I love this except from a recent interview with award-winning writer/director Cauleen Smith, which comes courtesy of BOMB Magazine, in which Smith discusses “Afrofuturism and its struggle with memory” with photographer Leslie Hewitt.
Cauleen maybe best known in the film world for her 1998 feature film debut, Drylongso, co-written by Salim Akil (Girlfriends, The Game, Jumping The Broom) – a coming-of-age drama about a young woman who begins photographing, for preservation purposes, what she deems “America’s most endangered species,” African-American males.
The film itself is very hard to find. It’s not on DVD, as far as I know. You might be able to get a VHS copy on eBay.
After Drylongso, Cauleen tried to get her second feature financed, without success; despite it being selected as a Tribeca All-Access Project, a few years ago. Titled I Am Furious Black, the script’s synopsis read, “A loner detective investigates the homicide of a media-shy graphic novelist who sabotages her own career to the detriment of her family, friends and business partner.” Upon hearing about it, I was instantly hooked, even though I hadn’t read a word of the script. But knowing the filmmaker, whom I had a few email exchanges with some years ago, when I first wondered what happened to that project, I had enough reason to be intrigued.
She’s currently a professor of Visual Arts at the University of California, in San Diego. The picture above is several years old, but I couldn’t find a recent one that was large enough to use here.
Listed to the interview except below. You’ll have to purchase a copy the current issue of the mag in order to get the full interview, so consider this a tease. You can do so via its website HERE, where you’ll also find several embeds of Cauleen’s recent short pieces, like the one underneath the interview player, which I encourage you to watch.