Readings for 3/17

Robert Stam’s “Colonialism, Racism, and Representation” was very interesting. Stam identified the victims of racism as “those whose identity was forged within the colonial process”. I had never heard of racism being described that way, mostly because I think of the present and how things are today. Also, before racism had even appeared on the screen and images appeared, it took place in Western literature, where the ideas originally came from. Stram also brings up a good point about racism in cinema – you can’t be too careful and you can’t be too bold. If you’re too careful, it seems like you’re “bending over backwards” and trying too hard to not make anyone made and, in a sense, shows a major lack of confidence in your work. However, if you make a movie where the usual victim of racism is suddenly the hero, it’s only to appease those who identify with the “oppressed” and want to see them in an upstanding role. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. I think that making a black man a hero, like in Shaft, is simply breaking away from what’s been done. I don’t think it’s to necessarily “appease” anyone. I think it’s just doing something different and hopefully being successful with the idea.

Peter Wollen wrote about Godard and his films. I, personally, have never even heard of this director. However, the way that Wollen writes about him is very interesting. It seems as though Godard had a way of making movies and it was very different from the Hollywood way of making movies. Wollen thinks that Godard is an innovator, and I dont think I can’t disagree. If there’s a director that is willing to defy what’s normally done and be successful and have followers, such as Wollen, I think Godard is doing something right. It’s hard to imagine what a film is like without using traditional cinema, so I think it would be very interesting to see some of his work.

At of all the readings for this week, I found “Reconceptualizing National Cinemas” to be the most interesting. Apparently, in the West, Hollywood is barely even spoken of. For someone that is so wrapped up in the Hollywood and “celebrity” aspect of films, it’s hard to understand how this could even be true. There are different types of cinema and the criteria of the “national cinema” is that they differ from Hollywood and don’t compete directly with them by targeting a different type of audience. It also says that European and Third World entertainment cinemas struggled against Hollywood with little or no success, and I think that kind of sucks. Just because a movie is made by someone more well known than another and it just happens to be outside the Hollywood realm, it doesn’t get recognized.

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1 Comment

  1. shana Said,

    March 17, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

    I have seen some films by Godard and they are really interesting and really out there I consider him to definitely be an Auteur.

    Third World Cinema wasn’t intended to compete with Hollywood. Its intention was to be for the people, to show people what’s going on in their country, to fight oppression, the bourgeois and neo colonialism. It was underground, independent films, uncut to get its viewers to be an active audience and react to what their being shown. It’s more for the oppressed people and not meant to be pure entertainment, or shall I say First cinema.

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