- Editor’s Notes
With this issue, we begin the second promising year of the Black Film Center/Archive’s partnership with Indiana University Press publishing Black Camera.
The first year was challenging. We created suitable production and editorial protocols and a working relationship with our counterparts at the Press. There were, however, several hiccups along the way, which we corrected in a timely and cost-efficient manner and in conformance with best practices. The experience of the first year was beneficial, and Black Camera is the better for it.
We also recruited David C. Wall to our editorial staff as film and book review editor. He is a prolific young scholar of African American film and visual media whose contributions to the organization of this important area of the journal and to the editorial review process are palpable and very much appreciated.
Our collaboration with Olivier Barlet, Director of Publications for Africultures, and his group in France has begun to yield critical essays, interviews, and timely documentation regarding African cinematic traditions, practices, and criticism. These materials will continue to be featured in future issues of Black Camera in the newly created Africultures Dossier.
In development, too, are special issues or sections of issues devoted to Sexuality and Eroticism in Black Film, Cinema, and Video, Afrosurrealism in Film/Video, and the film Precious and the Novel Push. Other subjects we intend to address in future issues are classics of black cinema beginning with Nothing But a Man (1964) by Michael Roemer and Robert Young and The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973) directed by Ivan Dixon and written by Sam Greenlee. We are also planning to publish the deliberations of a five-day series of workshops and forum with African and Caribbean filmmakers (From the Postcolonial to the Global Postmodern? African and Caribbean Francophone Filmmakers and Scholars in Conversation) cosponsored by the BFC/A at the IU Bloomington campus, March 1–5, 2010. The filmmakers who participated in this encounter are Euzhan Palcy (Martinique), Gaston Kaboré (Burkina Faso), Jean-Marie Teno [End Page 1] (Cameroon), and Jo Gai Ramaka (Senegal), as well as the film scholars, Kenneth Harrow (Michigan State University), Francoise Pfaff (Howard University), and Akin Adesokan (IU) among others.
This issue features several original essays by film scholars Jane Bryce (Barbados), Martha Evans and Ian Glenn (South Africa), Thy Phu (Canada), and Amy Turner (USA). Together, they address a variety of intriguing concerns from the Somalian guerrilla filmmaker Abdulkadir Ahmed Said to Hollywood depictions of postcolonial Africa in “five big-budget narrative films,” to the 1951 film adaptation and coproduction of Richard Wright’s 1940 novel Native Son by Sono Film in Argentina, and the 1955 independent production that featured a racially integrated cast in Carib Gold.
Next follows an interview with Jefferson Pinder, a gifted young African American painter, experimental videographer, sculptor, performance artist, and quilt maker. Here, Pinder elaborates on race, identity, and engagement with social activism in a lengthy conversation with Michael T. Martin and David C. Wall.
The second installment of the Africultures Dossier includes three pieces by prominent French film critic, Olivier Barlet, Director of Publications of Africultures. The first two pieces offer assessments of FESPACO 2009 by Barlet and his interview with Michel Ouedraogo, Director General of FESPACO. The third essay discusses the reception of Bollywood films by African audiences.
In the Documents section—now also in its second installment—appear two seminal and related programmatic statements: the Resolutions of the Third World Filmmakers Meeting, Algiers, December 5–14 (1973) and The Algiers Charter on African Cinema (1975). Together these documents delineate the organizing principles for a transnational third world cinema practice.
We close this issue with Archival News and Professional and Research Notes of interest to our readers. Particularly noteworthy in the news is the in-depth consideration by senior archivist Mary K. Huelsbeck of the historical evolution of pressbooks, their importance to researching black film, and her assessment of several outstanding examples of pressbooks in the BFC/A collections.
The editor gratefully acknowledges the continuing support of the College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington and, especially that of the former dean of the College...