Abstract

This essay considers the term black independent film along with critical rhetoric that relies on the blues to analyze and celebrate the authenticity or blackness of its aesthetics. Early twentieth-century debates on the relationship of art and cultural identity among Harlem Renaissance writers as well as discussions of film reception and genre by Ralph Ellison, Clyde Taylor, and James Snead inform the discussion. Ultimately, both the ambitions of Julie Dash's thesis film Illusions and the pessimism of Spike Lee's Bamboozled figure into the idea of an imperfect blues cinema sublime.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4237
Print ISSN
1536-3155
Pages
pp. 7-24
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-08
Open Access
No
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