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The 5th Ward, Invention, Modernism: Three Short Films

Part of Echoes of the DeLuxe Art Show: The 5th Ward, Black Invention, and Modernism

with Isaac Yowman, Flash Gordon Parks, and Stefani Saintonge

Sep 24, 2021, 07:30 PM Eventive Virtual Platform Free Get Tickets

Houston Cinema Arts Society presents a free virtual program of three short films, F*cked Like a StarArchie Bell, and Memory Builds the Monument, available to watch for one week beginning on Friday, September 24 at 7:30pm CST.

This film program explores some of the legacy of the 1971 DeLuxe Art Show. The DeLuxe Art show, curated by abstract artist Peter Bradley, and underwritten by Dominique and John de Menil, took place onsite at the historic DeLuxe Theater, currently having its 80th anniversary. The show featured both Black and white artists, apparently for the first time in US history. The style was abstract, modernist, with a heavy focus on color-field painting, not necessarily obvious choices.

The community the show took place in, and engaged, was the 5th Ward, with its own Black modernist legacy as a key engine of Black creativity and art making, ingenuity and politics. These themes are explored in films in the series as well as Deluxe Art Show's legacy -- the continued practice and expansion of Black modernism,  breaking from forms and inventing new ones.

The program will be followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with directors Stefani Saintonge, Flash Gordon Parks, and Isaac Yoman, moderated by HCAS artistic director Jessica Green.

Special Guests

Stefani Saintonge

Stefani Saintonge is a Haitian-American filmmaker, educator and editor who won the juried and audience award at BlackStar Film Festival for her short film, Fucked Like a Star. Her work has screened at several festivals and institutions internationally including Edinburgh International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Hammer Museum and the Smithsonian African American Museum. Her work as an editor has screened at Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Guggenheim Museum and PBS. As a member of New Negress Film Society, she co-created their annual Black Women’s Film Conference. She has received support from SFFILM, Jerome Foundation and Bronx Arts Council and served as an artist in residence with Haiti Cultural Exchange.

Isaac Yowman

Isaac Yowman, better known as Chill Vibes in the music industry, is a multi-platinum, Grammy & Stellar nominated creative powerhouse. In the Film & Television industry Yowman has also made a huge impact as a Creative Director, and is the owner of one of the nations top multimedia firms, IYO Agency.

The Houston native's talent and drive has allowed him to collaborate with a slew of brands & talents such as Beyonce, Sony Pictures, Microsoft, Chris Brown, Adidas, Marvel Studios, VH1 Ciroc, Trey Songz, Ford Motors,  Future, Common, Runtown, Russell Simmons, Ty Dolla, NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady, NFL Pro Bowler Arian Foster and MLB World Champion Chris Devinski and so many more.

With dual degrees in Entertainment Business & Audio Engineering from Full Sail University, his passion to continue to educate hisself and others is a priority. Isaac defines success as being able to leave a legacy that empowers other creatives and the community. He continues to keep this purpose at the forefront of his endeavors as he continues to create and inspire daily.

Flash Gordon Parks

Jason Woods aka Flash Gordon Parks is an ethnomusicologist from the city of Houston, TX. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Photography at Sam Houston State University in 2001. In 2005 Flash Gordon Parks published a book of photography and poetry called The Beautiful Side of Ugly with Eric Blaylock, which combined Blaylock's poetry with FGP's images to document the beauty of urban areas of Houston. As a DJ, he strives to educate the audience through carefully thought out selections lectures on the importance of Houston's Rich Music History. He has lectured at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Rice University, Art League Houston and more. In 2015 Flash Gordon Parks directed the documentary "This Thing We Do Houston DJ Culture Revealed".

Miriam Heads

Miriam Heads is a producer and filmmaker with an affinity for counter-culture and storytelling that showcases the many nuanced facets of underrepresented voices. Since starting her career in 2018, she has produced commercial and visual content for Adidas, Reebok, international music artist Runtown, NBA Hall-of -Famer Tracy McGrady, and many more. All Screwed Up is her first narrative project, of which she produced alongside Isaac Yowman, the film’s director.

F*cked Like a Star

F*cked Like a Star was shot in Haiti and New Orleans with a macro lens intended for shooting tiny subjects like ants. Focused on skillful traditional “woman’s work” - braiding, cooking, sewing, the audience is meant to see their work as an ant would, highlighting the majesty of what is normally thought of as mundane, repetitive labor. The film is experimental adaptation of an extract from Toni Morrison’s 1981 novel, Tar Baby; a story that explores sexual and racial tensions associated with an individual’s journey to autonomy. Saintonge’s film takes inspiration from Morrison’s passage about the work of ants, which—like the work of women—often goes unnoticed.

Country, Year United States, 2018
DirectorStefani Saintonge
Runtime8 MINS, SECS
Event TypeCompilation, Free Event

Archie Bell

Archie Bell is comprised of interviews conducted by Houston entrepreneur, DJ, and filmmaker Flash Gordon Parks with 5th Ward living legend Archie Bell of Archie Bell & the Drells. Songs from the Drells include the sublime 1968 track “Tighten Up,” one of the earliest funk hits in music history. Bell moved to Houston when he was a toddler with his family and began singing at the age of five in church in Houston's 5th Ward. While attending E.O. Smith Junior High School, Bell formed the group, The Drells, who started out playing neighborhood dances and sock hops. Bell has said that the spoken word intro to “Tighten Up,” was in response to a DJ’s assertion, after President Kennedy’s assassination, that nothing good came out of Texas.

Country, Year United States, 2019
DirectorFlash Gordon Parks
WriterFlash Gordon Parks
ProducerFlash Gordon Parks
Runtime36 MINS, SECS
Event TypeCompilation, Free Event

Memory Builds the Monument

Musical legends Ray Charles, James Brown, and Aretha Franklin often performed at the hottest nightclub in Houston’s 5th Ward. Club Matinee was known as “the Cotton Club of the south” by musical legends and area residents alike. Now a short new documentary, Memory Builds the Monument, taps the recollections of current and former 5th Ward residents who remember those magical years.

The film is directed by award winning filmmaker Isaac Yowman and produced with 5th Ward native and renowned artist Mel Chin, filmmaker Greg Carter and producer Miriam Heads. The primary people interviewed for the film are 5th Ward natives and well-known in their own rights. They include Archie Bell, Founding Member of the R&B group Archie Bell & the Drells; Algenita Davis, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Houston; Rev. Harvey Clemons, pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church; and Jesse Lott, who was recently named the Texas state three-dimensional artist of 2022.

Country, Year United States, 2021
DirectorIsaac Yowman
ProducerMel Chin, Greg Carter, Miriam Heads
Runtime MINS, SECS
Event TypeCompilation, Free Event