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Black Film Theory Part 3: Subversion & Liberation From The Illusions Of White Supremacy In Cinematic Narration

Black Film Theory Part 3: Subversion & Liberation From The Illusions Of White Supremacy In Cinematic Narration

Read Part One here. 

Read Part Two here.

Let us return to the well from whence we first attempted to quench our thirst: Alfred Hitchcock gave us one of the most famous story gaps in cinematic history during the opening sequence of his film, VERTIGO (1958).   Here detective John “Scotty” Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart) and a police officer are chasing a fleeing criminal across the rooftops of San Francisco at night.  As the criminal leaps onto a slanted roof the officer and Scotty attempt to follow suit, but Scotty loses his footing and finds himself hanging by both hands from a gutter high above an alley below.  When the police officer attempts to reach down to him, the officer slips and plummets to his death.  The sequence fades out on a medium close-up of Scotty still hanging from the gutter.  The next scene fades in, apparently months after the ordeal, with Scotty discussing his psychological condition of vertigo with his former college sweetheart, Margery “Midge” Wood (Barbara Bel Geddes) in the confines of her cozy art studio apartment.  

Hitchcock never explains how Scotty was rescued from that precarious position between life and death.  This story gap in VERTIGO, far from being a simplistic demonstration of the master assumption of White story cognition (“We shall always prevail”), instead demonstrates how a story gap can be used for poetic and/or thematic effect- as the shot of Scotty hanging from the gutter between life and death acts as a striking visual metaphor of his existential condition that permeates the entire film and its latticed plot of murder, deception, suicide, guilt and obsession.

The story gap in VERTIGO is also illustrative of the fact that well thought out and well placed story gaps can be used to subvert spectator’s expectations and has the potential of liberating spectators from their dependence upon the master assumptions of Black and White story cognition.  That is to say that a story gap can be used to elicit alternative methods of story cognition liberated from the master assumptions that we have previously discussed in parts one and two of this series.  

What we will be exploring in this installment of Black Film Theory are cinematic strategies of subversion and liberation against the master assumptions of both Black and White story cognition.  The objects of this exploration will be considered from the oeuvres of Stanley Kubrick and Jim Jarmusch, two of the most iconoclastic cinematic auteurs whose works individually or taken together are the epitome of subversion of the master assumptions of White and Black story cognition.

But before we begin we have a wide “intellectual” river that we must decide if we want to cross to get anything from the other side of this article.  You are asked to contemplate and agree with the assertion that the purpose and the aim of all art is subversion; that is to challenge and contest against orthodoxy, dogmatism, and/or the normal, the commonplace, and the ordinary which is taken for granted in our lives.  All art from the music note to the image, from the gesture to the brushstroke has this purpose of subversion as its goal; subversion to expose the spectator to the possibility of something more than what is generally known, understood and habitually repeated.  If there is any point of contention it is found in the degree of subversion and choice of the object of attack.

Even the story found in BAMBI is a form of subversion, both the 1942 Disney film and the 1979 song by Prince. (1)

As Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino remind us in their groundbreaking essay, Towards a Third Cinema,” Truth, then amounts to subversion,” in the sense that,” the possibility of discovering and inventing film forms and structures that serve a more profound vision of our reality resides in the ability to place oneself on the outside limits of the familiar, to make one’s way amid constant dangers.” (2)

If you have contemplated and can agree with this assertion then you should read on, if not, then stop here- nothing that will be discussed later will convince you otherwise.

If we want a new more racially inclusive cinema we have to recognize (and not patronize) the existence of a racially diverse spectator and since all filmmakers are spectators, but not all spectators are filmmakers, our first task must begin within ourselves.

The process involved in subverting the master assumption of White story cognition from “we shall always prevail,” to “sometimes we fail,” as well as subverting the master assumption of Black story cognition from “we shall overcome someday” to “we have overcome” is a process that must begin inside the mind of the film artist, whether White or Black.  The artist must rid him or herself of the limitations, prejudices, stereotypes and outright lies that inform conventional day-to-day reality.  It is a conventional reality fed by constantly streaming corporate controlled media and its various information delivery systems and the often repeated “truths” by respected religious, moral and political agents and representatives that are only substantiated by selecting facts that confirm rather than contradict what is being asserted.

The artist must develop a skepticism that asks of the dominant reality,” is this really true?” and set him or herself on a path of inquiry to seek evidence to the contrary.  

