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but was passed over in favor of Clarence Muse because Reed "lacked the requisite persona and failed to generate a following of black fans, perhaps because he had seemed a part of a plot to dump the more outspoken Gilpin" (pp. 237-8). Just as interesting is Cripps' revelation that the production crew of Hallelujah! filmed many of their location shots in the Mississippi Delta to the rhythm of a metronome . "It was as though a crew of whites learned to shoot and cut on the beat of black music or suffer an impossible chore later in the lab" (p. 247). One might guess that filming a movie about blacks in the South during 1928 carried with it certain ironies as well as hazards. He would be quite right. Cripps relates a number of incidents in which members of the cast and crew of Halleluiah! were eyed by the locals with a kind of bemused ambivalence and reluctant deference. But the locals were not the only ones baffled by this unusual situation. Often too, black cast members found themselves caught between maintaining a personal sense of pride in direct violation to the existing Southern tradition or bowing to that tradition at the expense of personal pride. Consider the actions of one black actress who barged into a department store and began trying on clothes, but upon returning to her Memphis hotel, took the freight elevator up to her room (p. 245-6). In instance after instance Cripps provides this kind of inside perspective, the product of years of laborious research. Cripps is at work on yet another volume, which will trace the participation of blacks in the film industry from 1943 to the present. Once it is completed, the set should become an essential and invaluable historical record of one facet of the American cinema. As a first installment, however, Slow Fade to Black is a welcome and fresh view of the struggle of black performers and production personnel to establish a place for themselves in the film community. FILM & HISTORY NEWS AMERICAN STUDIES FILM COURSE The American Studies Association's Film Committee has attempted to develop a model course in American Studies and Film. The course was not designed to present a history of cinema, but to explore American cultural themes and values reflected in our films. The course considers stereotypes in film (Blacks, women), American humor on film, success in film, film and war, film and the West, film and the cold war. A chronological progression exists, but the main thrust is toward demonstrating that models and topics frequently examined in American Studies could be illuminated by cinematic texts. The course was taught at Boston College during the spring of 1976-7 by Peter C. Rollins (Oklahoma State University). A profusely annotated syllabus, including information about the procurement of the films used, is available from Ms. Susanne Schall, National Humanities Institute, 53 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 065 10. The work behind this fifty-page document was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Studies Association. ANTHROPOLOGICAL FILM CONFERENCE Temple University will hold its seventh Conference on Visual Anthropology on March 8-11, 1978. The Conference brings together scholars, practitioners, and all people interested in exploring the human condition through visual means. 44 Among the ideas being discussed for COVA-78 are sessions on: The Popularization of Anthropology; Missionar)' Cinema: Reflexive Visual Ethnography: Location Sound and Music Recording ; and Narrowcasting: Cable Television Programs. The Director of the Conference invites participation in three categories: 1)MOTION PICTURE FILM. 2)2) STILL PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITS and 3)3) VIDEOTAPE. For further information, contact Jay Ruby, Director, COVA-78, Department of Anthropology. Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa., 19122. (215) 787-7601 or 787-7775. SAVICOM NEWSLETTER ANNOUNCED The Society for the Anthropology of Visual Communication plans to reinstitute its Newsletter this fall. It will appear three times per year (Fall-Winter-Spring). The Newsletter will contain notes, news, and brief articles on all aspects of visual communication announcements of new films, the publications ofbooks, monographs, and filmographies, research opportunities, funding sources, festivals, conferences, gallery openings, museum exhibits, examples of innovative teaching ofvisual communication, and Society announcements. Persons wishing to...


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