In 1996 the heist film genre got an exhilarating update with SET IT OFF. Combining all the tension and action of the established genre, the film broke new ground and added a layer of commentary by focusing on the lives (and robberies) of four black women played by Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kimberly Elise, and Vivica A. Fox. The film explores the ways in which these women are systematically undervalued and taken advantage of in contemporary society as women and as black women. After a series of devastating events force the women to reflect on their lives, they collectively decide to take control through robbing banks in the Los Angeles area. The film is action packed, full of emotion, and a rare and fascinating look at the black female experience that became one of the year’s biggest box office triumphs.
Live performance by Bria Mason Deluxx, King Femme, Miss Toto, and Sensitive Black Hottie. Introduction by filmmaker and Sundance Knight Fellow April Dobbins.
SEX. VIOLENCE. WHATEVER. is the new series from Flaming Classics and it explores a sliver of 90s American queer cinema. The series zeros in on the nexus of a unique moment in which the New Queer Cinema, as identified by B. Ruby Rich, is coalescing while simultaneously affecting Hollywood Cinema with a new level of prestige and exposure. Moving beyond camp and queer themes, these films are united by a more radicalized queerness in which characters reject heteronormative and patriarchal culture through sexuality, violence, and whatever means necessary. These films revolve around characters who have been restrained and repressed; they are filled with angst, rage, and revolution. The films, during their original release, were mired in debates over positive and negative forms of representation and we are excited to revisit these queer classics with new eyes and evaluate them outside of the binary of good and bad.
Directed by F. Gary Gary.
USA. 120minutes. 2k Digital Projection.