Redefining Black Film (Google eBook)

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University of California Press, 1993 - Performing Arts - 170 pages
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Can films about black characters, produced by white filmmakers, be considered "black films"? In answering this question, Mark Reid reassesses black film history, carefully distinguishing between films controlled by blacks and films that utilize black talent, but are controlled by whites. Previous black film criticism has "buried" the true black film industry, Reid says, by concentrating on films that are about, but not by, blacks. Reid's discussion of black independent films defined as films that focus on the black community and that are written, directed, produced, and distributed by blacks ranges from the earliest black involvement at the turn of the century up through the civil rights movement of the Sixties and the recent resurgence of feminism in black cultural production. His critical assessment of work by some black filmmakers such as Spike Lee notes how these films avoid dramatizations of sexism, homophobia, and classism within the black community. In the area of black commercial film controlled by whites, Reid considers three genres: African-American comedy, black family film, and black action film. He points out that even when these films use black writers and directors, a black perspective rarely surfaces. Reid's innovative critical approach, which transcends the "black-image" language of earlier studies and at the same time redefines black film makes an important contribution to film history. Certain to attract film scholars, this work will also appeal to anyone interested in African-American and Women's Studies.
  

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Contents

Early AfricanAmerican Film Companies
7
Lincoln Motion Pictures Black Family Films
9
Oscar Micheaux and Black Action Films
11
The Decline of the Indies
15
AfricanAmerican Comedy Film
19
Hybrid Minstrelsy and Black Employment as Comic Types
23
Hybrid Minstrel Film
26
Satiric Hybrid Minstrelsy
34
Black Power and Urban Revolts
73
The Making of a Hero Called Sweetback
77
The StudioProduced Black Action Film
83
Black Comedy on the Verge of a Genre Breakdown
92
Shes Gotta Have It
94
School Daze
98
Do the Right Thing
100
Black Feminism and the Independent Film
109

Satiric Hybrid Minstrel Film
35
Toward a Critical Theory of AfricanAmerican Film
42
Family Film Black Writers in Hollywood
44
Literary Forces Encouraging the Use of Black Writers
47
Jake a Giant Step
50
Race Sexuality and a Black Matinee Idol
51
A Raisin in the Sun
57
Textual Dialogue in A Raisin in the Sun
61
Black Action Film
69
From Bitterness to Anger
71
Black Womanism as a Form of Resistance
111
Resistance Accommodation Assimilation
113
Black Womanist Film Praxis
116
The Womanist Film and the Black Professional
120
MaleDirected New Black Independent Cinema
125
Notes
137
Selected Bibliography
157
Index
165
Index of Film Titles
169
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Page 3 - When Althusser wrote that ideology represents “not the system of the real relations which govern the existence of individuals, but the imaginary relation of those individuals to the real relations in which they live” and which govern Their existence, he was also describing, to my mind exactly, the functioning of gender.
Page 4 - Reading on in Althusser, one finds the emphatic statement “All ideology has the function (which defines it) of ‘constituting' concrete individuals as subjects.

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About the author (1993)

Mark A. Reid is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He has written extensively on black cinema.

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