Author: Hernan Vera
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Performing Arts
Screen Saviors studies how the self of whites is imagined in Hollywood movies--by white directors featuring white protagonists interacting with people of another color. This collaboration by a sociologist and a film critic, using the new perspective of critical "white studies," offers a bold and sweeping critique of almost a century's worth of American film, from Birth of Nation (1915) through Black Hawk Down (2001). Screen Saviors studies the way in which the social relations that we call "race" are fictionalized and pictured in the movies. It argues that films are part of broader projects that lead us to ignore or deny the nature of the racial divide in which Americans live. Even as the images of racial and ethnic minorities change across the twentieth century, Hollywood keeps portraying the ideal white American self as good-looking, powerful, brave, cordial, kind, firm, and generous: a natural-born leader worthy of the loyalty of those of another color. The book invites readers to conduct their own analyses of films by showing how this can be done in over 50 Hollywood movies. Among these are some films about the Civil War--Birth of a Nation, Gone with the Wind, and Glory; some about white messiahs who rescue people of another color--Stargate, To Kill a Mockingbird, Mississippi Burning, Three Kings, and The Matrix; the three versions of Mutiny on the Bounty (1935, 1962, and 1984) and interracial romance--Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Forty years of Hollywood fantasies of interracial harmony, from The Defiant Ones and In the Heat of the Night through the Lethal Weapon series and Men in Black are examined. This work in the sociology of knowledge and cultural studies relates the movies of Hollywood to the large political agendas on race relation in the United States. Screen Saviors appeals to the general reader interested in the movies or in race and ethnicity as well as to students of com
Author: Oliver C. Speck
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2014-07-31
Genre: Performing Arts
Django Unchained is certainly Quentin Tarantino's most commercially-successful film and is arguably also his most controversial. Fellow director Spike Lee has denounced the representation of race and slavery in the film, while many African American writers have defended the white auteur. The use of extremely graphic violence in the film, even by Tarantino's standards, at a time when gun control is being hotly debated, has sparked further controversy and has led to angry outbursts by the director himself. Moreover, Django Unchained has become a popular culture phenomenon, with t-shirts, highly contentious action figures, posters, and strong DVD/BluRay sales. The topic (slavery and revenge), the setting (a few years before the Civil War), the intentionally provocative generic roots (Spaghetti Western and Blaxploitation) and the many intertexts and references (to German and French culture) demand a thorough examination. Befitting such a complex film, the essays collected here represent a diverse group of scholars who examine Django Unchained from many perspectives.
Author: Valerie Smith
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Release Date: 1997
Genre: Performing Arts
The essays in this collection provide a variety of perspectives on black representation and questions of racial authenticity in mainstream as well as African American independent cinema. This volume includes seminal essays on racial stereotypes, trenchant critiques of that discourse, original essays on important directors such as Haile Gerima and Charles Burnett, and an insightful discussion of black, gay and lesbian film and video. The contributors include Donald Bogle, Thomas Cripps, Jane Gaines, Nathan Grant, Stuart Hall, Tommy L. Lott, Wahneema Lubiano, Mike Murashige, Valerie Smith, James Snead, and David Van Leer. Valerie Smith is a professor of English at UCLA. She is the author of Self-Discovery and Authority in Afro-American Narrative and editor of New Essays on Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon." A volume in the Depth of Field Series, edited by Charles Affron, Mirella Jona Affron, and Robert Lyons.
Author: Adilifu Nama
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2015-04-15
Genre: Performing Arts
Known for their violence and prolific profanity, including free use of the n-word, the films of Quentin Tarantino, like the director himself, chronically blurt out in polite company what is extremely problematic even when deliberated in private. Consequently, there is an uncomfortable and often awkward frankness associated with virtually all of Tarantino's films, particularly when it comes to race and blackness. Yet beyond the debate over whether Tarantino is or is not racist is the fact that his films effectively articulate racial anxieties circulating in American society as they engage longstanding racial discourses and hint at emerging trends. This radical racial politics—always present in Tarantino's films but kept very much on the quiet—is the subject of Race on the QT. Adilifu Nama concisely deconstructs and reassembles the racial dynamics woven into Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, and Django Unchained, as they relate to historical and current racial issues in America. Nama's eclectic fusion of cultural criticism and film analysis looks beyond the director's personal racial attitudes and focuses on what Tarantino's filmic body of work has said and is saying about race in America symbolically, metaphorically, literally, impolitely, cynically, sarcastically, crudely, controversially, and brilliantly.
In Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare, Leigh Raiford argues that over the past one hundred years, activists in the black freedom struggle have used photographic imagery both to gain political recognition and to develop a different visual vocabulary about black lives. Offering readings of the use of photography in the anti-lynching movement, the civil rights movement, and the black power movement, Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare focuses on key transformations in technology, society, and politics to understand the evolution of photography's deployment in capturing white oppression, black resistance, and African American life.
Author: Melvyn Stokes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2008-01-15
In this deeply researched and vividly written volume, Melvyn Stokes illuminates the origins, production, reception and continuing history of this ground-breaking, aesthetically brilliant, and yet highly controversial movie. By going back to the original archives, particularly the NAACP and D. W. Griffith Papers, Stokes explodes many of the myths surrounding The Birth of a Nation (1915). Yet the story that remains is fascinating: the longest American film of its time, Griffith's film incorporated many new features, including the first full musical score compiled for an American film. It was distributed and advertised by pioneering methods that would quickly become standard. Through the high prices charged for admission and the fact that it was shown, at first, only in "live" theaters with orchestral accompaniment, Birth played a major role in reconfiguring the American movie audience by attracting more middle-class patrons. But if the film was a milestone in the history of cinema, it was also undeniably racist. Stokes shows that the darker side of this classic movie has its origins in the racist ideas of Thomas Dixon, Jr. and Griffith's own Kentuckian background and earlier film career. The book reveals how, as the years went by, the campaign against the film became increasingly successful. In the 1920s, for example, the NAACP exploited the fact that the new Ku Klux Klan, which used Griffith's film as a recruiting and retention tool, was not just anti-black, but also anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish, as a way to mobilize new allies in opposition to the film. This crisply written book sheds light on both the film's racism and the aesthetic brilliance of Griffith's filmmaking. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the cinema.
Author: Sean Redmond
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2005-01-19
Genre: Performing Arts
Liquid Metal brings together 'seminal' essays that have opened up the study of science fiction to serious critical interrogation. Eight distinct sections cover such topics as the cyborg in science fiction; the science fiction city; time travel and the primal scene; science fiction fandom; and the 1950s invasion narratives. Important writings by Susan Sontag, Vivian Sobchack, Steve Neale, J.P. Telotte, Peter Biskind and Constance Penley are included.
Michigan State University Press, ProQuest, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and The New York Public Library are pleased to present a unique research, study, and teaching resource for professors and students of Black Studies, the Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience (SSBE). In the more than thirty-five years since the field of Black Studies established its presence in American higher education, the volume of research, writing, and publications on the global black experience has increased exponentially. Scholars in African American and African Diasporan studies have contributed in significant ways to the development of this new knowledge. So have scholars in mainstream disciplines in the United States and Europe, as well as scholars and intellectuals in Africa and throughout the Americas. When added to the extraordinary volume of research resources on the black experience that existed before the coming of Black Studies, the challenge of selecting appropriate materials for research, for study, and for teaching has become extremely difficult. Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience is a resource designed to assist users in making such choices. Both the electronic and the printed editions of Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience contain: a critical-review essay for each theme, a selection of essential readings, and research questions for the future. Extensive bibliographies, lists of primary research materials, timelines, and other resources are also included. There is also a multimedia library and links to related websites included in the on-line edition. Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience offers users a way to understand the evolution of scholarship on the selected themes and to access the essential literature that supports it. Schomburg Studies affirms both the quantity and the quality of the intellectual underpinnings of Black Studies. As part of this collaboration Michigan State University Press offers the second volume of the book series format that works as a teaching tool with or independently of the database.