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White screens, black images

New York : Routledge, c1994.

White screens, black images Overview

Hollywood's representation of blacks has been consistently misleading, promoting an artificially constructed mythology in place of historical fact. But how, James Snead asks, did black skin on screen develop into a complex code for various types of white supremacist discourse? In these essays, completed shortly before his death in 1989, James Snead offers a thoughtful inquiry into the intricate modes of racial coding in Hollywood cinema from 1915 to 1985. Snead presents three major methods through which the racist ideology within film functions: mythification, in which black images are correlated in a larger sceme of semiotic valuation where the dominant ''I' needs the marginal ''other' in order to function effectively; marking, in which the color black is repeatedly over-determined and redundantly marked, as if to force the viewer to register the image's difference from white; and omission--the repetition of black absence from positions of autonomy and importance. White Screens/Black Images offers an array of film texts, drawn from both classical Hollywood cinema and black independent film culture. Individual chapters analyze Birth of a Nation, King Kong, Shirley Temple in The Littlest Rebel and The Little Colonel, Mae West in I'm No Angel, Marlene Dietrich in Blonde Venus, Bette Davis in Jezebel, the racism of Disney's Song of the South, and Taxi Driver. Making skillful use of developments in both structuralist and post-structuralist film theory, Snead's work speaks not only to the centrality of race in Hollywood films, but to its centrality in the formation of modern Americanculture.

White screens, black images Table Of Content

1 Spectatorship and Capture in King Kong: The Guilty Look 1
2 The Kong Sequels 29
3 Birth of a Nation 37
4 Shirley Temple 47
5 Angel, Venus, Jezebel: Race and the Female Star in Three Thirties Films 67
6 Trimming Uncle Remus's Tales: Narrative Revisions in Walt Disney's Song of the South 81
7 Playing the Changes: St. Clair Bourne's In Motion: Amiri Baraka 101
8 Images of Blacks in Black Independent Films: A Brief Survey 107
9 "Black Independent Film": Britain and America 121
10 Mass Visual Productions 131
Notes 151

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White screens, black images

Book Info

  • Book Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN-13: 9780415905732
  • ISBN-10: 0415905737
  • Number of Pages: 200
  • Dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 2.00 (d)
  • Approx Price: $125.00
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