Larry Clark

As Above, So Below (1973)

Larry Clark is a filmmaker and professor of film at San Francisco State University. Born in Ohio (where he was president of the Black Student Union at Miami University), he later drove to Los Angeles to enroll in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

With musical roots (his uncle was renowned jazz pianist Sonny Clark; his mailman father played sax and taught Latin dance, and his housekeeper mother sang opera), it’s fitting that his first feature, Passing Through (1977), is often cited as one of the best jazz films ever made. Featuring Horace Tapscott and his Pan-Afrikan People’s Jazz Arkestra and co-written by actor Ted Lange, it united a wide range of black artists. It had its world premiere at Los Angeles’ Filmex and went on to win the Special Jury Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival.

Clark’s second feature, Cutting Horse (2002) is a modern-day western about the ambitious dreams of struggling African American and Mexican American horse trainers.

Clark has received numerous awards, including the Locarno International Film Festival Special Jury Prize and the Oscar Micheaux Award for Cinematography. He travels the world extensively, often at the invitation of major film festivals and retrospectives.