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Will (1981) & Personal Problems (1980)

August 21, 2015 @ 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM


UCLA Film & Television Archive presents “Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968-1986.

Will (1981)
Directed by Jessie Maple.

Considered the first feature film directed by an African American woman, trailblazer Jessie Maple’s first feature tells the story of a girls’ basketball coach and former athlete, battling heroin addiction as he and his spouse bring up a 12-year-old street kid, “Little Brother,” that they’ve taken in. Maple’s unblinking but compassionate telling of their story renders a Harlem not without its troubles, but brimming with humanity.

Producer: Jessie Maple, Leroy Patton. Director: Jessie Maple. Screenwriter: Anthony Wisdom, Jessie Maple. Based on an original story by Jessie Maple. Cinematographer: Leroy Patton. Editor: Willette Coleman. With: Obaka Adedunyo, Loretta Devine, Robert Dean, Audrey Maple, Ellwoodson Williams.

70 min.

Followed by:
Personal Problems (1980)
Directed by Bill Gunn.

Acclaimed writer Ishmael Reed, in collaboration with director Bill Gunn, reworks the soap opera genre to illuminate under-represented African American realities and critique the reductive banalities of television—soaps in particular. The saga of Johnnie Mae Brown, a professional nurse’s aid, leads us through the stresses of her professional and personal life, rendered with a penetrating irony.

Producer: Walter Cotton. Director: Bill Gunn. Screenwriter: Ishmael Reed, Walter Cotton. Cinematographer: Roberto Polidori. Editor: Bill Gunn. With: Verta Mae Grosvenor, Walter Cotton, Stacey Harris, Jim Wright, Thommie Blackwell.

70 min.

FREE Admission for all UCLA students with valid I.D.!

More Info: UCLA Film & Television Archive Website


August 21, 2015
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM


Billy Wilder Theater
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90024 United States