Photographer and filmmaker Tyler Mitchell (b. 1995) joins us to present a special artist-curated evening. Screening alongside Mitchell’s short films Chasing Pink, Found Red, and Idyllic Space (both 2019)—expressive collective portraits of young Black people in moments of repose and reflection—is Charles Burnett’s To Sleep with Anger (1990). Within the formidable web of familial relations in Burnett’s third feature, steeped in myth, tradition, and Black Southern spirituality, is a young man’s journey to find his own individuality. For the Atlanta-born Mitchell, the film is rich with personal resonance and with allegorical, intergenerational pathways into his own work.
This program is the latest iteration of Night at the Cinema, a project initiated by Mitchell during the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of real-time online film screenings and conversations fashioned according to Mitchell’s unique flair and perspective—and run from his computer desktop. A polymathic creator whose images have graced museum walls and magazine covers alike, Mitchell states that he makes little distinction between commissioned and personal work. Each is “an opportunity to create this utopian universe…. I aim to visualize what a Black utopia looks like or could look like.” Celebrating Mitchell’s vision of exhibition-making and cinema culture as ways of world-building, the communal screening event becomes a site for connection, intimacy, and play.