It is this evidence to the contrary that forms the guiding thematic perspective of the artist’s subsequent works of art.

For example, when we consider the works of Stanley Kubrick, we have been told over and over again that he was an idiosyncratic artist who reached for perfection in hundreds of takes and repetitions of a scene or shot- and that reputation as a maniacal perfectionist often obscures the fact that nearly all of Kubrick’s films have the failure to achieve perfection as their central theme.  From the failure of the perfectly synchronized crime in THE KILLING (1956), to the inability of Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) to stop the unjust executions of three French soldiers in PATHS OF GLORY (1957)- and even the multiple failures of Dr. Bill Hartford (Tom Cruise) in Kubrick’s final film, EYES WIDE SHUT (1999); the failure of the best laid plans of White men is the master theme that Kubrick pursued by various and diverse means throughout his career.  

How did Kubrick come to this terse skeptical perspective?

Author Michael Herr who co-wrote the screenplay for the final film in Kubrick’s failure-of-war trilogy, FULL METAL JACKET (1987) tells us that Kubrick,”…had a taste and a gift for the creative-subversive,” and that one of the books Kubrick often sent to many of his confidants was The Destruction of the European Jews by historian Raul Hilberg. (3)  He would call often to inquire if the receiver had read it yet.  Herr goes on to tell us that he,”…could see why Stanley was so absorbed by it.  It was a forbidding volume densely laid out in a two-column format, nearly eight hundred pages long, small print, heavily footnoted, so minutely detailed that…  it read like a complete log of the Final Solution.” (4)

It would appear that Kubrick, a Jew himself, had developed his powerful skepticism about the master assumption of White story cognition from the revelations of the Jewish Holocaust and the genocide against European Jews by the Nazi regime.

Now, of course, critical race theory has in its toolbox the sacred concepts of structured absence and token presence, which we will simplify here as the absence of any Black characters from what has previously been defined as a White film and the token presence of a single Black character as a symbolic representation of all Black people in a White film.  

Author Adilifu Nama in his book, Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film, presents a racially coded reading of Kubrick’s famous science fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), that many have understood as axiomatic: “In the futuristic world of 2001: A Space Odyssey humankind is technologically advanced, civilized, socially composed, and exclusively white.  The film’s white world of the future, however, stands in sharp contrast to the colored primates of the past.  In this case, the dark brown progenitors of humankind are primitive, violent, and wild apelike creatures.” (5)

But I would counter this reading of the structured absence of Black characters from many of Kubrick’s films, including 2001: A Space Odyssey- not as a means of obeying a White supremacist racial hierarchy where Blacks have no place in the future; but instead I would argue that Kubrick is using structured absence as a means of sharpening the blade of his skepticism in his critique against White supremacy and its master assumption of prevailing against all odds.  That is to say, that for Kubrick, the removal of Blacks from many of his films of White failure was a means of securing the financing, distribution and star actors for his films from the White controlled American Entertainment Complex and its allies, while he subsequently subverted White supremacist ideals of moral, intellectual and political superiority via the stories of White failure he chose to film.

The return of the Star-child at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey carries with his existence a warning that the White man is not the most intelligent being in the universe.

Thus using Kubrick as an example, one of the means through which one can subvert the master assumption of White story cognition is via the selection of stories based on true historical events or fictional creations that exemplify White failure.  (See: Kubrick’s PATHS OF GLORY which was based on a true incident in WWI).  The examples of White failure have often been obscured or buried beneath the illusions of White supremacy but they can be uncovered synchronically (whether through the selection of one spectacular or dramatically powerful event) or diachronically over time as in the fall of an empire or the setbacks of ignorance in the face of alleged superiority as in the myth of Eldorado.  (See: Herzog’s AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD – 1972).

The process to subvert Black story cognition is much more complex than that of White story cognition in that the film artist must first contemplate what Frank B. Wilderson in his book Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms soberly describes as the fact that,”… slavery is and connotes an ontological status for Blackness,” which is to say that,”… Blackness cannot disentangle itself from slaveness.” (6)   But although we must contemplate this fact, we ultimately must transcend it if we are to arrive at a place where we can subvert the master assumption of Black story cognition and move from “we shall overcome someday,” to “we have overcome.”  

