Last week I singled out the outdoor film screenings at Black Cinema House as some of the only events of their kind I’d recommend. If you want to experience one for yourself, the South Shore organization’s first “Movies Under the Stars” program (copresented by the Rebuild Foundation and Chicago Film Archives) takes place this Friday night at 9 PM. Titled “Textured Lives,” the program collects three half-hour documentaries (all of them on 16-millimeter) about female writers: Gwendolyn Brooks, a profile of the legendary poet made for WTTW in 1966; Lorraine Hansberry: The Black Experience in the Creation of Drama (1975), a memorial for the author of A Raisin in the Sun made ten years after her death; and The Writer in America: Toni Morrison, an extended interview with the Nobel Laureate. Kicking off the program is a 1979 educational short starring Fat Albert called Write a Poem, Share Your Feelings.
The program is free of charge, and if you show up at 8 PM you can take part in a preshow potluck dinner. “Visit with neighbors and friends while we wait for the summer sun to set,” reads the Black Cinema House website. What a good idea—not only does this foster a sense of community among spectators, but it would seem to ensure that they won’t keep talking once the program starts.