Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies

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Psychology Press, 1996 - Performing Arts - 244 pages
Although it may not be the goal of filmmaker, most of us learn something when we watch movies. They make us think. They make us feel. Occasionally they have the power to transform lives. In Reel to Real, Bell Hooks talks back to films she has watched as a way to engage the pedagogy of cinema - how film teaches its audience. Bell Hooks comes to film not as a film critic but as a cultural critic, fascinated by the issues movies raise - the way cinema depicts race, sex, and class. Reel to Real brings together Hooks's classic essays (on Paris is Burning or Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have it) with her newer work on such films as Girl 6, Pulp Fiction, Crooklyn, and Waiting to Exhale, and her thoughts on the world of independent cinema. Her conversations with filmmakers Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, and Arthur Jaffa are linked with critical essays to show how cinema can function subversively, even as it maintains the status quo.

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Amazing, eye-opening must-read for anyone interested in cinema.


making movie magic
good girls look the other way
Leaving Las Vegas
breaking down to break through
the denial of death
Pulp Fiction
Watting to Exhale
transgressive subjectsreactionary film
paying attention to The Attendant
the progressive vision
whats passion got to do with it?
an interview with Wayne Wang
an interview with Camille Billops
an interview with Charles Burnett
a conversation with A J ArthurJaffa
black female spectators

race and accountability
Hoop Dreams
black masculinity in the mainstream
is paris burning?
whose pussy is this? a feminist comment

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About the author (1996)

Bell Hooks was born Gloria Watkins on September 25, 1952. She grew up in a small Southern community that gave her a sense of belonging as well as a sense of racial separation. She has degrees from Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has served as a noted activist and social critic and has taught at numerous colleges. Hooks uses her great-grandmother's name to write under as a tribute to her ancestors. Hooks writes daring and controversial works that explore African-American female identities. In works such as Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism and Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black, she points out how feminism works for and against black women. Oppressed since slavery, black women must overcome the dual odds of race and gender discrimination to come to terms with equality and self-worth.

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