Monday, December 4, 2017
Kevin Jerome Everson: Cinema and the Practice of Everyday Life
"Rooted so firmly in African-American settings that any appearance of a white person comes as a surprise (in itself a substantial political act), Everson’s films obsessively fixate on the everyday, offering immersive depictions of people working, passing time in their neighborhoods, running errands, going to the doctor, fixing their cars, and enjoying brief respites of leisure. These slivers of quotidian activity stand on their own as “complete” cinematic subjects, not mere fragments of larger narrative scaffolding, and the plainly descriptive titles of Everson’s films speak to his unwavering conviction in the seemingly undramatic minutes and seconds that mainstream cinema—or, for that matter, even a wide swatch of documentary and avant-garde cinema—routinely passes over as unworthy of prolonged attention."
The Harvard Film Archive is hosting a formidable retrospective of the films of Kevin Jerome Everson this winter. I spent my September and October consuming and researching the man's work and contributed the entirety of the program notes for the series, which can be found here. Everson's a highly unique figure. I don't think there's anyone quite like him on the contemporary scene. He makes films that almost necessitate accompanying texts to make sense of, and I hope what I've done here suffices.