With over 50 related events and projects
and a network of creative partnerships across the country, Black World is a
major national initiative from the British Film Institute celebrating black
creativity in film, television and the moving image.
From June to October 2005, the British Film Institute National Film Theatre
will be hosting an in-depth programme of Black music as it has been explored
on British television both via documentaries and live
performance shows. Kofi Acheampong has been working hard behind the scenes,
researching the available material and putting together the playlists and
screenings. He has also arranged for special guest hosts who will introduce
each month's musical genre.
To go along with the screenings, each month, Blacktronica will host the
Black World club night at the bfi National Film Theatre Cafe. Charlie Dark's
Blacktronica crashes through the genres, conventions and stereotypes of
black music; from Carl Craig to Coltrane - the past, present and the future.
Blacktronica has been voted Top 5 club night by Radio 1's Gilles Peterson
and praised by Chris Ofili as "part house party, part revolutionary meeting
and part social gathering..."
After Kofi let me know what he had planned for this retrospective I just had
to pass the information on. For this season the film and documentary curator
has put together some of the most époque defining and seminal works he could
lay his hands on which should give everyone an overview of what was popping
off at the time both in the mainstream, but more importantly from the
burgeoning underground hotbed of creativity. Many of these documentaries
have not been seen widely since their first broadcast and this is a great
chance for tose oldies to see those films which were so influential again,
or for youngsters who may not even have been born when they were first
transmitted a valuable chance to learn about the originators and pioneers
The season is broken down into five separate genres as listed below:
- Rap & Hip-Hop - June 2005
- Soul & R'n'B Funk - July 2005
- Calypso, Ska, Reggae and Two-Tone - August
- Jazz - September 2005
- The Blues - October 2005
& Hip-Hop TV - June 2005
The Emerging Scene: Hip Hop Pioneers
Fri 17 June 6.20pm NFT2
Wed 22 June 8.40pm NFT 2
In Beat This!: A Hip-Hop History (1984. BBC Arena Directed by Dick
Fontaine), the origins of the Hip-Hop movement in the South Bronx area are
thoroughly explored. Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa examine how this
innovative, musical expressive form, incorporating rapping, DJ-ing,
break-dancing and graffiti, was used to prevent many of the Black and
Hispanic kids in the local area from spiralling into petty street crime and
gang violence. Also included are excerpts from the weekly British music show
The Tube with highlights from Grandmaster Flash (1980), Kurtis Blow (1986),
Afrika Bambaataa (1984) and the Rock Steady Crew (1983).
Introduction to the season will be given by David Toop, award-winning
musician, writer (author of Rap Attack) and sound curator on Friday 17 June.
Hip-Hop Style and Culture and the British Invasion
Sat 18 June 8.40pm NFT2
Tues 21 June 6.00pm NFT 2
Dick Fontaine's seminal graffiti documentary Bombin' (Central TV
1988; 56 mins) charts the visit of 19-year old graffiti legend 'Brim'
Fuentes and innovative hip-hop producer Afrika Bambaataa to the UK in 1985.
This inspired social document expertly depicts the burgeoning media
fascination with this African-American cultural movement. Meanwhile,
Public Enemy Live in Concert (Behind the Beat; BBC 1988, 30 mins)
illustrates how the sonic juggernaut of sampled James Brown funk rhythms,
coupled with powerful lyrics of charismatic front man Chuck D, made Public
Enemy one of the most critically revered and influential hip-hop groups.
Introduction on Tuesday 21 June by one of the UK's most fondly remembered TV
presenters and a long standing champion of hip-hop culture and lifestyle,
Normski. His energy and charisma made Dance Energy (BBC 2: Def II) a must
for any discerning, music-loving youth of the early 1990s.
Hip-Hop as a Global Phenomenon
Mon 20 June 8.40 pm NFT2
Tues 28 June 6.20pm NFT 2
David LaChapelle's energetic, amusing and award-winning documentary
Clowns in the Hood (Alt-T; C4 2003, 24 mins) explore the craze that has
become popular amongst youths residing in the South Los Angeles area.
Essentially a modern variant of break-dancing, 'clowning' hybridises
hip-hop, tribal dance and outrageous face paint.
Two of hip-hop's most eloquent spokesmen, KRS-ONE and Chuck D are featured
in the The Late Show 'Rap Special' (BBC 1990, 40 mins). These
Afro-centric rappers were determined to prove that their lyrics could teach,
inspire and communicate an acknowledgement of education as a powerful tool
and the positive acceptance of black role models and historical figures.
Also featured are performances from The Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah,
Boogie Down Productions, Ice-T and Public Enemy.
Substantial extracts from Isaac Julien's insightful documentary for Arena,
the Dark Side of Black (BBC 1994), are concerned with exploring the
uneasy existence that much hip-hop music has within a framework of violence,
homophobia and virulent anti-female lyrical content. This analysis of
hip-hop culture is deeply thought provoking and features leading
African-American academics and rap musicians such as Tricia Rose, Cornel
West, Ice Cube and Chuck D.
Soul & R'n'B Funk - July 2005
All the greats of Soul & R'n'B & Funk will be screened for your viewing
Reminisce Sixties/early-Seventies Soul including Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding,
Shirelles, Supremes, Rufus Thomas, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Four
Tops, Lou Rawls, Gladys Knight& The Pips, Jimmy Ruffin, Ben E King.
There will be Funk performances from Stylistics, Rose Royce, Al Green,
Luther Vandross, Earth Wind and Fire, George Clinton and Prince.
Plus there will be specials with Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield in
And let's not forget the Sisters of Soul with unforgettable performances
from Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Martha, Gladys Knight, LaBelle, Pointer
Sisters, Millie Jackson, Nina Simone, Mary J Blige.
Calypso, Ska, Reggae and Two-Tone - August 2005
Feel the musical warmth of the Caribbean with a mix of documentaries and
Jazz - September 2005
From the depths of the bfi Archives, there will be music performances of
The Blues - October 2005
Outstanding music performances will be presented to you from our TV archives
As well as the screenings above, there is also a series of interesting
debates including, Black Heroes in the Frame - In Conversation
with... American Film Director and Actor, Mario Van Peebles. This
talk takes place on Thursday June 2nd 12.30pm-3.00pm at the National Film
Theatre, Southbank ad is put on in Partnership with 100 Black Men.