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Oscar Micheaux and His Circle: African-American Filmmaking and Race Cinema of the Silent Era [Hardcover]

Pearl Bowser , Jane Gaines , Charles Musser

Price: £33.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Aug 2001
Oscar Micheaux - the most prolific African-American filmmaker to date and a filmmaking giant of the silent era - has finally found his rightful place in film history. Both artist and showman, Micheaux stirred controversy in his time as he confronted issues such as lynching, miscegenation, peonage and white supremacy, passing and corruption among black clergymen. He emphasised the importance of education and the rights of citizenship (the vote, equal protection under the law) for racial uplift, to advance race progress, to awaken black consciousness and to correct negative behaviour within black communities. These films spoke to black movie-goers in ways that were completely different from Hollywood pictures. In this important new collection, prominent scholars examine Micheaux's surviving silent films, his fellow producers of race films who alternately challenged or emulated his methods and the cultural activities that surrounded and sustained these achievements. Authors examine Micheaux's films from a range of perspectives, including his radical aesthetic strategies, his use of stereotypes, his powerful critiques of Griffith's Birth of a Nation and Eugene O'Neill's race plays, his radical use of other texts and his work with such genres as the Western. The relationship between black film and both the stage and the black press, issues of underdevelopment and the genealogy of Micheaux scholarship as well as extensive and more accurate filmographies, give a richly textured portrait of the era. The essays will fascinate scholars of in film studies, cultural studies and African American history.

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Review

"An extremely valuable contribution to the history of African American art." Toni Morrison

About the Author

Pearl Bowser is founder and director of African Diaspora Images, a collection of historical and contemporary African-American and African films and memorabilia. Since 1970 she has curated film programs in Europe, Asia, Africa, and throughout the United States including the Whitney Museum, the American Museum of the Moving Images, the Brooklyn Museum, the Pacific Film Archives (Berkeley), and the Cleveland Museum of Art as well as a tour of black colleges. Her production credits include Mississippi Triangle (1984), Namibia Independence Now (1986), and Stories About Us (1988). She was co-director and director of research for Midnight Ramble: Oscar Micheaux and the Story of Race Movies (1994). With Louise Spence, she co-authored Writing Himself into History: Oscar Micheaux, His Silent Films, and His Audiences (2000).Jane Gaines is Professor of Literature and English at Duke University, where she directs the Film and Video Program, which she founded in 1985. She has co-edited Fabrications: Costume and the Female Body (1990), edited Classical Hollywood Narrative Cinema: The Paradigm Wars (1992), and published Contested Culture: The Image the Voice and the Law (1991) for which she received the Katherine Singer Kovacs Award. Her recent work is in African and African-American literature and film melodrama. Her book Fire and Desire: Mixed-Race Movies in the Silent Era has been recently published by University of Chicago Press (2001).Charles Musser is Professor of American Studies and Film Studies at Yale University, where he co-chairs the Film Studies Program. His books include The Emergence of Cinema: The American Screen to 1907 (1990) and Edison Motion Pictures, 18901900: An Annotated Filmography (1998). He produced, directed, and co-wrote the hour-long documentary film Before the Nickelodeon: The Early Cinema of Edwin S. Porter (1982). With Ed Guerrero and Mark Reid, he curated Paul Robeson film retrospectives at UCLA Film & Television Archives and the Museum of Modern Art, mounted in conjunction with the touring exhibition Paul Robeson: Artist and Citizen. In 1996, he received the Prix Jean Mitry from the Giornate del Cinema Muto for his contribution to the study of silent film.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
With conferences such as Oscar Micheaux and His Circle at Yale University and the celebration of 100 Years of Black Cinema at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, we approach a new stage in the understanding of American cinema and its relation to Black Americans. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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