Blog

John Cassavetes’ Shadows: A Snapshot of the Mixed-Race Experience

In 1957, the actor John Cassavetes decided to make Shadows, a film developed through a series of acting workshops: “We did everything wrong, technically…. The only thing we did right was to get a group of people together who were young, full of life, and wanted to do something of meaning.” In response to itsContinue reading “John Cassavetes’ Shadows: A Snapshot of the Mixed-Race Experience”

Forgotten Filmmakers: Kathleen Collins’s Losing Ground

One of the first feature films by an African-American woman is Kathleen Collins’s 1982 masterpiece Losing Ground. The film is unique in many respects, not least for its centralisation of the black bourgeoisie. Losing Ground is a rare example of a feminist film focused on a complex, intellectual and reserved black female protagonist. Through itsContinue reading “Forgotten Filmmakers: Kathleen Collins’s Losing Ground”

New Black Horror: Get Out

Recent shifts towards populist, xenophobic politics have broken the ‘post-race’ illusion and made it painfully clear that we still live in racialised realities. As Michael Omi notes, race is still ‘a fundamental organising principle of individual identity and collective action’ (1996: 179). In particular, the events of 2020 led to a mainstream acknowledgement that raceContinue reading “New Black Horror: Get Out”

Mixed-Race Melodrama: Métisse

Métisse [Mixed-Race] (Kassovitz, France, 1993) adheres to the ethics of beur cinema by reimagining the French nuclear family as black, mixed and white through its central characters.  As a pioneering work it is flawed but, by directly engaging with issues of race, class, gender and sexuality, the film challenges the culturally embedded assumptions of itsContinue reading “Mixed-Race Melodrama: Métisse”

Racial Passing in the Classic Hollywood Melodrama

The classic Hollywood mixed female ‘passer’ is generally male-dependent and gripped by fear that her lover/boss/maid will discover her secret and ruin her.  The endurance of this template is evidenced by the deadly desperation of mixed protagonists in Perfect Stranger, The Crying Game and Devil in a Blue Dress.  In I Passed for White (Wilcox,Continue reading “Racial Passing in the Classic Hollywood Melodrama”

France’s Colonial Narratives

In France, comedy has been deployed in a range of race-based films tackling subjects from slavery – Case Départ (Steketee, Eboué and N’gijol, 2011) – and institutional discrimination – Intouchables (Nakache and Toledano, 2011) – to everyday racism – Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu? (de Chauveron, 2014; 2019) – with the sub-genre gainingContinue reading “France’s Colonial Narratives”

The Black British Period Drama

This blog explores mixed-race representations in British period dramas Belle (Asante, 2013) and Wuthering Heights (Arnold, 2011). Both are written and directed by women – in Belle’s case a Black-British woman – and both star mixed-race actors: in Wuthering Heights Solomon Glave and James Howson play Heathcliff as, respectively, child and adult, while Gugu Mbatha-RawContinue reading “The Black British Period Drama”

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.


Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

%d bloggers like this: