Montclair library to host screenings, discussions honoring filmmaker Oscar Micheaux
The Montclair Public Library is hosting an Oscar Micheaux retrospective, with screenings and discussions at Montclair Film throughout February.
Micheaux was the most important African American filmmaker of the early 20th century, the retrospective listing on the library website says. He made his way to Montclair, where he married actress and filmmaker Alice Burton Russell in 1926 and lived until his death in 1951, the listing says.
Micheaux made the first feature-length race film and was the first African American to produce a feature-length film with sound, the listing says. "He challenged stereotypes and shattered expectations for African American artists as storytellers and DIY business moguls," the listing says.
On Feb. 11 at 1 p.m., "Body and Soul" will be paired with a discussion by artist and lecturer Onnie Strother on the importance of Micheaux's work from the silent film era to the introduction of talkies.
On Feb. 18 at 1 p.m., local historian Betty Holloway will discuss Micheaux's Montclair connections including those shown through various scenes in the film, "The Girl from Chicago."
On Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m., Holloway and Strother will discuss Micheaux's depiction of art and culture in the African American community as compared to Hollywood productions and caricatures of the time, alongside the screening of "Swing!"
Tuition for all three events, offered through the library's Adult School program, is $30. Tuition for each event is $12. To register, isit the library's website at montclairlibrary.org.