BFC/A Bill Gunn interview available to stream on Criterion Channel
A 1984 interview with filmmaker and actor Bill Gunn from the Black Film Center/Archive is available for streaming on the Criterion Channel.
Bill Gunn was a playwright, novelist, actor and film director who wrote more than 29 plays, six screenplays and two novels. He also directed three films and acted in more than 20 films and television shows during his lifetime.
He is a pioneer of Black independent cinema who broke away from stereotypical and simplistic depictions of Black people on film, championed the works of other independent Black artists such as Kathleen Collins and inspired such filmmakers as Spike Lee.
His film “Ganja and Hess” (1973) was named one of the 10 best films of the 1970s by the Cannes Film Festival.
The interview, which will be featured as part of a series called “Three by Bill Gunn,” was conducted by the BFC/A’s founding director, Phyllis Klotman, on the Bloomington campus.
The interview features Klotman in conversation with Gunn about his films “Ganja and Hess” and “Personal Problems” (1980), as well as his thoughts on the state of Black film and his experiences as a Black artist in America.
Criterion’s full series devoted to Bill Gunn will present “The Angel Levine” (1970), “Ganja and Hess” and “Personal Problems,” in addition to the BFC/A interview.
Anyone interested in viewing the interview, or the entirety of Criterion’s Bill Gunn series, may create an account at criterionchannel.com.