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Looking for Langston (1989)

A black and white, fantasy-like recreation of high-society gay men during the Harlem Renaissance, with archival footage and photographs intercut with a story. A wake is going on, with ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ben Ellison ...
Alex
Matthew Baidoo ...
Beauty
Akim Mogaji ...
James
John Wilson ...
Karl
Dencil Williams ...
Marcus
Guy Burgess ...
Dean
James Dublin ...
Carlos
Harry Donaldson ...
Leatherboy
Jimmy Somerville ...
Angel
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stuart Hall ...
British voice (voice)
Langston Hughes ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

A black and white, fantasy-like recreation of high-society gay men during the Harlem Renaissance, with archival footage and photographs intercut with a story. A wake is going on, with mourners gathered around a coffin. Downstairs is an elegant bar where tuxedoed men dance and talk. One of them has a dream in which he comes upon Beauty, who seems to reject him, although when he awakes, Beauty is sleeping beside him. His story and his visits to the jazz and dance club are framed by voices reading from the poetry and essays of Hughes and others. The text is rarely explicit, but the freedom of gay Black men in the 1920s in Harlem is suggested and celebrated visually. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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1 October 1989 (USA)  »

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Connections

Referenced in Memories of 'The Long Day Closes' (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretentious Film That Reveals Little About Langston Hughes
4 November 1999 | by (Pasadena, California, United States) – See all my reviews

If you're looking for a film about Langston Hughes, look elsewhere. I saw the film at the Nuart in West Los Angeles, one of the premiere specialty theaters in town. It was playing on a double bill with the virtually unwatchable, ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE GETS HIS NIPPLE PIERCED. After suffering through that hideous film, I was then subjected to a film supposedly about Langston Hughes, but really nothing more than a production designer demo. The film looked nice, but outside of a few short clips of Hughes, you wouldn't even know that the film was about him. Rather than explore the life of one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century, the film seems more interested in parading images of gay men on the screen. The film doesn't even seem to explore the alleged homosexuality of Langston Hughes, at least not in a way that a heterosexual can understand. After the film was over, the audience was so disappointed, that the line for patrons to get their money back was longer than the line to purchase tickets.


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