The antidote to Wilderson’s provocative description of Blackness as sub-personhood can be found in John Henrik Clarke’s even greater provocation of truth:  “There existed in Africa prior to the beginning of the slave trade a cultural way of life that in many ways was equal, if not superior, to many of the cultures then existing in Europe.” (7)           

We can be sure that Clarke’s statement is just as factual as Wilderson’s assessment of the current status of Blackness.  Clarke’s statement is not in any way a form of facile Afro-centrism, for as anthropologists (like the late Claude Levi-Strauss), archeologists, and historians continue to “de-romanticize” European social, economic and moral structures that supported the notion of White supremacy, the more we can clearly conclude as French philosopher Michel de Montaigne did about the beginnings of the illusion of White supremacy during the first stages of the Atlantic slave trade: “So we may well call these people barbarians, in respect to the rules of reason, but not in respect to ourselves, who surpass them in every kind of barbarity.” (8)

In short, to subvert the master assumption of Black story cognition the film artist has to reach back spiritually and cognitively to a time before the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the institution of slavery to grasp and restore the personhood of the Black race.  Are we forgetting or de-emphasizing the horrific genocidal actions of slavery?  No, what we are doing is transcending “slaveness” and “sub-personhood” as our defining racial characteristic.  What we must do is link the “sign” of Blackness back to its original “referent” of Black personhood and humanity and in this operation the film artist is in the best position to make this link via the images he or she constructs on the screen.

Although a superhero film project based on the mythical deities of African folklore like Oya: Rise of the Orishas proposed by British filmmaker Nosa Igbinedion is but a harbinger of things to come, we should turn our attention to a filmmaker who has already found ways to subvert Black story cognition whose work we can study as an example.

Upon first glance the work of maverick independent White filmmaker Jim Jarmusch would appear an incongruous choice to consider as someone who has subverted Black story cognition, but then from his first feature length film, STRANGER THAN PARADISE (1984) to his latest film, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (2014) he has filmed outsiders on a journey through native and familiar cultures that feel, sound and even look foreign.  

Beginning with GHOST DOG: The Way of the Samurai (1999), starring Forest Whitaker as the title character, (a hit man who is betrayed by his employers) we find that the “slaveness” which supposedly defines “Blackness” is immediately transcended by the content of the individual’s character.  And unlike conventional representations of hit men, Ghost Dog lives and ultimately dies by the Bushido code of the Samurai as detailed in the 18th century book the Hagakure which is interspersed throughout the film by intertitles and voice-overs.  What is wondrous about GHOST DOG is how Jarmusch subverts various racial identities (Italian, Black, and Asian) and genre tropes (Mob film, Urban crime drama, Comedy) in a film that is alternately comic, meditative, poetic and brutal.

The gangsters in this film are mostly old timers nickel and diming their way through the last years of their lives while trying to dodge their own bullets.  Ghost Dog as a Black male character exists in a luminal space like Ellison’s Invisible Man; he’s able to be the perfect hit man because many Whites refuse to see him and thus he is able to slip in and out of spaces with an uncanny ease.  In fact we can say that Jarmusch is the great de-mythologist; he does not practice what historian James W. Loewen calls “heroification” that is a process by which real historical characters or events are transformed into pious, perfect creatures set within circumstances with clearly defined antagonisms. (9)  Instead, Jarmusch individualizes his fictional characters by either removing them from their conventional cultural context as with African actor Isaach de Bankolé as an assassin displaced into the landscape of Spain in the film THE LIMITS OF CONTROL (2009); or as in GHOST DOG, he gives the Black male character a foreign (Asian) ethical code to live by which separates and individuates the character giving him an agency beyond the definition of Black sub-personhood.

The sign of “Blackness” has been returned to its “human” referent by means of an ancient Asian ethical code; Ghost Dog, unlike the slave, chooses his own manner of death, even if it’s by a White ethnic hand.

Jarmusch accomplishes the individualization (and humanization) of his Black male character in GHOST DOG at the level of content by attaching an ancient, albeit foreign, ethical code to his existence which we can now do for ourselves by reaching back into our past and uncovering our own ethical code that existed before the slave trade and contact with Europe.

Yet at a formal level Jarmusch’s narratives are purposefully disjointed with multiple unpredictable story gaps that render conventional Black and White story cognition useless.  Recall, that the actual story gaps in GHOST DOG occur during the inter-titles and voice overs of the Bushido code.  Therefore, at the level of form Jarmusch’s tactics of disjunction (whether through inter-titles or episodic structure as in DEAD MAN (1995) or STRANGER THAN PARADISE) become a means to liberate the spectator from the dogma of White and Black story cognition.

It is not without intentional irony that this installment of Black Film Theory has selected to make a skeptical Jew (Stanley Kubrick) and a world traveling White independent filmmaker (Jim Jarmusch) as the objects of exemplary study.  The purpose was to emphasize how a filmmaker can disrupt the master assumptions of both White and Black story cognition beyond the color of their own skin.  Indeed, the race (and/or gender) of the actual filmmaker is only important in so far as it aids and abets him or her in fulfilling this most subversive and liberating act of artistic satisfaction.

But there are many here among us who feel that all Black people need to do is develop and support a separate but equal film industry with distribution channels and exhibition points domestically and globally- and all of our problems concerning stereotypical cinematic representation and the marginalized status of Black filmmakers will be solved.  

While I am all for such a counter-cinema, I do find that a counter-cinema is ultimately not enough to combat the massive and multi-faceted American Entertainment Complex and its foreign allies.  Moreover, such a counter-cinema would be an immediate target for co-option or sabotage the moment its existence would threaten the AEC’s ability to control the Black image.

We are not facing one Goliath, but many Goliaths whose interests superficially appear to be profits, but in actually those interests are power and control over the image of Blackness.  A Blackness that as Wilderson explained,” cannot disentangle itself from slaveness.”(10)

Yes we need a counter-cinema, but simultaneously we also need talented filmmakers as agents who are willing to infiltrate the existing system and subvert White and Black story cognition from within that system via the formal structure of their films.  Because at best, a counter-cinema would itself only preach to the converted, but with those talented filmmakers as agents who have infiltrated the existing system for the purpose of subverting Black and White story cognition we could actually reach those spectators whom I describe as oppressed conservatives and perhaps change their point-of-view.                 

It is the oppressed conservatives (i.e. poor Whites, minorities and other ethnicities) who bear the brunt of systemic oppression, but who are nonetheless conservative politically and morally to the extent that if allotted the opportunity (or the illusion) to move up in class status, they would subscribe hand-over-heart to the very same systemic oppression that once held them down; these people, this passive majority, are the real targets of all artistic subversion.  The great fear is that many of us who call ourselves filmmakers are but oppressed conservatives whose hearts can be purchased for the success of one viral video or web series- and then turn and support the very system that oppresses.

“It is therefore necessary to be a fox in order to recognize the traps and a lion in order to frighten the wolves.”(11)


(1) The 1942 film BAMBI can be read as a subversion of the fantasy elements normally associated with Disney Pictures to anthropomorphize the animals of the forest and reveal the aggression of humans against the environment as was noted by critics during the film’s initial release.  Alternately, Prince’s BAMBI is a balls-to-the-wall rock song with a story of unrequited sexual advances and lesbianism that could be understood as the subversion of both the content and the musical genre normally associated with R&B artists at that time.

(2) Pgs. 49, 57: Towards a Third Cinema by Solanas and Getino in MOVIES & METHODS Vol. 1 ed. Bill Nichols, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976.

(3) Pg. 13 of KUBRICK by Michael Herr, New York: Grove Press, 2000.

(4) Pg. 10 Ibid.

(5) Pg. 13, Imaging Race in Science Fiction Film by Adilifu Nama, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008

(6) Pgs. 14, 52 of Red, White, & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms by Frank B. Wilderson III, Durham: Duke University Press, 2010.

(7) Pg. 36 from “The Impact of the African on the New World- A Reappraisal by John Henrik Clarke in The Black Scholar Vol.4 No. 5 pp. 32-39  New York: Paradigm Publishers, 1973.

(8) Pg. 156, from “Of Cannibals” in The Complete Essays of Montaigne, trans. Donald Frame, Sanford; Sanford University Press, 1958.

(9) See pg. 19 in Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen, New York: Touchstone, 1995.

(10) Pg. 52, Ibid.

(11) Pg. 134, Chapter XVIII, The Prince in The Portable Machiavelli, New York: Penguin Books, 1979.

Andre Seewood is the author of SLAVE CINEMA: The Crisis of the African-American in Film. Pick up a copy of the book via HERE.

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Demetrius Bagley

Andre, there is brief video interview with Terry Gilliam that is a nice lil' support piece to what you say here in general and certainly about Kubrick. If you Google "Terry Gilliam: The Difference Between Kubrick (Great Filmmaker) and Spielberg (Less So)" you'll get to it (since I'm unable to share a weblink here).

