880 Slices
Medium 9780253356796

Conclusion: Being African in the World

Akinwumi Adesokan Indiana University Press ePub

“… that impulse toward a more advanced stage of existence which sees material obstacles in terms of how to overcome them.”

—C. L. R. James, “The Artist in the Caribbean”

 

 

In his foreword to No Fist Is Big Enough to Hide the Sky, Basil Davidson’s account of the liberation struggle in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, Amílcar Cabral, the leader and theoretician of the movement, touches on the contradictions of cultural liberation in this memorable passage:

You loved the splendor of our forests which shelter our partisan bases, which protect our populations and protected you as well from those criminal bombings. These forests are now a real strength for our people, for our struggle. Before, they were a weakness, because we were afraid of our forests, sacred bastions of iraões and every kind of spirit. Now we are afraid no longer: we have conquered and mobilized the spirits of the forests, turned this weakness into a strength. That is what struggle means: turning weakness into strength. (Davidson 1981, 4)

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Medium 9781864620009

What is animation and who needs to know?

Edited by Jayne Pilling John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

There are many definitions of animation. The most obvious source of one, the Webster dictionary, says animation is:

a: a motion picture made by photographing successive positions of inanimate objects (as puppets or mechanical parts), b: Animated Cartoon, a motion picture made from a series of drawings simulating motion by means of slight progressive changes.

This is a fairly common understanding of the term animation, but it reflects a limited exposure to what the artform has to offer. Whether one agrees with it or not, the Webster definition is useful because one can learn something about who is doing the defining. In this case, the folks at G. & C. Merriam should be encouraged to attend an animation festival.

In the international animation community, many definitions have become established by various organisations and entities. We scholars, teachers and filmmakers would probably not be able to agree on a precise definition, but we would be able to compile a nice list of them. Definitions of animation vary from one another for many reasons, including historical development, production and marketing requirements, and aesthetic preferences.

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Medium 9780253018434

4 On Mainstream Screens: The Film Industry’s Response to the Klan

Tom Rice Indiana University Press ePub

IN AUGUST 1928, LAMAR TROTTI, A FORMER REPORTER FOR THE Atlanta Georgian now working in the Public Relations Department of the MPPDA as an assistant to Jason Joy, wrote to MPPDA president Will Hays expressing his concerns about Howard Hughes’s new film The Mating Call. Trotti’s concerns, which centered on the appearance of a thinly disguised version of the Klan labeled “The Order,” neatly encapsulated the film industry’s conflicted position toward the Klan in the 1920s:

I have one big thought about “The Mating Call” – that whatever we do is dangerous.

As decent people, we can’t be allied with a picture which accepts, or at least condones lawlessness as this one certainly does. As business people, we can’t, probably, afford to alienate a large group of citizens who thrive on attacks.

The Klan developed, not through its friends, but through its enemies. One Congressional investigation gave it more members than all the pamphlets, speeches and horse whippings ever launched by the order. If we did anything about this picture and it became known, probably they’d be a big increase in the sale of night shirts to guard against this “Catholic-Jew controlled industry.” If we don’t, we are like a man who while in a mob, protests he isn’t of it, and yet stays on and does nothing to prevent its display of passion. . . .

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Medium 9780861966738

Disney Films 1989–2005: The “Eisner” Era

Amy M. Davis John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

Throughout popular culture in America in the 1970s and 1980s, changes in the ways in which women were portrayed began to appear. The images of the happy home-maker and contented wife and mother did not disappear, but neither did they remain the only acceptable alternative shown to be available to “respectable” women. Furthermore, the definition of a “respectable” woman was beginning to broaden throughout this time, encompassing not just the housewife, but also the single career woman, the working wife and mother, the single mother, and various permutations of these identities. Women’s magazines expanded from covering only such topics as fashion, recipes, and maintaining a youthful appearance, and began including articles about the ways a woman could “have it all”: being a wife, mother, and career woman all at the same time, and finding equal fulfilment in her work both inside and outside her home.296

Going also (though not completely gone) was the image of a woman whose goodness was exemplified by her being innocent and asexual, and beginning to emerge in this period was the woman who was kind, virtuous, good, and aware of (as well as able to enjoy) her own sexuality. Television, in particular, began to feature shows about strong, capable women – referred to by some as “superwomen” – who were successful – and balanced – in their careers, with their families, with their love lives, and in any other areas of their lives.297 A successful woman was one who was shown as either having it all or – if she had suffered a setback of some sort – was getting it back together and would, eventually, “have it all”. Women characters such as Claire Huxtable of The Cosby Show were presented as positive role models for America’s women, and the heroines of shows such as Kate and Allie and Alice served as role models for those women who were trying to sort out their lives.298 In Hollywood’s movie industry as well, examples were emerging of women who, instead of being on the hunt for a husband, were on the hunt for everything else, and when (because, in most of these films, a man eventually did come along and sweep the heroine off her feet) she fell in love, finding a husband and starting a family were often portrayed as being not her goal, but rather the last pieces of her life falling into place.

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Medium 9780253006790

9 The Soviet Horror Show

Stephen M. Norris Indiana University Press ePub

Aleksei Balabanov knows how to court controversy. Best known for his cult-classic gangster film Brother (1997), Balabanov catapulted to iconic status with it and its sequel, Brother 2 (2000), when the eponymous hero of the series, Danila Bagrov (played by the equally iconic Sergei Bodrov, Jr.) takes on American corporate gangsters who are holding a Russian hockey player for ransom. In between these two films, Balabanov made an art house attack on nostalgia for Silver Age St. Petersburg. His 1998 Of Freaks and Men is not the prerevolutionary lost Russia envisioned by Nikita Mikhalkov, but an unnerving and perverse place populated by sado-masochist pornographers. In his films of the 1990s, Balabanov advanced a vision of a dark and disturbed St. Petersburg that stood in the tradition of Dostoevsky and Gogol, a place where madness, murder, and mayhem are a product of the city itself—as a character from Brother puts it, “the city is a force.”1

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