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    Oscar Micheaux and His Circle
    African-American Filmmaking and Race Cinema of the Silent Era

    by Charles Musser, Pearl Bowser, Jane Gaines

    Oscar Micheaux and His Circle ~ Read More

    • Publisher: Indiana University Press
    • Language: english
    • Format: paperback, 353 pages
    • Author: Charles Musser, Pearl Bowser, Jane Gaines
    • ISBN: 9780253214843 (025321484X)
    • Release date: December 31, 2001

    About The Book

    “An extremely valuable contribution to the history of African American art.” —Toni Morrison

    “Oscar Michaeux and His Circle is a marvel of scholarly cooperative effort, an omnibus book of heroic scope befitting its authors’ ambition to recreate the complex African-American world of the 1920s that Micheaux and his movies meant to serve… the book features an uncommonly rich trove of photographs, stills from his movies, advertisements, and other ephemera of his age … [the book is] remarkably free of the sort of opaque critical jargon that might have limited its access to the broad audience that should be drawn to it.” —Thomas Cripps, author of Black Film as Genre and Making Movies Black

    “This is a landmark text, essential for teaching and reference… A splendid collective achievement.” —Hazel V. Carby, author of Cultures in Babylon: Black Britain and African America and Race Men

    In this important, sumptuous new book, prominent scholars examine the surviving silent films of Oscar Micheaux — the most prolific African-American filmmaker to date and a filmmaking giant of the silent period. Both artist and showman, Micheaux stirred controversy in his time as he confronted issues such as lynching, miscegenation, peonage and white supremacy, passing, and corruption among black clergymen. His films were completely different from Hollywood pictures in the ways they spoke to black moviegoers.

    These essays shed light not only on Micheaux’s films but also on his immense influence on other filmmakers, actors, and writers. What these authors have to say will fascinate the general public as well as scholars in the fields of film studies, culturalstudies, and African-American history. This thoroughly readable collection is a superb reference work lavishly illustrated with rare photographs.

    Author Biography: Pearl Bowser is founder and director of African Diaspora Images, a collection of historical and contemporary African-American and African films and memorabilia. Since 1970 she has curated film programs in Europe, Asia, Africa and throughout the United States including the Whitney Museum, American Museum of the Moving Images, the Brooklyn Museum, Pacific Film Archives (Berkeley), the Cleveland Museum of Art as well as a tour of black colleges. Her production credits include, Mississippi Triangle, Namibia Independence Now, and Stories About Us. She was co-director and director of research for Midnight Ramble: Oscar Micheaux and the Story of Race Movies. With Louise Spence, she co-authored Writing Himself into History: Oscar Micheaux, His Silent Films, and His Audiences, recently published by Rutgers University Press.

    Jane Gaines, is Associate Professor of Literature and English at Duke University, where she directs the Film and Video Program, which she founded in 1985. She is co-editor of Fabrications: Costume and the Female Body; editor of Classical Hollywood Narrative Cinema: The Paradigm Wars; and author of Contested Culture: The Image the Voice and the Law, for which she received the Katherine Singer Kovacs Award. Her recent work is in African and African-American literature and film melodrama. Her book Fire and Desire: Mixed Blood Relations in Silent Cinema was published in 2000.

    Charles Musser is Professor of American Studies and Film Studies at Yale University, where he co-chairs the Film Studies Program. His books include The Emergence of Cinema: The American Screen to 1907 and Edison Motion Pictures, 1890-1900: An Annotated Filmography. He produced, directed and co-wrote the hour-long documentary film Before the Nickelodeon: The Early Cinema of Edwin S. Porter. With Ed Guerrero and Mark Reid, he curated Paul Robeson film retrospectives at UCLA Film & Television Archives and the Museum of Modern Art, mounted in conjunction with the touring “Paul Robeson: Artist and Citizen” exhibition. In 1996 he received the Prix Jean Mitry from the Giornate del Cinema Muto for his contribution to the study of silent film.

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