Day 3: The KNOW and 1000 Smiles Per Hour are two black-and-white delights and Akosua Adoma Owusu hits Carbondale

Akosua Adoma Owusu has been the talk of the town lately here in Carbondale since her special visit to SIUC’s Women in the Visual Arts class where she showed some of her work and spoke on her methodology and background in filmmaking.

 

She is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker, producer, and cinematographer whose films have screened worldwide in prestigious film festivals, museums, galleries, universities and microcinemas since 2005. Her work addresses the collision of identities, where the African immigrant located in the United States has a “triple consciousness.”Owusu interprets Du Bois’ notion of double consciousness and creates a third identity or consciousness, representing the diverse consciousness of women and African immigrants interacting in African, white American, and black American culture. Named by Indiewire as one of the six Avant-Garde Female Filmmakers Who Redefined Cinema, her work addresses the collision of identities, where the African immigrant located in the United States has a “triple consciousness.”

Owusu interprets Du Bois’ notion of double consciousness and creates a third identity or consciousness, representing the diverse consciousness of women and African immigrants interacting in African, white American, and black American culture. She has been featured in major international exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art; the Centre Georges Pompidou; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Hammer Museum and Fowler Museum at UCLA; Art + Practice; Prospect.3: Notes for Now New Orleans Biennial; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and at the Studio Museum in Harlem. She is the recipient of many awards including an African Movie Academy Award, Creative Capital grant, MacDowell Colony fellowship and a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship.

She will be speaking again today at the Mass Communications Soundstage (Room 1116) from 12-12:50 PM.

Fade to Black is a black-and-white cinema showcase and a look into another scope of cinema that people don’t get to experience in the new-age of mainstream media. The films being screened, The KNOW and 1000 Smiles Per Hour, are very different from one another. One taps into a very humanistic sphere while the other remains largely, political, but they both level in on new ways of telling these very different tales through one powerful medium: film.

In 1000 Smiles Per Hour, we’re introduced to what the director, Fabian Altenriedm calls “a calm and simple film.” He states that although it may be sad, “it always holds a great love for its characters and their poorly negotiated contracts with society, for their often neglected humanity, and for their dignity outside norm-systems.” In the film, we follow an androgynous jester for one day and one night through a decaying seaside town, but beyond that Altenriedm wants us to think about “outsiders and aims to turn this reflection about Mar and Esth into a reflection about ourselves and about our own place in society.”

With a budget of just $2,000, The KNOW, is the Galassi Brothers’ passion project. The film is about a compulsive eater/cleaning man trying to keep his spirit intact in a world where all media is owned by one company with an agenda of mind control. In making such a film, they “wanted to tell a story about how excessive media consumption can become an addiction and destroy spirit… by dividing us, scaring us, and keeping us hungry for breaking news while satisfying their owners or ‘sponsors’.”

Both of these films will be screening during the Fade to Black Film Showcase at Guyon Auditorium from 7-9pm in the Morris Library. For a list of what else is showing throughout the rest of this week, check out the schedule here.