Shorts On Sundays: A Harlem Poetry Lesson
Life-long friends Bruce Weber and David Bailey collaborate for the first time to capture the spirit and soul of Harlem, New York, in today’s candid short dedicated to the late, revolutionary “bluesologist” Gil Scott-Heron. Similar to Spike Lee’s 1989 movie Do the Right Thing, Weber’s series of vignettes, filmed this summer, take place over a sweltering 24 hours. But while Lee focuses on a street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, A Harlem Poetry Lesson is a study of the historic uptown borough and its cast of characters, such as poet Jeffrey Hollington and landmarks the Apollo Theatre and the Carrie McCracken TRUCE Community Garden. Scott-Heron’s expressive growl adds lyrical tension to the Harlem imagery in the film, which includes excerpts from “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox,” taken from his 1970 debut album of the same name, through to material featured on the poet-musician’s haunting final album from 2010, I’m New Here.
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