William Hooker performing with Body and Soul, a film by Oscar Micheaux
“I have always tried to make my photoplays present the truth, to lay before the race a cross section of its own life, to view the colored heart from close range. My results might have been narrow at times, due perhaps to certain limited situations, which I endeavored to portray, but in those limited situations, the truth was the predominant characteristic. It is only by presenting those portions of the race portrayed in my pictures, in the light and background of their true state, that we can raise our people to greater heights.” (Oscar Micheaux)
The kinetically charged percussionist William Hooker has been exploring free music for several decades with soulmates David Murray, David Ware, Thurston Moore, Zeena Parkins, Elliot Sharp, Christian Marclay and many more. In this performance he accompanies one of the most prolific films by Oscar Micheaux, who was one of the first African-American filmmakers to disrupt and challenge conventional racist representations of blackness. Featuring the debut screen performance of the incomparable Paul Robeson, Body and Soul (1925) is a scathing critique of the power of the cloth, with Robeson in dual roles as a jackleg preacher and a well-meaning inventor.
in collaboration with Vooruit