Listing for Thursday's Cine Salon:
SUN RA – SPACE IS THE PLACE (1972, dir. John Coney)
IMDB plot summary:
Sun Ra--space-age prophet, Pharaonic jester, shaman-philosopher and avant-jazz keyboardist/bandleader--lands his spaceship in Oakland, having been presumed lost in space for a few years. With Black Power on the rise, Ra disembarks and proclaims himself "the alter-destiny." He holds a myth-vs reality rap session with black inner-city youth at a rec center, threatening "to chain you up and take you with me, like they did you in Africa" if they resist his plea to go to outer space. He duels at cards with The Overseer, a satanic overlord, with the fate of the black race at stake. Ra wins the right to a world concert, which features great performance footage of the Arkestra. Agents sent by the Overseer attempt to assassinate Ra, but he vanishes, rescues his people, and departs in his spaceship from the exploding planet Earth.
Like Ra himself, Space is the Place is one of a kind: part Blaxploitation film, and all polemic parable — a mythopoetic manifesto, made by people who believed in Ra's mystical message as much as they appreciated his Afro-psychedelica.