Emiel Cleaver has used his video production skills to educate and enlighten by casting a light on Kansas City’s rich, yet complex, Black history. In addition to a critically acclaimed documentary on the Black political organization, Freedom Incorporated, Cleaver has produced documentaries on Bruce R. Watkins and the historic First Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas.
Walt Disney. Harry S Truman. Most Kansas Citians recognize these native sons. But Virgil Thomson? Blank stare. Actually, Virgil Thomson is the most important KC native most people have never heard of. That may soon change, thanks to a forthcoming PBS documentary that could return Thomson — one of the great American composers — to the fame and appreciation his admirers believe he has long deserved.
Seen any unseen films lately? That unusual opportunity will be presented to probing cinephiles at the inaugural Kansas City Underground and Unseen Film Festival running March 12 – 22 at the Westport Coffeehouse Theatre. “There are a lot of great movies that people don’t get to see,” said Willy Evans, the free festival’s 27-year-old director and co-founder.
At a time when cities are overrun with franchise coffeehouses and froyo joints, cultural landmarks are to be cherished. But Kansas City almost lost one when Tivoli Cinemas closed last April. A refuge from superhero flicks, the Westport multiplex remained dedicated for decades to presenting indie and international films and had attracted a devoted following of discriminating moviegoers — who were alarmed at what seemed to be its demise.
For 10 years, the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America (GLAMA) at the University of Missouri Kansas City has been an invaluable repository for historical, social, cultural and political material involving the region’s LGBTQ community. On Oct. 10, 2019, GLAMA commemorated its first 10 years with a special exhibit, “GLAMA at 10: A Decade of […]
Sometimes art comes from tough choices. Take Brian Rose’s documentary, “When I Last Saw Jesse.” The film, which won best Heartland Feature Documentary at this spring’s Kansas City FilmFest International, is a haunting look at the 2006 disappearance of UMKC student Jesse Ross.