In a slightly oblique response to some of the discussion around
african- americans in film.
The question of race (ism) seems be at two levels. we can say that
there has been some movement in casting of people of colour, in
particalar african-amercians in
mainstream film to the extent that the characterisation no longer
revolves around the stud/criminal for men and the prostitute/maid for
women (crudely put I know, but i'm sure you'll recognise what i
mean). There remains the problem of whose story is being told in the
films which cast actors of colour. Which moves the problem onto
a level which is beyond only representations of characters towards
the problems of the institution, the question of who controls the power
to make decisions about the stories told. I already mentioned
cheyl dunye's 'watermelon woman' but will do so again since it is a
film which articulates these types of concerns. as a film which
provides a critique of the history of the industry, whilst also making
points about more contemproary concerns around race and sexuality,
and putting into the play a questioning of fiction vs history
it is very interesting.
Department of American and Canadian Studies
University of Nottingham
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama.