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Reel To Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies [Hardcover]

Bell Hooks
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)


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Book Description

February 28, 1997 0415918235 978-0415918237 0
In Reel To Real, bell hooks talks back to films as a way to engage the pedagogy of cinema--the way film teaches its audience.

bell hooks comes to film as a cultural critic, fascinated by the issues movies raise--the ways cinema depicts race, sex, and class. Reel To Real collects hooks' classic essays on films such as Paris Is Burning or the infamous "Whose Pussy Is It" essay about Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It, as well as newer work on Pulp Fiction, Crooklyn and Waiting To Exhale. hooks also examines the world of independent cinema. Conversations with filmmakers Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, and Arthur Jaffa are linked with critical essays, including a piece on Larry Clark's Kids, to show that cinema can function subversively as well as maintain the status quo.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hooks's essays on film are not film criticism: they are criticism of culture as viewed through the prism of film. This mix of theory, reality, popular art and popular criticism (reviews and public reaction play a large part in her discussions) is effective in forcing a rethinking of the films in question. A reading of reviews of Exotica shows that only the strip-joint portions of the movie were considered worthy of commentary. Quentin Tarantino?a filmmaker "not afraid to publicly pimp his wares"?is taken to task for ingesting superficial aspects of black culture and spitting out the rest. The "mock feminism" of Waiting to Exhale ("an utterly boring show") is exposed as hooks examines differences between the book and the movie. The essays that do not focus on a single film are equally successful: a discussion of the black female gaze recalls that slaves could be punished for looking, and another on representations of black masculinity notes that in movies with two male leads, one black and one white, such as Rising Sun, the white man plays the "father" role. The essays could have benefited from more thoughtful organization. Hooks refers to her first-ever film-related essay, on Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It, in her introduction and elsewhere, but the essay does not appear until the final pages of the book. A piece on the accountability of filmmakers that involves Wayne Wang would have matched up nicely with a dialogue with Wang, which instead is sandwiched in a group of interviews with Arthur Jaffa, Camille Billops and the like.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

This mixed view of theory, reality, popular art, and popular criticism...is effective in forcing a rethinking of the films in question.
Publisher's Weekly

hooks is worth reading for her intelligent, passionate, and often convincing writings.
The Onion

hooks...makes a compelling case to filmmakers for creating progressive images that 'transform the culture we live in'.
Los Angeles Times

Those looking for insightful, sophisticated, and provocative views on cinema will enjoy and learn from Reel to Real. The book is particularly insightful about issues of race and about the ways black women are depicted in film. It will appeal to a broad audience and will also be useful as a way to introduce discussions of race, class, and gender into courses in aesthetics, film, and cultural studies.
The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

This is intellectual entertainment at its best.
Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (February 28, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415918235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415918237
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,108,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bell Hooks is a cultural critic, feminist theorist, and writer. Celebrated as one of our nation's leading public intellectual by The Atlantic Monthly, as well as one of Utne Reader's 100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life, she is a charismatic speaker who divides her time among teaching, writing, and lecturing around the world. Previously a professor in the English departments at Yale University and Oberlin College, hooks is now a Distinguished Professor of English at City College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of more than seventeen books, including All About Love: New Visions; Remembered Rapture: The Writer at Work; Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life; Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood; Killing Rage: Ending Racism; Art on My Mind: Visual Politics; and Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life. She lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
(5)
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bell hooks really gives good information in this one! December 24, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
An excellent book that really gives you something to think about as she examines race, sex and class in America through the movies. I really enjoyed reading her feminist views, and her interviews with filmmakers Charles Burnett, Camille Billops, and AJ (Arthur Jafa).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extreme but provoking October 8, 2013
By Jerbo88
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bell Hooks has some extreme ideas but provokes though and idea and puts one mind at different angles of looking at things.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars okay August 21, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is fine. I got it in a timely manner, but the essays are nothing new or insightful. Disappointed in the content of the book.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read December 18, 2005
Format:Paperback
bell hooks is as critical and analytical as ever. Of all bell hooks' books that I've read, this is the best. The synopsis above says it all. Now all you have to do is read it. Filmmakers, pop culturalists, and people who think will be in pig-heaven
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great condition May 19, 2012
By Nbcsu
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book came in awesome condition and on time! It was a little pricey but I was in an emergency situation. Nonetheless I appreciate the speed in which it was delivered. Good book as well
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