Black Directors in Hollywood

Front Cover
University of Texas Press, Dec 1, 2003 - Performing Arts - 375 pages

Hollywood film directors are some of the world's most powerful storytellers, shaping the fantasies and aspirations of people around the globe. Since the 1960s, African Americans have increasingly joined their ranks, bringing fresh insights to movie characterizations, plots, and themes and depicting areas of African American culture that were previously absent from mainstream films. Today, black directors are making films in all popular genres, while inventing new ones to speak directly from and to the black experience.

This book offers a first comprehensive look at the work of black directors in Hollywood, from pioneers such as Gordon Parks, Melvin Van Peebles, and Ossie Davis to current talents including Spike Lee, John Singleton, Kasi Lemmons, and Carl Franklin. Discussing 67 individuals and over 135 films, Melvin Donalson thoroughly explores how black directors' storytelling skills and film techniques have widened both the thematic focus and visual style of American cinema. Assessing the meanings and messages in their films, he convincingly demonstrates that black directors are balancing Hollywood's demand for box office success with artistic achievement and responsibility to ethnic, cultural, and gender issues.

 

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Black directors in Hollywood

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The recent success of films like Scary Movie and Antwone Fisher has caused Hollywood to open the door, ever so slightly, to African American subjects and directors. Yet with the exception of Spike Lee ... Read full review

Black directors in Hollywood

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The recent success of films like Scary Movie and Antwone Fisher has caused Hollywood to open the door, ever so slightly, to African American subjects and directors. Yet with the exception of Spike Lee ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
7
The Pathmakers
7
The Visionary Actors
23
Black Urban Action Films and Mainstream Images
43
Black Sensibilities and Mainstream Images
64
Michael Schultz The Crossover King
76
Spike Lee The Independent Auteur
93
Keeping It Real Reel Black Dramatic Visions
122
Not without Laughter Directors of Comedy and Romance
202
Off the Hook Comedy and Romance with a HipHop Flavor
250
Redefining Crossover Films
276
Filmography
321
Notes
325
Glossary
339
Bibliography
343
Index
353

And Still They Rise Black Women Directors
172

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About the author (2003)

Melvin Donalson is Associate Professor of English at Pasadena City College and Adjunct Professor of English at California State University, Los Angeles. He is also a filmmaker, whose work has been shown at nine film festivals and broadcast on Showtime Network’s Black Filmmakers Showcase.

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