Reel to Real: Race, Class and Sex at the Movies / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $13.15
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 51%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $13.15   
  • New (6) from $22.24   
  • Used (5) from $13.15   


Movies matter - that is the message of Reel to Real, bell hooks' classic collection of essays on film. They matter on a personal level, providing us with unforgettable moments,
even life-changing experiences and they can confront us, too, with the most profound social issues of race, sex and class. Here bell hooks - one of America's most celebrated and thrilling cultural critics - talks back to films that have moved and provoked her, from Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction to the work of Spike Lee. Including also her conversations with master filmmakers such as Charles Burnett and Julie Dash,
Reel to Real is a must read for anyone who believes that movies are worth arguing about.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hooks's essays on film are not film criticism: they are criticism of culture as viewed through the prism of film. This mix of theory, reality, popular art and popular criticism (reviews and public reaction play a large part in her discussions) is effective in forcing a rethinking of the films in question. A reading of reviews of Exotica shows that only the strip-joint portions of the movie were considered worthy of commentary. Quentin Tarantinoa filmmaker "not afraid to publicly pimp his wares"is taken to task for ingesting superficial aspects of black culture and spitting out the rest. The "mock feminism" of Waiting to Exhale ("an utterly boring show") is exposed as hooks examines differences between the book and the movie. The essays that do not focus on a single film are equally successful: a discussion of the black female gaze recalls that slaves could be punished for looking, and another on representations of black masculinity notes that in movies with two male leads, one black and one white, such as Rising Sun, the white man plays the "father" role. The essays could have benefited from more thoughtful organization. Hooks refers to her first-ever film-related essay, on Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It, in her introduction and elsewhere, but the essay does not appear until the final pages of the book. A piece on the accountability of filmmakers that involves Wayne Wang would have matched up nicely with a dialogue with Wang, which instead is sandwiched in a group of interviews with Arthur Jaffa, Camille Billops and the like. (Nov.)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415964807
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/16/2008
  • Series: Routledge Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 590,344
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

bell hooks (b. 1951) is mainly known as a feminist thinker, although her writings cover a broad range of topics on gender, race, education and the media. She is Distinguished Professor of English at City College in New York.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: making movie magic 1
2 Good girls look the other way 10
3 Transgression and transformation: Leaving Las Vegas 20
4 Exotica: breaking down to break through 27
5 Crooklyn: the denial of death 34
6 Cool cynicism: Pulp Fiction 47
7 Mock feminism: Waiting to Exhale 52
8 Kids: transgressive subjects - reactionary film 60
9 Artistic integrity: race and accountability 69
10 Neo-colonial fantasies of conquest: Hoop Dreams 77
11 Doing it for daddy: black masculinity in the mainstream 83
12 Thinking through class: paying attention to The Attendant 91
13 Back to the avant-garde: the progressive vision 98
14 What's passion got to do with it? an interview with Marie-France Alderman 109
15 The cultural mix: an interview with Wayne Wang 124
16 Confession - filming family: an interview with Camille Billops 141
17 A guiding light: an interview with Charles Burnett 152
18 Critical contestations: a conversation with A.J. (Arthur Jaffa) 170
19 The oppositional gaze: black female spectators 197
20 Is paris burning? 214
21 "Whose pussy is this?" a feminist comment 227
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013



    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)