CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 17, 2002
(NOTE TO EDITORS: You can reach James Hatch and Camille Billops at 319-688-9836.
Video tapes of the films are available in advance to reviewers.)
Films By Hatch & Billops Include Sundance Jury Prize Winner
The University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts will present a festival
of short films by UI alumnus James Hatch and his wife, visual artist Camille
Billops, Oct. 25-27 on the UI campus. Hatch, Billops, poet Suzanne Noguere
and their team of collaborators are on campus creating the blues-musical fantasy
Klub Ka for a Nov. 14-24 world premiere production on the University
Theatres Mainstage season.
The free film screenings will be:
-- Finding Christa, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance
Film Festival, and Suzanne Suzanne at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25,
in Room 101 of the Becker Communication Studies Building;
-- Older Women and Love, plus a special sneak screening of a
new film, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, also in Room 101 of the Becker Communication
Studies Building; and
-- Take Your Bags and KKK Boutique Aint All Just
Rednecks, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, in the Terrace Room of the Iowa
Hatch, a native of Oelwein, Ia, is one of the nations most distinguished
scholars of African-American Theatre. A graduate of both the University of
Northern Iowa and the UI, he is an emeritus professor at City University of
New York. Hatch and Billops are the curators of the Hatch-Billops Collection,
a major archive of taped interviews and documents about African-American culture.
Finding Christa recounts how Billops was reunited with her daughter
Christa, whom she had given up for adoption as a young child. Christa, who
is now a singer and songwriter, is music director and composer for Klub
Ka. After winning the Grand Jury Award at Sundance, Finding Christa
was screened at film festivals around the world.
Suzanne Suzanne, Billops directorial debut, was selected for
the 1983 New Directors series sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center
and the Museum of Modern Art. The film confronts the tribulations of her niece,
who fell into heroin addiction in response the abuse by her father.
Older Women in Love frankly explores the erotic prowess of older
women, and their relationships with younger men, through parallel interviews
with four women between the ages of 45 and 79.
The KKK Boutique Aint Just Rednecks has been called a
comic excursion through an imagined underworld. It includes a racist
fashion show of Klan robes, intercut with interviews about encounters
with hate groups.
Take Your Bags addresses the cultural theft of the Middle
Passage. When the Africans boarded the ships bound for America,
they carried in their bags all their memories of home, Billops
explains. When they arrived in the New World, their bags had been switched,
and in them they found nigger, beast, slave.
Many generations later, the descendents of these Africans tour the
Museum of Modern Art to see the African-influenced sculptures and art of Picasso,
Braque, and Matisse.
The film was shown at the Sedona International Film Festival, as part of
the curated series A Tribute to Women in the Directors Chair.
All three screenings are open to the public, and no tickets are required.
Co-sponsors include UI Student Life/Bijou, the UI Department of Cinema and
Comparative Literature, and the Diversity Committee of UI Student Government.
The Department of Theatre Arts is a unit of the Division of Performing Arts
in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
For UI arts information, visit www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.