This isn't about books exactly but a new website I somehow stumbled onto called Mirrorfilm.org. Kartina Richardson, writer, filmmaker, and playwright, offers a mix of video and text posts focusing on some of her favorite films. Each post has a clip of the film and Richardson gives us an audio commentary over the video which is often a related memory, a well measured thought, or some historical context.
The posts that initially caught my eye were Kartina's series about Race in Film. So far she's covered some really interesting ground, all the way from Meet Me in St. Louis, to The Joy Luck Club, and most recently, Freaky Friday.
Kartina's introduction to her series is below:
"This series looks at representations of people of color (POC) in films that do not explicitly deal with race. This means that although I love Mr. Tibbs, In the Heat of the Night will not be featured. Instead, we will look at images of POC, references to race, racism, and race relations (positive and negative) that pop up in unexpected places. Such un-race related films like Hold That Ghost, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Paisan and even Meet Me in St. Louis.I don't know why you haven't stopped to RSS the whole thing already. It's quality all around and I can't wait to see what the next film in the series will be. I also have to point out the little illustration on the right side of Mirror's page. I don't know what it is or what the significance behind it might be but it seems perfect.
...Because (rather than despite) these films are dear to me, these moments of racial ignorance and insensitivity caused uneasiness. This not only interrupted my movie watching experience, but excluded me from the club. The one that loved the movie unquestionably and did not get offended. These moments made me feel that not only was the movie was no longer mine, but it had never been intended for me in the first place. That is a painful feeling."
-Special Series I : Race in Film
- Kartina also blogs at www.thismoi.com and her bio page is here
- Interview with Kartina from VenusZine
- Joy Luck Club cross posted at Jezebel with quite a long discussion in the comments
- Article about Kartina's work with a theater program in Cambridge (2008)
- And her top five favorite black sidekicks list, including Bubba