Kevin Jerome Everson is maybe one of the more well-known African American experimental filmmakers. Born in 1965, Everson now lives and works in Charlottesville, Virginia. A recipient many prestigious grants and fellowships, his works have been exhibited at several revered film festivals and institutions all over the world.
Briefly, Everson’s films and videos are usually sparse and rugged, combining documentary and scripted elements, usually focusing on the lives of mostly working class people of African descent.
Thus far, I’ve only been able to experience Everson’s films in small doses. If you’ve never seen any of the man’s work, I encourage you to take a look and decide for yourself. Abstract and demanding, his style is certainly not for everyone; but I always sit up and pay attention whenever I hear of any new projects he’s working on.
Like this one below, titled, Quality Control.
Beautifully filmed in black and white 16mm, Kevin Jerome Everson’s documentary about a day in the life of an Alabama dry cleaners exposes the monotonous and repetitive reality behind our clean shirts and suits. Everson’s signature long static takes containing little or no dialogue emphasize the relationship between the workers and the machines – a noisy choreography of modern industrialised labour and social division that goes to heart of the working class Afro-American experience.
That’s how the Edinburgh International Film Festival describes it, which is also where the 71-minute feature documentary film will be screening next, later this month, in Scotland, after premiering at Rotterdam much earlier this year.
Watch the intriguing preview below: