Cinémathèque screens ‘90s classic

Jan 30, 2019
Annabella Sciorra and Wesley Snipes play a couple that rocks both their worlds in “Jungle Fever.”

Camden — Cinémathèque @ the Camden Opera House is a new monthly film program celebrating the best of classic, foreign and cult cinema. The film selection aims to challenge, invigorate and promote dialogue. Casual post-show discussions at nearby 40 Paper will follow each screening, including half-price drinks starting at 9 p.m.

The second Cinémathèque screening is set for Monday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. with Spike Lee’s infamously provocative “Jungle Fever” (1991, USA). A successful, happily married black architect begins an affair with his white secretary. The relationship is greeted by disapproval from friends, family and even strangers in a society not ready to accept it.

Since nothing is simple in a Spike Lee movie, the affair in “Jungle Fever” crosses lines not only of race, but also class, morality, family and religion. The black man, Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes), is an upscale yuppie living in the aptly named Striver’s Row neighborhood of Harlem. The white woman, Angie Tucci (Annabella Sciorra), is a tough cookie from blue-collar Bensonhurst. Their romance is an impulsive late-night office fling that turns serious when everyone starts pointing fingers at it … and it’s the paranoia behind each of those fingers that really interests this moviemaker.

The film’s ensemble also features Samuel L. Jackson, John Turturro, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Halle Berry, Tim Robbins and more, backed by a full original score by Stevie Wonder. It runs two and 12 minutes. General admission tickets are $8, available at the door only. The Cinémathèque series is curated by Joanna Spinks. For upcoming (March 11 and April 8) titles, visit camdenoperahouse.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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