Thanks for your work in general and writing here.


Carey Carey, I don't take it personal, You miss my point. I never said Andre Seawood doesn't make good points in his articles. The sutff he presents in his article I alreday know about the films of Stanley Kubrick and Jim Jarmush. I assume you pick up on the stuff he said about these filmmakers already too Carey Carey, this is why I say his articles do nothing because the people that pay attention to them already know what he is talking about, it's like preaching to the choir. Andre Seawood took offense to me saying these articles going to go over most black people hea, I wasn't calling black people dumb, I 'm dealing with the reality of white supremacy mental warfare on black people. Look at the comments on this article, it's only 4 people that have commenting on this but you do an article on Tyler Perry you will have a 100 people comments or more that why I say it's going to go over most people head because they are not going to bother to check it out or when they check it out they might say he make some real points but continue to do the same thing to keep white supremacy going. That's why I say they have to see it to believe, they need to see things getting done. Thay why i'm going to say it again the new Spike Lee film is an important film. This film will be a game changer if it is a hit, a legendary black film director thats respected that has a platform goes outside the hollywood and makes a box office hit. It will usher in a new era of black films becuase they would have the reference point that you can do for self and make it, they will see that it is possible. You said people believing and doing for self is not a plan. It is a plan because these are the twe essential things black folks have to do to change things. Let's be real we always had a plan but we never act on it, how many time you hear black people don't want to see that stuff or the favorite one you know they not going to let you do that. Most of us already accept defeat before we even start, that why I say believing in yourself annd doing for self is the plan. I'll give you a plan of many on what we need to do. Black celebs and producers in hollywood have to start investing in black films that hollywood is not making, You going to tell me it's not enough of them to have at least 10 to 15 black films released at theaters made in the 1 to 3 million dollar range? They don't have to be a collective to do this they just have to have the attitude I'm going to use my position to make things better.




The Adventure of The Black Emperor Daryl And His New Clothes.

Excuse me Andre, again I have to intrude on your fine post because I have a little mess to clean up. Our friend Daryl has made a few unjust accusations that believe are in urgent need of attention. Well, in short, he was heard saying "The plan CareyCarey and Andre Seawood propose doesn't work." Now I don't know what plan he's referring to but what's good for the goose is good for the gander. In other words, I asked him what plan would he suggest to move the black cinema out of it's alleged doldrums. The following is what amounted to his reply.


Daryl is talking to a crowd of African American trying to convince them that he has THE plan which encourages black folks to believe in themselves and do for self as a working plan for success and not wait on white Hollywood to show us favor. And, in doing so, he's heard saying analyzing white Hollywood as Andre Seawood does in his Film Theory posts is a pointless endeavor. On the other hand CareyCarey has said Daryl is talking loud and saying nothing, as if he's a big man with big ideas but actually is nothing more than a urban traveling medicine man selling quick fix snake oil cures and "restoratives" for all the ills of The Black Cinema.

The Adventure of The Black Emperor Daryl And His New Clothes

Daryl speaks: Okay black folks, whose riding with me?

The crowd turns silent, then one lone voice speaks out.

"But Daryl, I thought you said you had a plan? Don't you have a foundation, organization or some group that's helping you get started? Who is going to finance this plan of yours?

"ah… well… I know there's a lot of black celebs with plenty of money that could move with me."

"But Daryl, who are those celebs… do you have any commitments or promises? And, why should they invest in your shell business?"

"ah… ah… I never thought of that… but they should jump on board so we can do for ourselves"

"Okay Daryl, but do you have anyone attached who can help in the struggle? Surely you know Holllywood will do everything in it's power to hold their power and established territory. Can't you see how Andre Seewood would be of great assistance?"

"OH NO, not that Andre sellout, all he does is talk-talk-talk, analyze -analyze -analyze, I don't want nor need him anywhere near my camp. Hell, all he's good at "theory" and going on about white people but I'm about getting the work done."

"But Daryl, I always thought that when one is in a war it's always best to know what you're enemy is doing. And, wouldn't it behoove us to study the history of whites in the film industry so we'll know how to beat them at their own game? I think Andre Seewood and his knowledge is a must. Come on, any camp is not complete without a spy who knows every move his enemy is planning. Besides, shouldn't we stay together and maintain unity. You know, although you obviously not a history enthusiast, whenever Pharaoh wanted to prolong the period of slavery in Egypt, he had a favorite, favorite formula of doing it. What was that? He kept the slaves fighting among themselves. But whenever the slaves get together, something happens in Pharaoh's court, and he cannot hold the slaves in slavery. When all African Americans get together, that's the beginning of getting us out of Hollywood's stronghold, don't you think, Daryl?"

"ah… well… ah…. I never thought of that"

"Yes sir, everybody knows it pays dividends to keep your enemy close, so the addition of Andre Seewood is a no-brainer. He knows the ways of white folks. And nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point . We have to see this struggle through and every willing hand needs to be there. Be concerned about your brother and sisters. You may have a job in the film industry, but either we go up together or we go down together. Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. Don't you think we need to project the "I" into the "thou" and to be concerned about those African Americans who are struggling to stay alive in the film industry?"

"ah… ah… well… I never thought about it in those terms. I just know I'm gonna get in there and get the work done"

The crowd begins to believe Daryl doesn't really have a plan. Some are saying he only had a porous idea with no real solutions. He notices the crowds growing irritation so he pulls a stack of papers from his pocket.

"Hey now, actually I have everything written right here on these here papers. The whole outline… I call it the road to success, is right here"

When Daryl parades before the crowd with his stack of papers, a child sneaks up behind him and cries out, "But there isn't anything on those papers, nothing at all!". The crowd breaks out in boisterous laughter as Daryl departs the stage mumbling, "I's gonna get me a sambo informant so I's knows what my's enemies is gonna do next".

The End


I've been waiting for Part 3 for some time. Glad I managed to find it before it becomes buried in weeks of S&A posts.

This series, and this installment in particular, reminds me of the bell hooks / Melissa Harris Perry disagreement on 12 Years A Slave. When I heard bell hooks criticism, I didn't quite get it . . . I thought I did but now I realize my "understanding" of her position was very superficial. After reading this series, I get it. I only hope there are truly subversive black filmmakers out there who will take this article to heart, those who will not just assume that making black indie films is what makes their films subversive.

However, I was hoping for a more thorough, illustrative discussion on the solution (for us non-film creators) after such a build up the first two articles created. Luckily, the insights sparked by Rajiv filled in some details I otherwise might not have been aware of or realized w/o somone pointing them out to us ignorant audience members:) There's nothing like S&A's comment sections when the right persons comment on the right topics.

Good job.


Carey Carey getting black folks to believe in themselves and do for self is a working plan for success not waiting on white hollywood to show us favor. The plan Carey Carey and Andre Seawood propose doesn't work, you are not going to get anyhwere when the game is rigged, that's like playing a basketball game and the other team cheats and they got the refs in their pocket, you cannot win a game like that no matter how hard you try, you will only get some good highlights but lose the game in the end and in a nutshell that has been the black experience in hollywood, a couple of good highlights but lose in the end because the game is rigged. Carey Carey what is your plan for success for black people in the film industry? Keeping things the same and wishing for a better day thinking white hollywood is going to change their racists practices towards black people. Our problem is we give them too much power and don't realize our own power. Carey Carey you sound like an idiot with your childish responses, do they suppose to be funny. I'm going to leave this conversation alone because you are a brother that is lost, matter of fact you probably some white boy pretending to be black coming up here to cause a lot confusion and sway people with foolish talk or a well paid sambo informant to hollywood to keep things the same.




Since you must go on just talking about analyzing white hollywood Andre Seawood instead of focusing on us. I'm going to do a little article for you on why black filmmakers should do for self. The first thing I want to talk about is one plan out of many on doing for self and building s sustainable black film market. I'm going to give you a couple examples. Melvin Van Peebles sweetback badass song created the whole blaxploitation era, Master P went outside of hollywood and created the whole rappers direct to video movement, John Singleton film Boys in the hood creat the whole hood movie era. Andre Seawood you might say these are not good examples, The point I'm making, imagine we create movements like these but one with different films and this time we actually can control our images and are able to greenlight the film ourselves, that's why I keep telling people on this website The new Spike Lee film is an important film, you don't think it's strange that Spike Lee got attacked more than any celeb that used kickstarter and they raised a lot more money than him. The powers that be know this film will be a game changer if it's a box office hit. It will usher a new era of black filmmakers controlling and telling different stories. A legendary black director thta is respected goes outside the studio system and has a box office hit without a studio greenlighting it. See the movements above if you don't believe in the ripple effect it will have on this industry, that why I say Andre Seawood people have to see it, that's going to spark change, articles are not going to change nothing. We missed the boat already on the Spike Lee film Red Hook Summer, a film he financed himself and went outside the studio system, a film that you trashed Andre Seawood which I thought was a great film and Clark Peters gave one of the best perfromance in the last decade and I will glady debate you on this film, because in your review you sounded like somebody that doesn't no a thing about the black church, because if you did the assements you made wouldn't be foreign to you on your criticism of the film that you saw not being realistic. Red Hook Summer will be a film that will be revisited in the future and get more love from the critics and audience, this happens a lot when a filmmaker makes a personal film and doesn't compromise at all, it takes the audience and critics some time to catch up. Examples see Willaim Friedkin Soceror a film the critics killed when it was released, now it consider a great film. See Brain De Palma Scarface, even Spike Lee's Bamboozled, that people are now catching up to realizing what a great film it was and how it was a prelude on where society was going to, in the coming years it will be remember on par with great satire films like Network and A face in the crowd, in my opinion I thought it was already there when it was first released. I could go on but you get the point. the oppresor is never going to help the oppressed. Just look throughtout history any group in an oppressed situation made it happen for themselves to change things and that was going outside the system even if they work in the system, what you are saying about working in the system only works if these black celebs start taking their hollywood money and financing black stories that hollywood is not telling on a consistent basis, hence working outside the system. That is the only way to realistically get things done. Nobody in power is going to hand it over to you or make it fair especially if it erodes their power.


It's an All-Star field in this Monday morning special feature race here at Shadow and Act Downs. It's packed with best of the best writers in the world of cinema of the African Diaspora. Today, the jockey Andre Seewood is riding the thoroughbred "Black Film Theory". The DP Cybel Martin is riding Canon 7D. You can see her other work at CybelDP(dot)com and chat film @CybelDP. The ever popular Tambay will be riding the 4 year old mare "HNIC". He's sure to be near the top as they come down the stretch. The crowd favorite, Sergio Mims, will be riding the sure and steady filly "Weekend B.O." And, last but not least, representing all females of the African Dispora, the event is pleased to have Tanya Steele riding "Scandalous". Unfortunately, there is one down-note. The casting agent "Twinkie" was scheduled to ride "Choose Me" but had to scratch-out because the filly pulled-up lame at the 11th hour. Twinkie sends her heartfelt regrets.

As the horses leave the paddock, Sergio is seen talking with the replacement jockey, Gustavo Ramalho. The rookie rider asks Sergio… "what the hell is going on here. Why are so many black folks in this field? I mean, excuse me if I appear rude or just plain stupid, but I thought you guys only covered sports and ghetto bullsh*t? ". Sergio, feeling offended, reached for his razor but quickly realized that his fellow rider was simply a garden variety dumb-ass. So, he looked him in the eye and said… "Obviously you're not a regular S&A reader. We cover EVERYTHING. And yes especially if it's black film made my black folks. That's what we do here."

"But CareyCarey, what'sup with the set-up, man?"

Well, to be honest, I couldn't find a better way to express how Shadow and Act's stable of writers moves me on a weekly basis. For example, on any given Sunday I can be found screaming Cybel's name and nodding my head (up and down) as if she'd just opened my eyes to a new understanding. Her posts are always chuck-full of so much information that I wanna bestow upon her the crown of "Shadow & Act's Best". But then I'll read one of Sergio's post which takes me to another place of enjoyment, leaving me to wonder who's really "the best"? And, of course, Tambay is the HNIC, without him out front we'd have nothing. But he has been a busy man as of late so we don't get "all" of him as we once did. He shoots and scoots on. But, again, he has the best hand.

