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LORD THING (screening 1)

Friday, October 17, 2014 ,  8PM

Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State Street
Chicago, IL , go to map

Admissions: General $11, Students $7, Film Center Members $6

Due to the popularity of the sold out LORD THING restoration premiere, Chicago Film Archives and the Gene Siskel Film Center are happy to present two encore screenings on Friday, October 17th and Thursday, October 23rd at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Both encore screenings will be introduced by Richard Steele, an award-winning host and correspondent for WBEZ Chicago Public Media, where he contributes interviews and reports to Eight Forty-Eight,The Afternoon ShiftWorld ViewMorning EditionAll Things Considered,, and special programming.

THE CORNER (1963, Robert Ford, 16mm. NFPF Restoration, B&W, Sound, 26 min.; found in Chicago Film Archives’ Robert Ford Collection)

THE CORNER provides an unprecedented window into one of Chicago’s most notorious street gangs, the Vice Lords. The film was made by Northwestern Grad student, Robert Ford, over the course of seven months and is constructed from a series of audio interviews with the teenage Vice Lord gang members as they reflect on their lives, daily struggles, and the law of the streets. Filmed at the corner of Lake Street and Homan Avenue on Chicago’s West Side, THE CORNER captures the raw energy and grit of the urban city and those who call this street corner home.

LORD THING (1970, DeWitt Beall, 16mm. NFPF Restoration, Color, Sound, 52 min.; found in Chicago Film Archives’ DeWitt Beall Collection)

Produced at the height of the black power movement in the early ‘70s, this film is an insider history into the genesis and transformation of the Conservative Vice Lords gang.  Partially shaped and told by by CVL members who also appear in the film, LORD THING is a unique and powerful tool that expresses an effort in self-transformation during a volatile and violent time in US race history.  Gritty and rhythmic, this unusual film reflects an under-told chapter in gang history as members from the West Side neighborhood of North Lawndale try to become viable and political agents in their community.  LORD THING won a silver medal at the 1970 Venice Film Festival.

Just a couple of years ago only one muddy VHS copy of the historical film, LORD THING, could be found. Our colleague on the east coast, Buckey Grimm, did some research for CFA and found the film elements in California under the care of the director’s widow, Elina Katsioula-Beall.  Little-known today, DeWitt Beall was a filmmaker who seemed to work independently from other documentary filmmakers of the time.  His films grapple with social justice issues as well as the conservation of our natural world.

**Big acknowledgments to Michael W. Phillips Jr. - South Side Projections - and Rebecca Zorach for identifying and presenting this tape at the South Side Community Arts Center in 2011.

Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State Street
Chicago, IL
go to map
Admissions:General $11, Students $7, Film Center Members $6