Just a quick postscript here:
Our screening of The New-Ark at Rutgers-Newark this week was really one of the more exhilarating things I’ve been involved with in any university capacity, ever. There was an amazing, really diverse crowd that included students, faculty, community members (many of whom remembered the film from 1968, or personally knew Amiri Baraka!), and activists, and the screening was followed by a great panel discussion with historian Komozi Woodard and longtime local activists Becky Doggett and Larry Hamm. Truly, it was an honor to be a part of.
Looks like The New-Ark might make the rounds–it’s coming up at the Anthology Film Archives as part of a very cool Baraka series, and things look good for a Philly screening in the fall. That’s great–the film deserves an audience (and played better with an audience than I expected it to, honestly–though we did have a home-field advantage showing it in Newark, with several great moments of audible recognition from the crowd of people and places).
Brief link-dump, too: I was interviewed by the Star-Ledger about the screening, and also by WBGO, Newark public radio. I was also able to contribute a more substantive piece to Bright Lights Film Journal, which was a lot of fun to write. Finally, Liz Coffey at Harvard Film Archive (without whom we never could have pulled off the screening) wrote a really interesting and generous piece about The New-Ark and archival film recovery just this very morning.
Anyway, it was wonderful to use my blogging about Newark on film as a springboard to an actual event, and to see such a sizable and engaged turnout for the film. I suppose it’s back into utter blog-obscurity for me now, but here’s my best effort to capture the feel of the screening:
Oh, and a big ummmmm/LOLwut: