Baldwin saw The Exorcist twice, once with his brother and friends and another time by himself. I found The Devil Finds Work and immediately started reading it. I always enjoy reading James Baldwin. Radicals are skeptical of mainstream success. Thus, for example, ghetto citizens have been heard to complain, very loudly, of the damage done to their homes during any ghetto uprising, and a grateful Republic fastens on this as a benevolent way of discouraging future uprisings. This book is different because it is primarily about films that he has seen over his lifetime.
His discussions of cinema are personal for him as far as how he sees the world as a cultural critic and theorist, and more crucially as a human being. Each week, I would deliver two or three scenes, which he would take home, breaking them — translating them — into cinematic language, shot by shot, camera angle by camera angle. I couldn't put him down. Baldwin challenges the underlying assumptions in such films as In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and The Exorcist, offering us a vision of America's self-delusions and deceptions. The wretched of the earth do not decide to become extinct, they resolve, on the contrary, to multiply: life is their only weapon against life, life is all that they have. I thought Baldwin absolutely decimated Malcolm X in that video. He has included some film criticism in all of his books of essays.
These videos weave art, science, history, and political theory in fresh yet intuitive ways, as I cut through conservative nonsense and the postmodern reaction with muscle, nuance, and just a bit of weirdness. See more and save with a! I don't think Baldwin would've taken kindly to this. The grapes of wrath are stored in the cotton fields and migrant shacks and ghettoes of this nation, and in the schools and prisons, and in the eyes and hearts and perceptions of the wretched everywhere, and in the ruined earth of Vietnam, and in the orphans and the widows, and in the old men, seeing visions, and in the young men, dreaming dreams: these have already kissed the bloody cross and will not bow down before it again: and have forgotten nothing. I am aware that men do not kiss each other in American films, nor, for the most part, in America, nor do the black detective and the white Sheriff kiss here. He does not levitate beds, or fool around with little girls: we do. These are the movie stars and the qualities that influenced James Baldwin. The Devil Finds Work is impeccably organized: it gets better and better.
If I know that my soul trembles, I know that yours does, too: and if I can respect this, both of us can live. On a completely personal note, Baldwin finally crystallized why, for me, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? The uproar in Harlem was impressive, and I think that the scene was reinserted; in any case, either uptown or downtown, I saw it. That essay seems kind of disconnected. He does cover some already tread-on territory of his own life, but the main focus is what these movies say about the societies they are depicting in regards to race and sexuality. The specific works in this book, I was less familiar with, with the exception of some very popular films from this time. Identity would seem to be the garment with which one covers the nakedness of the self; in which case, it is best that the garment be loose. However—I could not have said any of this then, nor is so absurd a notion about to engulf the world now.
He was never the kind of lonely young man who liked nothing better than to sit inside a dark movie theater watching the camera project images onto a screen. I read everything I could get my hand on by him and read practically every film book I could get my hands on too, so both these interests dovetailed with this book, you could say. As with all film criticism, it helps to be familiar with the films discussed especially as Baldwin, more than most, assumes a familiarity with the films and spends little time describing them for the reader ; but even a cursory knowledge of the genres at work is enough for these essays. And here too is the stunning prose of a writer whose passion never diminished his struggle for equality, justice, and social change. Baldwin, best known for novels Go Tell It on the Mountain and nonfiction treatments of race in America The Fire Next Time was not afraid to tie the tricky undercurrents of race to the fears and evasions which underlie so much of American cinema. . The cinematic translation, nevertheless, however great and necessary the violence it is compelled to use on the original form, is obliged to remain faithful to the intention, and the vision, of the original form.
I can think of no current critic who goes so deep. This section was worth reading the whole book. Critics who aspire to some level of academic distance from the piece of art they're dealing with end up doing a disservice to the art, the reader, and themselves. That victim who is able to articulate the situation of the victim has ceased to be a victim: he, or she, has become a threat. Pieces of this book were included in the documentary script and it was exciting to see the passages in their entirety. From a deeply unsettling critique of race and white privilege found in the film In this our Life starring Bette Davis; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner- a classic case of Hollywood liberalism disguised as progress for Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy; to the horrors of The Exorcist of which for a moment is seen as an awareness of the other; then a fretful return to the bourgeoisie. And this from a man who was, for my money, the best essayist in this country--a man whose power has always been in his reasoned, biting sarcasm; his insistence on removing layer by layer, the hardened skin with which American shield themselves from their country.
