Assignment: Required Viewing/Writing
Here are some clips I'll show in class:
Abbey and Max:
For your assignment for next Wednesday, watch the below film, The Cry of Jazz (1958), which is in four parts on youtube (total runtime is about 35 minutes). The Cry of Jazz was just entered into the National Film Registry. It's one of the first documentaries directed by a black American -- and is one of the earliest instances in which an independent film was used to explicitly critique the dominant white culture. This was a film that was very much made "outside the system," both in terms of its production and in terms of its politics. After watching the film, write a blog post in response to the film. I want you to address three questions specifically (spend a paragraph on each):
1. What do you think of the picture it paints, with music as an expression of political consciousness? Is it a convincing case? Do you think the argument about the development and the "death" of jazz proved accurate?
2. What parts of the film do you find effective? What parts do you find ineffective?
3. Do you think this film is still relevant today? Or is it mainly a snapshot of a remote historical moment?
An article on Night Catches Us, a recent fiction film about the aftermath of the Black Panther movement:
Black Independent Cinema and The Influence of Neo-realism: Futility, Struggle, and Hope in the Face of Reality
by Chris Norton
Trailer for The Spook Who Sat by the Door, Ivan Dixon's only film as a director:
Interview with Ivan Dixon: