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Product Overview

A black and white, fantasy-like recreation of high-society gay men during the Harlem Renaissance, with archival footage and photographs intercut with a story. A wake is going on, with mourners gathered around a coffin. Downstairs is an elegant bar where tuxedoed men dance and talk. One of them has a dream in which he comes upon Beauty, who seems to reject him, although when he awakes, Beauty is sleeping beside him. His story and his visits to the jazz and dance club are framed by voices reading from the poetry and essays of Hughes and others. The text is rarely explicit, but the freedom of gay Black men in the 1920s in Harlem is suggested and celebrated visually.


Studio Strand Releasing
SKU 204776871
UPC 712267271627
UPC 14 00712267271627
Format DVD
Release Date 7/31/2007
Rating UR
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
Name Ellison,Ben
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Akim Mogaji - Actor
Ben Ellison - Actor
Derek Brown - Production Designer
Isaac Julien - Director
John Wilson - Actor
Matthew Baidoo - Actor
Nadine Marsh-Edwards - Producer
Wayson Jones, et. al. - Original Music By
ReviewSource DVD Beaver
Review Award-winning British filmmaker Isaac Julien's film is both critically acclaimed, and controversial. A lyrical and poetic consideration of the life of revered Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes, Julien invokes Hughes as a black gay cultural icon, against an impressionistic, atmospheric setting that parallels a Harlem speakeasy of the 1920s with an 80s London nightclub...the film combines archival footage with newly staged set pieces, fantasy sequences, and an imagined love story. The result is a beautiful and ultimately celebratory piece about artistic expression and the nature of black gay desire...This stylish avant-garde film is a meditation on the work of acclaimed black poet Langston Hughes. The film reclaims and celebrates Langston Hughes as an important black gay voice in American culture. Original footage of the Cotton Club in the 1920s, archival footage depicting the Harlem Renaissance period, and Robert Mapplethorpe's photos of beautiful black men set the scene for this exploration of attitudes toward homosexuality.
Reviewer Gary W. Tooze
ReviewRating 9
Product Attributes
Actor Ellison,Ben
Label Strand Releasing
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Gary W. Tooze, DVD Beaver A lyrical and poetic consideration of the life of revered Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes...

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