n+1 | 68 Jay Street
n+1 presents a special screening and discussion of Ganja & Hess (1973). Written and directed by Bill Gunn, Ganja & Hess is one of the lost masterpieces of modern film, revered by countless cinephiles but rarely screened. A complex, lyrical, moody film—the first directed by a black American to be screened at Cannes (where it received a standing ovation)—Ganja & Hess uses the tropes of blaxploitation and vampire films to smuggle in profound allegories of the trauma of black assimilation and the hidden psychic costs of American middle class life. “It’s a vampire movie that feels at once like a vaguely remembered daydream concerning negro church life, post–Civil Rights black class consciousness, and lucid erotic nightmares,” writes critic Brandon Harris, who discusses the movie—and its recent remake by Spike Lee as Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014)—in his piece “Blood Couples” for issue 22. Harris, a filmmaker, critic, and professor of film studies at SUNY Purchase, will introduce the film.
Free for subscribers, $5 for everybody else