Search results

Open Access (free)

If he is known for anything other than his writings, James Baldwin is best known for his work as a civil rights activist. What is often overlooked is Baldwin’s work toward uniting two under-represented and oppressed groups: African Americans and homosexuals. With his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, Baldwin began a career of speaking about and for homosexuals and their relationship with the institutions of African-American communities. Through its focus on a sensitive, church-going teenager, Go Tell It on the Mountain dramatizes the strain imposed upon homosexual members of African-American communities within the Pentecostal Church through its religious beliefs.

James Baldwin Review
An Interview with Raoul Peck

I Am Not Your Negro (2016) takes its direction from the notes for a book entitled “Remember this House” that James Baldwin left unfinished, a book about his three friends—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr.— their murders, and their intertwining legacies. The film examines the prophetic shadow Baldwin’s work casts on twentieth- and twenty-first-century American politics and culture. Peck compiles archival material from Baldwin’s interviews on The Dick Cavett Show, his 1965 Cambridge lecture, and a series of banal images indexing the American dream. Juxtaposed against this mythology is footage of Dorothy Counts walking to school, the assassination of black leaders and activists, KKK rallies, and the different formations of the contemporary carceral state. Our conversation examines Peck’s role as a filmmaker and his relationship with the Baldwin estate. Additionally, we discussed a series of aesthetic choices he fought to include in the film’s final cut, directing Samuel L. Jackson as the voice for the film, the similarities and shifts he wanted to document in American culture since the 1960s, and some of the criticism he has received for not emphasizing more Baldwin’s sexuality.

James Baldwin Review

James Baldwin might be imagined as reaching his greatest level of popularity within this current decade. With the growth of social media activist movements like Black Lives Matter, which captures and catalyzes off a Baldwinian rage, and the publishing of works directly evoking Baldwin, his voice appears more pronounced between the years of 2013 and 2015. Scholars in Baldwin studies, along with strangers who were turned into witnesses of his literary oeuvre, have contributed to this renewed interest in Baldwin, or at least have been able to sharpen the significance of the phenomenon. Publications and performances highlight Baldwin’s work and how it prefigured developments in critical race and queer theories, while also demonstrating Baldwin’s critique as both prophetic and “disturbingly” contemporary. Emerging largely from Baldwin’s timelessness in social and political discourse, and from the need to conjure a figure to demystify the absurd American landscape, these interventions in Baldwin studies follow distinct trends. This essay examines the 2013–15 trends from four vantages: an examination of a return, with revision, to popular work by Baldwin; identifying Baldwin’s work as a contributor to theoretical and critical methodology; Baldwin and intertextuality or intervocality; and a new frontier in Baldwin studies.

James Baldwin Review
James Baldwin in Conversation with Fritz J. Raddatz (1978)

This is the first English-language publication of an interview with James Baldwin conducted by the German writer, editor, and journalist Fritz J. Raddatz in 1978 at Baldwin’s house in St. Paul-de-Vence. In the same year, it was published in German in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, as well as in a book of Raddatz’s conversations with international writers, and—in Italian translation—in the newspaper La Repubblica. The interview covers various topics characteristic of Baldwin’s interests at the time—among them his thoughts about Jimmy Carter’s presidency, his reasons for planning to return to the United States, his disillusionment after the series of murders of black civil rights activists in the 1960s and 1970s, and the role of love and sexuality in his literary writings. A special emphasis lies on the discussion of possible parallels between Nazi Germany and U.S. racism, with Baldwin most prominently likening the whole city of New York to a concentration camp. Due to copyright reasons, this reprint is based on an English translation of the edited version published in German. A one-hour tape recording of the original English conversation between Raddatz and Baldwin is accessible at the German literary archive in Marbach.

James Baldwin Review
Art, authorship and activism

This book charts and analyses the work of Oliver Stone – arguably one of the foremost political filmmakers in Hollywood during the last thirty years. Drawing on previously unseen production files from Oliver Stone’s personal archives and hours of interviews both with Stone and a range of present and former associates within the industry, the book employs a thematic structure to explore Stone’s life and work in terms of war, politics, money, love and corporations. This allows the authors both to provide a synthesis of earlier and later film work as well as locate that work within Stone’s developing critique of government. The book explores the development of aesthetic changes in Stone’s filmmaking and locates those changes within ongoing academic debates about the relationship between film and history as well as wider debates about Hollywood and the film industry. All of this is explored with detailed reference to the films themselves and related to a set of wider concerns that Stone has sought to grapple with -the American Century, exceptionalism and the American Dream, global empire, government surveillance and corporate accountability. The book concludes with a perspective on Stone’s ‘brand’ as not just an auteur and commercially viable independent filmmaker but as an activist arguing for a very distinct kind of American exceptionalism that seeks a positive role for the US globally whilst eschewing military adventurism.

Open Access (free)
Civil rites of passage

), for example. But these films, like Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1992) and A Huey P. Newton Story (2001), fall outside of the broad (predominantly white) mainstream cinematic tradition. More usually, black activists (CORE and SNCC) and protagonists (Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr.) have been caught in an epistemological drift, their stories dispersed and scattered through narratives in which white

in Memory and popular film
Open Access (free)

deprivation of dignity. I seek to find moments in which dance is utilised from the bottom up, protesting a wrong, namely the marginalisation of individuals who are deemed voiceless, less than human. I draw my case studies from one of the areas which is of key interest to human rights activists and theorists worldwide. This is the struggle of the Palestinian people for sovereignty and recognition as a state under international law. This struggle enables the people of Palestine to make human rights claims within jurisprudential structures that belong to a nation state. This

in Dance and politics
Open Access (free)
Quentin Crisp as Orlando’s Elizabeth I

of heritage cinema, and how it could accommodate – or be reconfigured by – queerness, a further topic of debate at the time of Orlando ’s making related to cinematic stereotyping. The year 1987 saw the publication of the revised, expanded edition of The Celluloid Closet , US gay rights activist Vito Russo’s historical account of the limited stereotypes used by mainstream cinema to represent lesbian

in The British monarchy on screen
One Billion Rising, dance and gendered violence

83 5 Dancing the ruptured body: One Billion Rising, dance and gendered violence I move the reader–​spectator to view the performance of a protest movement that calls on us to end violence against women through the power of dance. One Billion Rising, initiated by feminist author and activist Eve Ensler, calls for a global uprising on Valentine’s Day, utilising dance to protest against gendered violence. The impact of the movement has been far-​reaching and its scope ambitious. The site of the movement is the moving body upon which gendered violence is inscribed

in Dance and politics
Open Access (free)

wake of the Great Depression, Wallace nevertheless represented the radical wing of the Democrat Party that some activists feared. Therefore, the convention outcome derailed any possibility that his 1943 riposte to Luce, The Century of the Common Man, would ever become post-​war policy.84 Beyond the lionisation of Wallace, Stone and Kuznick took a highly critical perspective on Truman: that despite being diligent in his efforts to succeed in both business and politics, and gifted to a degree, crucial personal limitations left him particularly ill-​suited to the

in The cinema of Oliver Stone