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Overview

The historic election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States had a significant impact on both America and the world at large. By voting an African American into the highest office, those who elected Obama did not necessarily look past race, but rather didn’t let race prevent them for casting their ballots in his favor. In addition to reflecting the changing political climate, Obama’s presidency also spurred a cultural shift, notably in music, television, and film.

In Movies in the Age of Obama: The Era of Post-Racial and Neo-Racist Cinema, David Garrett Izzo presents a varied collection of essays that examine films produced since the 2008 election. The contributors to these essays comment on a number of films in which race and “otherness” are pivotal elements. In addition to discussing such films as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Black Dynamite, The Blind Side, The Butler, Django Unchained, The Help, and Invictus, this collection also includes essays that probe racial elements in The Great Gatsby, The Hunger Games, and The Mist. The volume concludes with several essays that examine the 2013 Academy Award winner for best picture, 12 Years a Slave.

Though Obama’s election may have been the main impetus for a resurgence of black films, this development is a bit more complicated. Moviemakers have long responded to the changing times, so it is inevitable that the Obama presidency would spark an increase in films that comment, either subtly or overtly, on the current cultural climate. By looking at the issue these films address, Movies in the Age of Obama will be of value to film scholars, of course, but also to those interested in other disciplines, including history, politics, and cultural studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810895348
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 12/15/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 314
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David Garrett Izzo is professor of English at Shaw University. He is the author or editor of several books, including Bruce Springsteen and the American Soul (2011) and Huxley’s Brave New World: Essays (2008).

Table of Contents

Introduction
David Garrett Izzo
Part I: Resonance from the Past: Experience Is Learned Backward But Must Be Lived Forward
Chapter 1 - “I Really Need a Maid!” White Womanhood in The Help
Kwakiutl L. Dreher
Chapter 2 - Gwendolyn Brooks’s Bronzeville and Tate Taylor’s Jackson: “Art hurts. Art urges voyages—and it is easier to stay at home.”
Blake G. Hobby
Chapter 3 - If Django and Lincoln Could Talk: James Baldwin Goes to the Movies
Robert McParland
Chapter 4 - The Exceptional N*gger: Redefining African American Identity in Django Unchained
Rodney M. D. Fierce
Chapter 5 - Blaxploitation in the Age of Obama: Black Dynamite, Django Unchained, Racial Reasoning, and Racial Capitalism
Brian E. Butler
Chapter 6 - Between The Butler and Black Dynamite: Servility, Militancy, and the Meaning of Blaxploitation
Andrew Grossman
Chapter 7 - Rednecks, Racism, and Religion: King and Darabont’s Precarious Prophecy of Obama’s Coming
Victoria McCollum
Part II: The Present Is an Eternal Now Connecting Past and Future
Chapter 8 - “I Am Trayvon Martin”: Obama and the Black Male in Cinema
Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar and Alisha Saiyed
Chapter 9 - Invictus: South Africa as a Post-racial Fantasy in the Age of Obama
Sohinee Roy
Chapter 10 - “Mama, I Think I Broke Something”: Thinking about the Environment in Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild
Irina Negrea
Chapter 11 - It’s Not a Wonderful Life: The Financial Crisis on Film and the Limits of Hollywood Liberalism
Peter Grosvenor
Chapter 12 - Reimagining Barack Obama as Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s Film Adaptation of The Great Gatsby
Cammie Sublette
Part III: The Present Imagines the Future
Chapter 13 - The Hunger Games, Race, and Social Class in Obama’s America
Sonya C. Brown
Chapter 14 - Rise of the Planet of the People: Contradictions and Revolution in Rise of the Planet of the Apes doug morris
Part IV: The 2013 Academy Award for Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Chapter 15 - “Under the Floorboards of This Nation”: Trauma, Representation, and the Stain of History in 12 Years a Slave
Ed Cameron and Linda Belau
Chapter 16 - 162 Years after 12 Years a Slave: A Viewing through Double-Consciousness
Salvador Murguia
Chapter 17 - Revoking the Privilege of Forgetting: White Supremacy Interrogated in 12 Years a Slave
David M. Jones
Chapter 18 - No, You Can’t: Passive Protagonists in The Blind Side, Django Unchained, and 12 Years a Slave
Thomas Britt
Index
About the Editor and Contributors

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