Sidewalk Stories / A Natural Born Gambler

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Sidewalk Stories / A Natural Born Gambler

  • 1989, 1916
  • Directed By: Charles Lane, Bert Williams
  • Rated Not Rated
  • Comedy, Drama
  • 119 Minutes
  1. Monday, March 9, 2015 7:00 p.m.
Image from the film Sidewalk Stories
Sidewalk Stories (1989) Directed by Charles Lane
A Natural Born Gambler (1916) Directed by Bert Williams


Sidewalk Stories tells the story of a modern day “tramp” and his unlikely friendship with a lost child. Lane pairs the comedic charm of Chaplin with the harrowing social realism of Lionel Rogosin to explore class relations and homelessness in 1980s New York. Lane’s film will follow Bert Williams’ 1916 short A Natural Born Gambler, featuring the Black comic playing on popular stereotypes to provide a point of comparison, as well as a striking point of departure to Sidewalk Stories. The print for A Natural Born Gambler is preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from The Lillian Gish Trust for Film Preservation. Thank you to the Museum of Modern Art Film Preservation Center for the generous loan of their 35mm print.
(2K DCP/35mm presentation)

BLACK SILENCE: Films BY Zeinabu irene Davis and Charles Lane
Decades before The Artist sparked an international silent revival, two Black independent features—Charles Lane’s Sidewalk Stories and Zeinabu irene Davis’ Compensation—bookended the heyday of the Black New Wave with bold formal experiments incorporating markers of silent cinema into contemporary explorations of friendship, social inequality, and Black experience. To return to silent cinema is to invoke nostalgia, but in the case of these filmmakers, it is a knowing, rather than naïve, romance with a past that excluded African Americans.

This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, the College of Arts and Sciences, The Media School, the Film and Media Studies Program, the Department of American Studies, and the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies.