Divas On Screen

Author: Mia Mask
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252091825
Size: 45.95 MB
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This insightful study places African American women's stardom in historical and industrial contexts by examining the star personae of five African American women: Dorothy Dandridge, Pam Grier, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Halle Berry. Interpreting each woman's celebrity as predicated on a brand of charismatic authority, Mia Mask shows how these female stars have ultimately complicated the conventional discursive practices through which blackness and womanhood have been represented in commercial cinema, independent film, and network television. Mask examines the function of these stars in seminal yet underanalyzed films. She considers Dandridge's status as a sexual commodity in films such as Tamango, revealing the contradictory discourses regarding race and sexuality in segregation-era American culture. Grier's feminist-camp performances in sexploitation pictures Women in Cages and The Big Doll House and her subsequent blaxploitation vehicles Coffy and Foxy Brown highlight a similar tension between representing African American women as both objectified stereotypes and powerful, self-defining icons. Mask reads Goldberg's transforming habits in Sister Act and The Associate as representative of her unruly comedic routines, while Winfrey's daily television performance as self-made, self-help guru echoes Horatio Alger narratives of success. Finally, Mask analyzes Berry's meteoric success by acknowledging the ways in which Dandridge's career made Berry's possible.

Contemporary Black American Cinema

Author: Mia Mask
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136308024
Size: 34.54 MB
Format: PDF
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Contemporary Black American Cinema offers a fresh collection of essays on African American film, media, and visual culture in the era of global multiculturalism. Integrating theory, history, and criticism, the contributing authors deftly connect interdisciplinary perspectives from American studies, cinema studies, cultural studies, political science, media studies, and Queer theory. This multidisciplinary methodology expands the discursive and interpretive registers of film analysis. From Paul Robeson’s and Sidney Poitier’s star vehicles to Lee Daniels’s directorial forays, these essays address the career legacies of film stars, examine various iterations of Blaxploitation and animation, question the comedic politics of "fat suit" films, and celebrate the innovation of avant-garde and experimental cinema.

Documenting The Black Experience

Author: Novotny Lawrence
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 0786472677
Size: 76.66 MB
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"Bridging the gap between often ignored black history and documentary film Novotny Lawrence brings together insightful articles from academics and practicing filmmakers. An overdue and much-needed anthology for the fields of documentary and black studies."--Christine Acham, University of Southern California "Lawrence presents a collection of straightforward essays on non-narrative cinema that documents pivotal moments in the African American struggle for civil rights. From its account of The Scottsboro Boys' case to the discussion of Jack Johnson in Unforgivable Blackness, to the analysis of Shirley Clarke's avant-garde character study, A Portrait of Jason, this volume calls attention to several important, but lesser known, films made in the documentary tradition. It will make a useful addition to classrooms and everyday conversations in which we try to reconstruct the tragedy and trials faced by historical subjects like Emmett Till and Dorothy Dandridge, or the difficulties faced by young people growing up in violent neighborhoods."--Mia Mask, Vassar College, author of Divas on Screen: Black Women in American Film History taught at the elementary, middle, high school and even college levels often excludes significant events from African American history, such as the murder of Emmett Till or the murder of four black girls by the Ku Klux Klan in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham. Such events are integral parts of history that continue to inform America's racial politics. Their exclusion is a problem that this work addresses by bringing more visibility to documentary films focusing on the events. Books treating the history of documentary films follow a similar pattern, omitting the efforts of filmmakers who have continued to focus on African American history. This book works to make documentary discourse more complete, bringing attention to films that cover the African American experience in four areas--civil rights, sports, electronic media, and the contemporary black struggle--demonstrating how the issues continue to inform America's racial politics.

The Encyclopedia Of Racism In American Films

Author: Salvador Jimenez Murguía
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1442269065
Size: 69.43 MB
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From D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation in 1915 to the recent Get Out, audiences and critics alike have responded to racism in motion pictures for more than a century. Whether subtle or blatant, racially biased images and narratives erase minorities, perpetuate stereotypes, and keep alive practices of discrimination and marginalization. Even in the 21st century, the American film industry is not “color blind,” evidenced by films such as Babel (2006), A Better Life, (2011), and 12 Years a Slave (2013). The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Film documents one facet of racism in the film industry, wherein historically underrepresented peoples are misrepresented—through a lack of roles for actors of color, stereotyping, negative associations, and an absence of rich, nuanced characters. Offering insights and analysis from over seventy scholars, critics, and activists, the volume highlights issues such as: Hollywood’s diversity crisis White Savior films Magic Negro tropes The disconnect between screen images and lived realities of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asians A companion to the ever-growing field of race studies, this volume opens up a critical dialogue on an always timely issue. The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Film will appeal to scholars of cinema, race and ethnicity studies, and cultural history.

Hollywood Divas Indie Queens And Tv Heroines

Author: Susanne Kord
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742537095
Size: 42.83 MB
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Hollywood Divas, Indie Queens, and TV Heroines offers an entertaining and critical look at the representation of women in recent movies. Written in a refreshingly accessible style, the book analyzes over thirty box-office hits. The authors explore the screen personae of top stars such as Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, and Renee Zellweger, as well as independent movie queens like Parker Posey and TV heroines like Sarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A must-read book for all film buffs who are tired of the mixed gender messages of mainstream culture."

Where No Black Woman Has Gone Before

Author: Diana Adesola Mafe
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 147731525X
Size: 60.44 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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When Lieutenant Uhura took her place on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek, the actress Nichelle Nichols went where no African American woman had ever gone before. Yet several decades passed before many other black women began playing significant roles in speculative (i.e., science fiction, fantasy, and horror) film and television—a troubling omission, given that these genres offer significant opportunities for reinventing social constructs such as race, gender, and class. Challenging cinema’s history of stereotyping or erasing black women on-screen, Where No Black Woman Has Gone Before showcases twenty-first-century examples that portray them as central figures of action and agency. Writing for fans as well as scholars, Diana Adesola Mafe looks at representations of black womanhood and girlhood in American and British speculative film and television, including 28 Days Later, AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Children of Men, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Firefly, and Doctor Who: Series 3. Each of these has a subversive black female character in its main cast, and Mafe draws on critical race, postcolonial, and gender theories to explore each film and show, placing the black female characters at the center of the analysis and demonstrating their agency. The first full study of black female characters in speculative film and television, Where No Black Woman Has Gone Before shows why heroines such as Lex in AVP and Zoë in Firefly are inspiring a generation of fans, just as Uhura did.

African American Actresses

Author: Charlene B. Regester
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253004314
Size: 67.29 MB
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Nine actresses, from Madame Sul-Te-Wan in Birth of a Nation (1915) to Ethel Waters in Member of the Wedding (1952), are profiled in African American Actresses. Charlene Regester poses questions about prevailing racial politics, on-screen and off-screen identities, and black stardom and white stardom. She reveals how these women fought for their roles as well as what they compromised (or didn't compromise). Regester repositions these actresses to highlight their contributions to cinema in the first half of the 20th century, taking an informed theoretical, historical, and critical approach.

Baad Bitches And Sassy Supermamas

Author: Stephane Dunn
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252091049
Size: 67.25 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This lively study unpacks the intersecting racial, sexual, and gender politics underlying the representations of racialized bodies, masculinities, and femininities in early 1970s black action films, with particular focus on the representation of black femininity. Stephane Dunn explores the typical, sexualized, subordinate positioning of women in low-budget blaxploitation action narratives as well as more seriously radical films like Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song and The Spook Who Sat by the Door, in which black women are typically portrayed as trifling "bitches" compared to the supermacho black male heroes. The terms "baad bitches" and "sassy supermamas" signal the reversal of this positioning with the emergence of supermama heroines in the few black action films in the early 1970s that featured self-assured, empowered, and tough (or "baad") black women as protagonists: Cleopatra Jones, Coffy, and Foxy Brown. Dunn offers close examination of a distinct moment in the history of African American representation in popular cinema, tracing its emergence out of a radical political era, influenced especially by the Black Power movement and feminism. "Baad Bitches" and Sassy Supermamas also engages blaxploitation's impact and lingering aura in contemporary hip-hop culture as suggested by its disturbing gender politics and the "baad bitch daughters" of Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones, rappers Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown.

And So I Sing

Author: Rosalyn M. Story
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780446710169
Size: 48.60 MB
Format: PDF
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Recounts the lives and careers of thirty-two world-renowned black heroines of opera and classical music, from the late nineteenth century onward, and their struggle to overcome sexism and racism

Contemporary Black American Cinema

Author: Mia Mask
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415523222
Size: 63.38 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
View: 3645
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Contemporary Black American Cinema offers a fresh collection of essays on African American film, media and visual culture in the era of global multiculturalism. Integrating theory, history, and criticism, the contributing authors deftly connect interdisciplinary perspectives from American studies, cinema studies, cultural studies, political science, media studies, and Queer theory. This multidisciplinary methodology expands the discursive and interpretive registers of film analysis. From Paul Robeson's and Sidney Poitier's star vehicles to Lee Daniels' directorial forays, these essays include but surpass discussions of urban realism in New Black Cinema. These entries address the career legacies of film stars, examine various iterations of Blaxploitation-animation, question the comedic politics of fat suit films, and celebrate the innovation of avant-garde and experimental cinema.