Black Film Fest at the Parrish Art Museum

    The Sixth Annual East End Black Film Festival, organized by the African-American Museum of the East End, will be presented tonight and tomorrow night at the Southampton Cultural Center and at the Parrish Art Musuem on Saturday from 12:30 to 9 p.m.
    The program begins at 7 this evening with the free screening of “Men II  Boys” with a panel discussion to follow Tomorrow night the program shifts to spoken word and jazz performances by the band Touché and Dwayne Kerr, a jazz flutist, at 7 with a $10 suggested donation.
    The films include a variety of titles for children, families, and adults in both short and full-feature formats. A day pass is $10, admission is free for Parrish members.
    “Whitewash” from 1994 will open the program, a 26-minute animated short by Michael Sporn.  “Trouble in the Water” from 2009 by Roger Lee Edwards Jr. is a 17-minute consideration of self-mockery within the African-American community.
    The 1929 film “Hallelujah” was the first sound picture with an all-black cast, and an attempt by Hollywood to portray black rural life realistically. The 100-minute film was partially financed by the director, who put his own salary into the production when the studio deemed it a risky investment.
    “DNR,” a short film released in 2010, stars the writer and director David Martyn Conley, who plays a solider returning form Iraq to find his wife having an affair. At just 10 minutes, “Hairpiece” from 1984 is an animated satire of African-American women’s self image with a focus on hair.
    Two narrative features, “Cooley High” from 1975 and “Night Catches Us” from last year, complete the event. “Cooley High” has a loose multi-character structure and is somewhat autobiographical in capturing the sights and sounds of Chicago in 1964. The heroes are two students at a vocational high school.
    “Night Catches Us” was written and directed by Tanya Hamilton and takes audiences back to Philadelphia in 1976, where a man returns to his neighborhood after a long absence. His former ties with a black power group attract suspicion among his family and former neighbors as well as people from the movement who no longer trust him. The New York Times called the film a “complex story with admirable clarity and nuance, power as well as insight.”
    On Sunday, the museum will continue its Opera and Ballet in Cinema series with Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette,” an opera in five acts, at 2 p.m. The production from the 2008 Salzburg Festival in Austria runs approximately 170 minutes with one intermission. Tickets are $17 and $14 for Parrish members.            This production stars Rolando Villazon, whom Opera News called “the most talked-about and sought-after lyric tenor in the world.” His co0star is Nino Machaidze, a young Georgian soprano whose performance Opera News also praised.