I watched Ste. Anne (2021), Rhayne Vermette’s debut experimental feature, in the most deplorable viewing conditions, in a small, hot room by a hissing radiator, with snow plows rumbling outside and the blinding sun making dark scenes practically invisible. Yet still, it is one of the most perfectly pictured and wondrous sounding movies Ive seen.
Working within the boundaries of the melodrama and the woman’s film (josei-eiga), Tanaka focused on women’s experiences, carving out spaces of female subjectivity within the male-dominated industry. Her decision to direct grew out of her passion for cinema as well as the new opportunities for women made possible by postwar gender reforms.
Between March 11 and 20, four Brooklyn-based short films screened at SXSW, each shot in Brooklyn and made by and featuring Brooklynites. SXSW is known for celebrating innovation in tech and education, and these projects offer their own kind of innovation: namely, an irreplaceable artistic ingenuity that flows out of this borough.
Uhuru Sasa Shule, which translates to “Freedom Now School” in Kiswahili, was the heartbeat of The East, a Brooklyn-based organization founded in 1969 by Black people committed to self-determination, social justice, and diasporic world-building.