B. Ruby Rich, Kass Banning, Warren Crichlow, and Isaac Julien in Conversation

October 20, 2020

Isaac Julien is joined by editors and contributors to Film Quarterly for a discussion about sensorial immersion and human rights in the artist’s moving-image practice.

Film Quarterly editor B. Ruby Rich moderates a discussion of Julien’s genre-breaking and immersive installation about Frederick Douglass, Lessons of the Hourwhich eschews cultural idealization of the abolitionist while revealing Douglass as a visionary and continued force for human rights in the twenty-first century.

Rich has written extensively about Julien’s filmmaking, having coined the term “New Queer Cinema” to describe a movement in queer-themed, independent filmmaking that emerged in the early 1990s and focused on the filmographies of Julien and peers such as Gregg Araki, Todd Haynes, Derek Jarman, Tom Kalin, Sally Potter, and Yvonne Rainer. Julien and Rich are joined by professors Kass Banning in the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto and Warren Crichlow of York University, Toronto. The two recently co-published the article “A Grand Panorama: Isaac Julien, Frederick Douglass, and Lessons of the Hour,” Film Quarterly vol. 73, no. 4 (Summer): 11–24.

The West Coast premiere of Lessons of the Hour includes an exhibition of Julien’s related photography and selections from the McEvoy Family Collection that further explore questions of identity, justice, history, and image-making in the film installation. New Labor Movementsa resonant original program of film and video shorts curated by Leila Weefur, explores contemporary visions of America and concepts of transnational Blackness. A series of online conversations with these artists and invited thinkers and scholars take place throughout the run of the exhibition.

This conversation is co-presented with Film Quarterly.

Read more