Then we have Andre Seewood. A few years ago… well… we didn't see eye-to-eye, to say it mildly. Looking back, I have to say I believe he was a bit too strong for me. Yep, to some degree (maybe a large degree) his articles were so deep and so intellectual that they sort of intimated ol'CareyCarey. Okay, I said it, he pushed me off my and out of my comfort zone, so I wallowed in my sorrow :-(. But when I jacked-up my slacks and wiped the tears from my eyes (so I could see what he was saying and actually adsorb what he was putting down) I realized he WAS and IS the man about this town and I was the biggest fool of them all. He always brings supporting info to support all of his arguments. And, as I love saying, the devil's in the details and I like that in him. So I was torn. Who now is my new king of S&A, I wondered? Anyway, I can go on and on about the fulfillment's his posts gives me, but of special note, I love reading the readers his posts attract. Generally, they are not the "drive-by" bit*h and shoot crowd. Nope, he attracts the intellectual crowd of well-written deep thinkers. Now, I can't hang with them but I sho-nuff love reading what they bring to the table. They always give me something to ponder other than "who shot John" and who's doing who, and what Tyler Perry is, or is not doing. That reminds me, whenever someone does "challenge" Andres propositions, I ask myself "is this reader a newbie… do they know that Mr. Seewood studies and LIVES this sh*t? I hope they're ready for what they're asking for?". In the end, Andre is generally the last man standing. Unlike many who post, he WILL mix it up in the comment section with anyone who knocks on his down… and from my perspective, that's a good thang because as I said, I love reading the comments his posts inspire.


Tambay is the first out of the gate, followed closely by Tanya Steele riding "Scandalous". Cybel is wearing a helmet-cam so we see the push and shove of the jockeys trying to find the right lane. Sergio is wearing a mic, the grunts and groans of the jockeys and the audience are crystal clear, giving the viewer the sense of being in the middle of the shuffle.

As they pass the quarter pole and head for the stretch, one reader, Beemooree, is heard complaining and screaming at the jockeys/writers… "They ain't doing it right. HEY Sergio, if you think, I think, that you're right, then you're a damn fool."

Sergio's mule is no longer in the race as they head for the finish line, so he pulls back the reigns of his tired horse as he peers into the crowd to find the face of his new naysayer. Upon spotting her, he yells… "Hey genius since you're so smart go create your own film website so you can stop reading us since you know every goddamn thing!!!"

NOW HERE THEY COME DOWN THE STRETCH!!! Tanya's in front by a nose… half a length back sits Tambay… Cybel is gaining speed. The jockey Andre Seewood, known to be a fast finisher and riding the talented thoroughbred "Black Film Theory" is still in the race! HERE THEY COME….!!!!

OH NO… it's a photo finish… 3 horse crossed the line at about the same time!!! Who will wear the crown of this week's star perform at Shadow and Act!? We await the judges decision. :-)


Andre Seawood you make good points but one thing I disagree with you on this, the black people doing for self won't solve our problem. It would. You assume it will just be counter -cinema, no it would be a chance for black filmmakers and writers to show the diversity of black life and start erasing sterotypes about black people. You make another mistake by assuming if we do this it will just be black people seeing these films and they won't have no appeal outside of black people. Last time I checked black people start a lot of trends that other races pick up on and emulate. You also propose we try and work our way up in a system that is rigged to keep us in a certain place and keep stereotypes going, that's some bs. We want get there in that system not because we are not talented and intelligent enought to get there, it's because white supremacy is not going to get a moral code all of a sudden and start playing fair. That's why I say these articles even through they make some valid points does nothing in the long run, because you are trying to make people see the light and that just want to stay in the darkness. Andre Seawood another thing about us rising to the top in that system, you already have had black people that have risen to the top being box office stars and black directors that have made blockbuster films. Did this help black cinema, no actually you have had a decrease in the number of black films released at the box office by the studios. This is just another example of in the white supremacy hollywood system we can only be tokens of fake diversity or the illusion we can rise to the top of that system when reality it will only be a couple of tokens of success to keep things the same and have people like you Andre Seawood saying we should try and infiltrate a system that is rigged. This is why we have to do for self if we ever want things to change, white supremacy hollywood has no intentions of real diversity and inclusion, when more of us realized this then we will have the change we want for black filmmakers, actors, actresses, and writers. Andre Seawood why don't you try writing an article on us using our resources to make change instead of spending so much time analyzing white supremacy and co -signing black filmmakers to join that system when we don't have too. You are starting to sound like one of them guys who just like to hear theyselves talk and be on some self important kick, instead of going out and getting things done. I guest you just like being the expert on black people around your white collegues at your social events. These articles are really about getting people to buy into this for you can write another book for them to buy.

Rajiv Pandit

Here's more ammunition to support your thesis regarding Kubrick's use of black characters in his film. In THE KILLING, the sniper who shot the racehorse is captured because of the horseshoe the black parking lot attendant threw to the ground, a token of friendship rebuffed by the sniper. And in DR. STRANGELOVE, the only crew member to question the "go code"order is the black officer.

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