It started with a conversation about Hollywood Shuffle.
Nellie Killian, programmer at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek, and Jake Perlin, director of Artists Public Domain’s Cinema Conservancy, were discussing Robert Townsend’s 1987 independent comedy born from the frustration of being a black actor unable to find good roles. “The trailer actually has him holding up his credit cards,” they both enthusiastically recalled, and this captured the essence of what the massive 60+ film, six-week series kicking off on 17 July at Bam is all about. “Was this put on the director’s credit card?” was the litmus test they asked one another when deciding which titles to include in indie 80s. The question may not have been literal, but the spirit is easy to recognize.