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Film, Theater, and Performing Arts

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Africa's Big Five and Other Wildlife Filmmakers

A Centenary of Wildlife Filming in Kenya

Jean Hartley, born in Kenya, is acknowledged as being the first to legitimise ìfixingî for wildlife film crews. Over the last 25 years, she has worked on over a thousand films, the vast majority being about wildlife and nature. She features five of the great film makers who all started their careers in Kenya in the1950s, legends whom she is proud to call personal friends. Watching all of their films, and many more, she became fascinated by the history of film making in Kenya and determined to find out when it all started. In this insightful book, she traces the roots of wildlife film back a hundred years, drawing on accounts of the original film makers and the professional hunters who guided those early safaris. She tracks the changes from those grainy, speeded up, silent films through to the technologically perfect High Definition and 3D films that are being made today.

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Africa’s Deadliest Conflict

Media Coverage of the Humanitarian Disaster in the Congo and the United Nations Response, 1997–2008

Africa’s Deadliest Conflict deals with the complex intersection of the legacy of post-colonial history—a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions—and changing norms of international intervention associated with the idea of human security and the responsibility to protect (R2P). It attempts to explain why, despite a softening of norms related to the sanctity of state sovereignty, the international community dealt so ineffectively with a brutal conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which between 1997 and 2011 claimed an estimated 5.5 million. In particular, the book focuses on the role of mass media in creating a will to intervene, a role considered by many to be the key to prodding a reluctant international community to action.

Included in the book are a primer on Congolese history, a review of United Nations peacekeeping missions in the Congo, and a detailed examination of both US television news and New York Times coverage of the Congo from 1997 through 2008. Separate conclusions are offered with respect to peacekeeping in the Age of R2P and on the role of mass media in both promoting and inhibiting robust international responses to large-scale humanitarian crises.

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African American Actresses

The Struggle for Visibility, 1900--1960

Charlene Regester

Nine actresses, from Madame Sul-Te-Wan in Birth of a Nation (1915) to Ethel Waters in Member of the Wedding (1952), are profiled in African American Actresses. Charlene Regester poses questions about prevailing racial politics, on-screen and off-screen identities, and black stardom and white stardom. She reveals how these women fought for their roles as well as what they compromised (or didn't compromise). Regester repositions these actresses to highlight their contributions to cinema in the first half of the 20th century, taking an informed theoretical, historical, and critical approach.

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African Appropriations

Cultural Difference, Mimesis, and Media

Matthias Krings

Why would a Hollywood film become a Nigerian video remake, a Tanzanian comic book, or a Congolese music video? Matthias Krings explores the myriad ways Africans respond to the relentless onslaught of global culture. He seeks out places where they have adapted pervasive cultural forms to their own purposes as photo novels, comic books, songs, posters, and even scam letters. These African appropriations reveal the broad scope of cultural mediation that is characteristic of our hyperlinked age. Krings argues that there is no longer an "original" or "faithful copy," but only endless transformations that thrive in the fertile ground of African popular culture.

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African Filmmaking

Five Formations

This volume attempts to join the disparate worlds of Egyptian, Maghrebian, South African, Francophone, and Anglophone African cinema—that is, five “formations” of African cinema. These five areas are of particular significance—each in its own way. The history of South Africa, heavily marked by apartheid and its struggles, differs considerably from that of Egypt, which early on developed its own “Hollywood on the Nile.” The history of French colonialism impacted the three countries of the Maghreb—Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco—differently than those in sub-Saharan Africa, where Senegal and Sembène had their own great effect on the Sahelian region. Anglophone Africa, particularly the films of Ghana and Nigeria, has dramatically altered the ways people have perceived African cinema for decades. History, geography, production, distribution, and exhibition are considered alongside film studies concerns about ideology and genre. This volume provides essential information for all those interested in the vital worlds of cinema in Africa since the time of the Lumière brothers.
 

