Representations of the Past and What You Can’t Un-know

As I was watching Beauty and the Beast (2017) this afternoon–the day of its release for at-home viewing–a thought occurred to me….  Beauty and the Beast is, of course, myth. Yet it has a time–roughly mid-18th century–and place–France. Like basically all such texts. The actors and actresses, of course, are all from 2017 and have embodied inContinue reading “Representations of the Past and What You Can’t Un-know”

“The Shack” (2017): Representations and Uses of Christian Theology

Stuart Hazeldine’s The Shack (2017) is one of the latest in a flood of recent Christian-themed movies. Unlike many of its cousin films, The Shack adopts a much more progressive interpretation of Christian Theology that sharply contrasts with that of Fundamentalist Christian Theology.  The Shack challenges people to re-think how the Christian God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are conceptualized inContinue reading ““The Shack” (2017): Representations and Uses of Christian Theology”

“I Am Not Your Negro” (2017) and Useable Pasts

I Am Not Your Negro (2017), Raoul Peck’s documentary film inspired by the life, work, and vision of James Baldwin, is a masterpiece. I have really been looking forward to seeing this film, as I have heard so many good things about it. I watched it this evening, as it was finally fully released today. Here I shareContinue reading ““I Am Not Your Negro” (2017) and Useable Pasts”

Our Intolerance of Written Thinking and of Contrary Opinions and Comments Regarding the Best Picture, “Moonlight” (2016)

I first saw Moonlight (2016) the day it was released for home viewing. My first impression was that it was not nearly as good or as new as many had suggested, and I shared a few thoughts related to this on my personal, private Facebook page: My thoughts were generally meet with hostility, which puzzled me sinceContinue reading “Our Intolerance of Written Thinking and of Contrary Opinions and Comments Regarding the Best Picture, “Moonlight” (2016)”

Gender, The Academy Awards, and How Everybody Suffers

I just wanted to share a quick thought: The Academy Awards/Oscars are a perfect example of how sexist and violent society is toward women and men when it comes to the performative nature of gender.  Women are forced to look “their best,” with the most unique and expensive outfit. Reporters spend a great deal of timeContinue reading “Gender, The Academy Awards, and How Everybody Suffers”

“The Hollars” (2016): Men, Missed Opportunities, and Representations in the Movies

Representations matter.  The Hollars (2016) is one of far too many movies that fails the Bechdel Test. Moreover, it’s one of countless movies that has far more roles for men than for women. The Hollars opens with the mother passing out. She has a brain tumor and ultimately dies. This is a White family. Throughout the course of the movieContinue reading ““The Hollars” (2016): Men, Missed Opportunities, and Representations in the Movies”

“Monsieur Lazhar” (2012): A Teacher Movie Without the White Savior or White Gaze (and with much more)

So many “teacher films” focus on the seemingly unprecedented abilities of White teachers to successfully reach and transform those who are apparently the most unreachable students in the worst neighborhoods. These students are typically poor and non-White, as well. Such films include Music of the Heart (1999), Half Nelson (2006), and Freedom Writers (2007)–to just name a few. “Teacher films” areContinue reading ““Monsieur Lazhar” (2012): A Teacher Movie Without the White Savior or White Gaze (and with much more)”

“La Mission” (2009): Ubiquitous Mammy and White Savior Characters

I figure a great way to start 2017 is with a blog! In preparation for planning and teaching Mexican American History II this Spring 2017 semester, I gave Petter Bratt’s La Mission (2009) another view this evening. Watch the trailer here. (I’m trying to select a few of the best movies for us to examine. There’s notContinue reading ““La Mission” (2009): Ubiquitous Mammy and White Savior Characters”