The Academic Film Archive of North America (AFA) calls 16 mm academic films "the hidden corner of North American cinema." So it's particularly apropos that the Ciné 16 Vintage School Film Series, the AFA's local monthly film event, is using its February installment to uncover hidden corners in African-American history with the program "Syncopation, Sax and Sopranos: A Celebration of African & African-American Musicians." Included in tonight's offerings is footage of the influential Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji showing off musical instruments made of clay, scrap metal, skins and additional materials. Another work explores the roots of Dixieland jazz and other genres while traveling along the Mississippi River, and The Golden Gift finds us mid-river: This St. Louis-made film from the '60s features an interview between talent scout Arthur Godfrey and African-American opera singer Grace Bumbry, who takes viewers to her own corners of our city. The free event begins at 7 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org). Drinks and snacks are available for purchase.
Thu., Feb. 21, 2008