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African-Language Literatures

Perspectives on isiZulu fiction and popular black television series

African-language writing is in crisis. The conditions under which African writing developed in the past (only remotely similar to those of Western models) resulted in an inability of Eurocentric literary models to explore the hermeneutic world of African-language poetics inherited from the oral and the modern worlds. Existing modes of criticism in the study of this literary tradition are often unsuited for a nuanced understanding of the intrinsic and extrinsic aspects at play in the composition, production and reading of these literatures. Innocentia Jabulisile Mhlambi charts new directions in the study of African-language literatures generally and isiZulu fiction in particular by proposing that African popular arts and culture models be considered as a logical solution to current debates and challenges. Mhlambi shows how the popular arts and culture approach brings into relationship the oral and written forms, the local and the international, and elitist and popular genres, and locates the resultant emerging, eclectic culture in its socio-historical context. She uses this theoretical approach to explore what matters most to people, irrespective of social hierarchies and predispositions. It is her contention that the African-language literary tradition evinces diversity, complexity and fluidity in profound ways.

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African Video Movies and Global Desires

A Ghanaian History

Carmela Garritano

African Video Movies and Global Desires is the first full-length scholarly study of Ghana’s commercial video industry, an industry that has produced thousands of movies over the last twenty years and has grown into an influential source of cultural production. Produced and consumed under circumstances of dire shortage and scarcity, African video movies narrate the desires and anxieties created by Africa’s incorporation into the global cultural economy.

Drawing on archival and ethnographic research conducted in Ghana over a ten-year period, as well as close readings of a number of individual movies, this book brings the insights of historical context as well as literary and film analysis to bear on a range of movies and the industry as a whole. Garritano makes a significant contribution to the examination of gender norms and the ideologies these movies produce.

African Video Movies and Global Desires is a historically and theoretically informed cultural history of an African visual genre that will only continue to grow in size and influence.

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Afro-Mexico

Dancing between Myth and Reality

By Anita González

This study of African-based dance in Mexico explores the influence of African people and their cultural productions on Mexican society, showing how dance can embody social histories and relationships.

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After Hitchcock

Influence, Imitation, and Intertextuality

Edited by David Boyd and R. Barton Palmer

Alfred Hitchcock is arguably the most famous director to have ever made a film. Almost single-handedly he turned the suspense thriller into one of the most popular film genres of all time, while his Psycho updated the horror film and inspired two generations of directors to imitate and adapt this most Hitchcockian of movies. Yet while much scholarly and popular attention has focused on the director’s oeuvre, until now there has been no extensive study of how Alfred Hitchcock’s films and methods have affected and transformed the history of the film medium. In this book, thirteen original essays by leading film scholars reveal the richness and variety of Alfred Hitchcock’s legacy as they trace his shaping influence on particular films, filmmakers, genres, and even on film criticism. Some essays concentrate on films that imitate Hitchcock in diverse ways, including the movies of Brian de Palma and thrillers such as True Lies, The Silence of the Lambs, and Dead Again. Other essays look at genres that have been influenced by Hitchcock’s work, including the 1970s paranoid thriller, the Italian giallo film, and the post-Psycho horror film. The remaining essays investigate developments within film culture and academic film study, including the enthusiasm of French New Wave filmmakers for Hitchcock’s work, his influence on the filmic representation of violence in the post-studio Hollywood era, and the ways in which his films have become central texts for film theorists.

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After Human Rights

Literature, Visual Arts, and Film in Latin America, 1990–2010

by Fernando J. Rosenberg

Rosenberg explores Latin American artistic production concerned with the possibility of justice after the establishment, rise, and ebb of the narrative of human rights around the turn of the last century. Whereas various literary and artistic initiatives throughout modern Latin American history attempted to address and supplement the state's historical inability to represent and bring about justice, contemporary cultural production encounters a situation in which the state-centered terms and institutions that used to frame a concern with justice are revealed to be limited. Rosenberg proposes that the artistic production of the turn of the century engages in an active reformulation of the ideal of justice, in relation to which the language of rights defines both the horizon of the possible and the limit to the imaginable. Based on discussions of literature, film, and visual art, Rosenberg addresses a central dilemma of contemporary Latin American artistic production, which he locates at the point where the logic of the global market and the discourse of human rights intersect in the formation of social subjects.

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