"This mixed view of theory, reality, popular art, and popular criticism...is effective in forcing a rethinking of the films in question."
"hooks is worth reading for her intelligent, passionate, and often convincing writings."
"hooks...makes a compelling case to filmmakers for creating progressive images that 'transform the culture we live in'."
-"Los Angeles Times
"Those looking for insightful, sophisticated, and provocative views on cinema will enjoy and learn from "Reel to Real. The book is particularly insightful about issues of race and about the ways black women are depicted in film. It will appeal to a broad audience and will also be useful as a way to introduce discussions of race, class, and gender into courses in aesthetics, film, and cultural studies."
-"The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
"This is intellectual entertainment at its best."
-"Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco
From the Back Cover
Although it may not be the goal of every filmmaker, most of us learn something when we watch movies. They make us think. They make us feel. Occassionally they have the power to transform lives. In her book Reel To Real
, bell hooks talks back to films she has watched, as a way to engage the pedagogy of cinema--the way film teaches its audience.
bell hooks comes to film, not as a film critic but as a cultural critic, fascinated by the issues movies raise--the ways cinema depicts race, sex, and class. Reel To Real
not only brings together hooks' classic essays on films such as Paris Is Burning
or the infamous "Whose Pussy Is It" essay about Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It
, but also newer work on Pulp Fiction, Crooklyn
and Waiting To Exhale.
hooks also examines the world of independent cinema. Here, conversations with filmmakers Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, and Arthur Jaffa are linked with critical essays, including a provocative piece on Larry Clark's Kids
, to show the radical possiblity of cinema--that it can function subversively, as much as it functions to maintain the status quo.
In its review of Outlaw Culture
, the New York Times
wrote of bell hooks: "She brings to the task of cultural criticism an astute eye and courageous spirit..." In Reel To Real
hooks enhances our visual experience of movies, enabling us to see in a new way. Her work, like the best films of our time, provoke thought and create a context for dialogue. The essays and conversations collected here bear witness to the passion and pleasure of critical engagement.