Pieces of this book were included in the documentary script and it was exciting to see the passages in their entirety. This book-- essentially one long essay-- is an interrogation of that history that takes many left turns into then-contemporary politics as well as Baldwin's autobiography, but uses as its primary touchstones then-contemporary works of cinema. I had a fairly accurate idea of what Hollywood was about to do with Che! There is no way of conveying to the corpse the reasons you have made him one - you have the corpse, and you are, thereafter, at the mercy of a fact which missed the truth, which means that the corpse has you. While I disagree with his applying this to all fims of that genre, certainly some were. He's an amazing thinker and an amazing writer.
It might have made sense — that is, might have made a story — if these tow mulattoes had been related to each other, or to the renegade politician, whose wards they are: but, no, he seems to have dreamed them up they are like creatures in a nightmare someone is having and they are related to each other only by their envy of white people…. Baldwin begins chapter 3 with the story of his time in Hollywood writing the screenplay for a failed attempt to adapt. I have watched the dispossessed and starving laboring in the fields which others own, with their transistor radios at their ear, all day long: so they learn, for example, along with equally weighty matters, that the pope, one of the heads of the civilized world, forbids to the civilized that abortion which is being, literally, forced on them, the wretched. And, no matter how inept one must judge the film to be, in spite of its absolutely appalling distance from reality, in spite of my own helplessly sardonic tone when discussing it, and even in spite of the fact that the effect of such a film is to increase and not lessen white confusion and complacency, and black rage and despair, I still do not wish to be guilty of the gratuitous injustice of seeming to impute base motives to the people responsible for its existence. It was a satisfaction on which to rest.
It is one of the keys to American history, present, and past. Επί παραδείγματι, και ως ενίσχυση της άποψης πως οι ταινίες μεταδίδουν χωρίς ουσιαστικά να αντιμετωπίζουν την αγωνία των ανθρώπων που βρίσκονται παγιδευμένοι σε μια κατάσταση, η κριτική της ταινίας γίνεται πάνω στη βάση της έλλειψης αναγνώρισης του δεδομένου πως η Βρετανία σκόπιμα χρησιμοποιούσε και στήριζε μια αραβική εξέγερση για να ολοκληρωθεί η αποσυναρμολόγηση της Οθωμανικής Αυτοκρατορίας. This seems random, but in-fact it is the lead-up to the last film being discussed in the book and part of the reason for the title. This seemed to me a somewhat strangling way to make a film. The Americans should certainly know more about evil than that; if they pretend otherwise, they are lying, and any black man, and not only blacks—many, many others, including white children—can call them on this lie; he who has been treated as the devil recognizes the devil when they meet. Register a Free 1 month Trial Account.
The film presents us with an inadvertent martyr to the cause of spreading civilization: the speeding of the light to those in darkness. O Baldwin θεωρεί τραγικό κομμάτι της ιστορίας των εξαναγκασμό προκειμένου να μετατραπεί ο κόσμος σε καθρέφτισμά τους, βλέποντας πως αυτός ο μεσσιανισμός illustrates the dilemma of all the civilizing, or colonizing powers, particularly now, as their power begins to be, at once, more tenuous and more brutal, and their vaunted identities revealed as being dubious indeed. Wanting them to not only be sterile and therefore disappear , but further finding ways to villainize them and brand them as scapegoats for the sins frequently in Slavery South, rape that created them. Baldwin is clearly a master. Nothing the world holds, from Australia to Africa, to America, India, to China, to Egypt, appears to have made the faintest imprint on the English soul: wherever the English are is — or will resist, out of perversity, or at its peril, becoming — England. Από το ως το , ο συγγραφέας ασκεί δριμύτατη κριτική στην απόσταση των όσων παρουσιάζει η εκάστοτε ταινία από την πραγματικότητα, στην αύξηση αντί της μείωσης του προβληματισμού κι εφησυχασμού των λευκών και της απόγνωσης και οργής των μαύρων. Everything crescendos: the biting sarcasm, the incisive commentary, the clarity of the summaries, etc.