Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a list of links to articles, videos, and other interesting media related to race. We’ll also highlight voices and faces in the American and international community whose work we respect and appreciate.
- Why film schools teach screenwriters not to pass the Bechdel test – by Jennifer Kesler at The Hathor Legacy
The author describes her experiences taking film classes at UCLA and the dogma taught to aspiring screenwriters: good scripts must contain straight white male leads. Be sure to check out her related pieces on why the industry ignores profitable films that don’t follow this rule and the double-standard faced by films with female leads.
Be sure to check out her explanation of the Bechdel Test – it’s a tougher challenge than you think!
- The Messiah Complex – by David Brooks at The New York Times
A great op-ed article from The New York Times that lays out the basic plot of the “other” Avatar film. How James Cameron’s blockbuster hit relies on a tried-and-true (and a bit tired) plot thread. Revealing of a lot of the motivation behind why films like Avatar are made.
- Should Will Smith Play Captain America? – by John Rico at Collider
An interesting take on the (on-again, off-again) rumors that Will Smith will be cast to play Captain America in the upcoming film.
The author describes the controversy and asserts that “Will Smith would make a great Captain America [...] his skin color could provide the film with a certain political and cultural gravitas that would otherwise be missing from more traditional bleached casting.”
Read and draw your own conclusions.
- Casting Call for White Samurai Guys – by Angry Asian Man
Don’t miss this Angry Asian Man post, which describes a music video cast call.
All the men in the video must be either Caucasian or mixed. Meanwhile, the female dancers are asked to be of all ethnicities, though the “hot models” must be Caucasian. Check out the full, unedited cast call in the post.
- When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like “Avatar”? – by Annalee Newitz at io9
Another excellent write-up of the issues surrounding the “other” Avatar film by James Cameron – a look at the legacy of films like The Last Samurai, The Last of the Mohicans, and The Last Airbender.
- When talk of race goes behind closed doors – by Wayne Drash at CNN
An article describing a revealing study by sociologist Joe Feagin on how Americans deal with race in public and in private. Many Caucasians “have sharply reduced the blatantly racist stuff they do in public, while they still do huge amounts in private.” Definitely worth a read – a lot of evidence that suggests rejecting talk about race issues in public avoids problems rather than solves them.
- Watch Your Head Comics – by Cory Thomas
Comic artist Cory Thomas has begun a series of comic strips on The Last Airbender controversy. The strips for January 12th to January 15th 2010 discuss the different issues and viewpoints surrounding the whitewashing of films.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Watch Your Head comic strip, which depicts the lives of American students at a historically black university.
If you have a link you’d like to suggest, please let us know.