U.S., 1990, 94 min, 4K DCP, Dir. Wendell B. Harris Jr., Rated R, English, Arbelos Films
Saturday, 2/12 & Tuesday, 2/15
"A gloriously strange one-off that deserves to be appreciated by a new generation..."–British Film Institute
"Ferociously original, mordantly funny..." –LA Weekly
"I’d never seen a film like it." –Steven Soderbergh
This film is part of Strong Black Leads, a celebration of talented filmmakers and performers who, despite the odds, have made remarkable contributions to cinema through their respective crafts.
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival—yet criminally underseen for over three decades—Chameleon Street recounts the improbable but true story of Michigan con man Douglas Street, the titular “chameleon” who successfully impersonated his way up the socioeconomic ladder by posing as a magazine reporter, an Ivy League student, a respected surgeon, and a corporate lawyer. Elevated by a dexterous performance and daring direction from multi-hyphenate actor-writer-director Wendell B. Harris Jr., the film pins a lens on race, class and performance in American identity, which has lost none of its relevance. At once piercingly funny and aesthetically mischievous, Chameleon Street is a “lost masterpiece of Black American cinema” (BFI) long overdue to take its rightful place in the independent film canon.
Harris wrote a searing Director's Statement that addresses his concerns about how Black independent filmmakers like himself are silenced by Hollywood, despite festival and audience support. He noted that the film has been banned because the image and attitude of this film "are not in accord with how blacks have been allowed to be and act in feature films since Birth of a Nation in 1915."
Newly restored in 4K from the original camera negative under the supervision of Wendell B. Harris Jr.
After Hours is the best films you never saw on the big screen (or maybe you did) from late-night cult classics to foreign favorites and even summer blockbusters on weekends. Please note that unclaimed pre-ordered tickets will be sold to the rush line 30 mins after showtime.
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