest commercial juggernaut, on screen and exponentially more so via its kajillion-selling soundtrack album, which was anchored by Houston’s battleship rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.”

The movie has always been a shaky affair at best, with a cliché plot and a phoning-it-in performance from love interest Kevin Costner, but it retroactively coasts on Houston’s compelling, force-of-nature vocals.

The Bodyguard isn’t the fest’s only retro feature. There is also 1973’s The Spook Who Sat By the Door, a satire of America’s social revolutions of the ’60s, as seen through the eyes of the aptly-named hero Dan Freeman, a black agent molded by the CIA who turns around and uses his prowess to train young black soldiers of his own. (I’d love to see Freeman’s take on the video game-obsessed couch potatoes from Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game, another festival selection.)

There are also some local offerings of note in the fest’s screening calendar, including a documentary on immigration reform and how the issue is affecting Minnesotans, as well as short portraits of the Twin Cities’ homeless population and MAD DADS’ V.J. Smith.

Here is a full rundown of the fest’s screenings:

Thursday, September 27 
7 p.m. — The Bodyguard

Friday, September 28
7 p.m. — Ali Speaks & Roaming Soul & Mad Love: VJ Smith and the Mad Dads
8:30 p.m. — The Spook Who Sat By the Door

Saturday, September 29 
3 p.m. — High Card Trumps & Black Brigade
5 p.m. — Second Chance U
6:30 p.m. — A Sisters Love & Soul Food Junkies

Sunday, September 30 
2 p.m. — Minnesota’s 1000 Miles from Immigration Reform + Mikel’s Faith
4 p.m. — Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game
7 p.m. — Quand le Bonheur & After Kony – Staging Hope

More programming information, as well as information on festival events, can be found here.

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