Reel Black Talk: A Sourcebook of 50 American Filmmakers
As evidenced in interviews included in this volume, many African American filmmakers consider themselves artists first, their ethnicity being only part of what influences their work. This is the first book by an African American on contemporary African American filmmakers. Here directors and producers speak for themselves, posing challenges to current thinking in the field. Special emphasis is given to the filmmakers' productions and their experiences. Essays on historic figures reveal the rich history of the African American contribution to cinema. From Oscar Micheaux and Spencer Williams to Neema Barnett and the team of George Jackson and Doug McHenry, this revealing reference work will enlighten scholars, students, and film buffs.
As early as 1899, African Americans were involved in the filmmaking industry. Oscar Micheaux took directing, writing, and producing to a higher level with the release of his first film in 1918; by 1948 he had made more than forty films. Currently, by international world cinema standards, the African American tradition rivals cinema from anywhere in the world, but these filmmakers face a quandary: whether to make films through the Hollywood system or follow an independent vision. This book presents a cross-section of filmmakers from each camp and also focuses on those who work in both arenas.
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