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Baldwin's personal reflections on movies gathered here in a book-length essay are also a probing appraisal of American racial politics.
Offering an incisive look at racism in American movies and a vision of America's self-delusions and deceptions, Baldwin challenges the underlying assumptions in such films as In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and The Exorcist.
Here are our loves and hates, biases and cruelties, fears and ignorance reflected by the films that have entertained us and shaped our consciousness. And here too is the stunning prose of a writer whose passion never diminished his struggle for equality, justice, and social change.
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- Ramon McGee
A Critical Masterpiece.
The observations of arguably the most important voice of the twentieth century, Mr. James Baldwin offers his insightful, often frightening analysis of several important American films produced over the past century. His critique ranges from prodding whispers of "Its not what you think" to shouts of "It could not be more obvious" as Baldwin rips the veneer from notable, seminal works of American fiction. From the truths beneath the lie of "A Birth of a Nation" to a stunning takedown of "The Defiant Ones," the noted playwright and essayist guides us along the hidden signposts in each of the films reviewed; offering insights into the myriad of human conditions reflected---most times subconsciously--in many American masterpieces. Baldwin's brilliance is in full form in this uncompromising work. "The Devil Finds Work" is at once disturbing, enthralling and ultimately revealing about ourselves, and about the pax-Americana with which we've surrounded ourselves. In the end, this amazing work illustrates that there is truth, there are lies, and there is James Baldwin.
8 people found this helpful
Emotional and cerebral
This collection of critiques by James Baldwin is very informative and is extremely saturated; I really think for people who want to review movies and get into movie analysis, these three chapters, almost 120 pages in length should be deeply studied for people who want to become film critics and film analysis for an intensive really long time.
This essay does demonstrate Baldwin’s strength of very saturated text and also somebody who can make this very profound philosophical statements. While he talks about race relations, he does talk about economics, politics and sexism, He does it in a very fair and balanced way – – not victimizing anyone and being very truthful to the American seen in its problems, and how film can be a propaganda, A meta, And escapism from problems in America during the 1970s (when this essay was written) and prior.
Dion Graham is a very great voice for the pros of James Baldwin. He does have a lot of discipline and self-control reading the prose: He does show the emotions in the words and he understands the writing very well; unlike the invisible man, where the narrator of the invisible man Does nuances as chuckle when it is not in the text and almost takes too much of a creative license, Dion Graham reading this essay by James Baldwin he does have trueness in exposition in the emotions and the much cynicism in Baldwin’s critiques.
I do feel that this is one of his best collection of essays. I do like that it’s not completely about race relations so he does venture into new territory for himself and it is something that while being not that long in length, if you really studied this work and take a lot of notes on why it’s good and how It can help you if you decide to do Film critics and film analysis, I work like this will give you a last steps forward to go in.
6 people found this helpful
- Alednam A Uonopk
What a spectacular piece of work.....
James Baldwin never disappoints... After reading The Fire Next Time, I decided to find more of his work.... The man takes insight and outsight, combines the two, and you get sight.... Worth listening to more than thrice, or I might even just buy the book so my eyes and brain will have something to invest in if the system we live in crashes.... COVID19 is a distraction... The real killer is 5G's EMF radiation...
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