Reel Black Talk

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As evidenced in interviews included in this volume, many African American filmmakers consider themselves artists first, their ethnicity being only part of what influences their work. This is the first book by an African American on contemporary African American filmmakers. Here directors and producers speak for themselves, posing challenges to current thinking in the field. Special emphasis is given to the filmmakers' productions and their experiences. Essays on historic figures reveal the rich history of the African American contribution to cinema. From Oscar Micheaux and Spencer Williams to Neema Barnett and the team of George Jackson and Doug McHenry, this revealing reference work will enlighten scholars, students, and film buffs.

As early as 1899, African Americans were involved in the filmmaking industry. Oscar Micheaux took directing, writing, and producing to a higher level with the release of his first film in 1918; by 1948 he had made more than forty films. Currently, by international world cinema standards, the African American tradition rivals cinema from anywhere in the world, but these filmmakers face a quandary: whether to make films through the Hollywood system or follow an independent vision. This book presents a cross-section of filmmakers from each camp and also focuses on those who work in both arenas.

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Editorial Reviews

Entries on African American directors and producers, both independents and those associated with Hollywood, describe their backgrounds, influences, and careers, with much of the material in their own words. Each entry includes a detailed filmography, with brief synopses of films, excerpts from reviews, and information on the filmmaker's education and awards won. Essays on historical figures reveal the rich history of the African American contribution to cinema. For students, scholars, and film buffs. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313298301
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/23/1997
  • Pages: 416
  • Lexile: 1000L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

SPENCER MOON is an Instructor of Black Cinema at City College in San Francisco.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Ninety-Plus Years of Filmmaking
William Alexander 3
Madeline Anderson 7
Neema Barnette 17
St. Clair Bourne 29
Charles Burnett 39
Roy Campanella II 47
Ayoka Chenzira 57
Francee Covington 69
Julie Dash 79
Ivan Dixon 87
Bill Duke 95
Jamaa Fanaka 101
Carl Franklin 111
Wendell Franklin 115
William Greaves 123
Henry Hampton 131
Hobart Whitaker Harris 139
Wendell Burks Harris, Jr. 149
Reginald and Warrington Hudlin 161
Albert and Allen Hughes 171
George Jackson and Doug McHenry 175
Ashley James 189
Avon Kirkland 199
Stan Lathan 209
Spike Lee 223
Louis Massiah 233
Oscar Devereaux Micheaux 245
Floyd Norman and Leo Sullivan 255
Michelle Parkerson 267
Gordon Alexander Parks Sr. 275
Matty Rich 281
Marlon Riggs 287
Hugh Robertson 295
Michael Schultz 299
Jackie Shearer 307
John Singleton 315
Arlando C. Smith 323
Robert Townsend 329
Mario Van Peebles 335
Melvin Van Peebles 341
Mark Warren III 351
The Wayans Family: Keenan Ivory, Damon, Shawn, and Marion 359
Spencer Williams, Jr. 367
Allen Willis 373
Appendix 381
Selected Bibliography 385
Index 387
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