By Allison schoen
What styles emerge in media insurance and personality depiction of Southern women and men, blacks and whites, within the years among 1954 and 1976? How do portrayals of the quarter and the equivalent rights circulation light up the spirit and event of the South—and of the state as a complete? In Framing the South, Allison Graham examines the ways that the media, really tv and picture, provided Southerners throughout the interval of the civil rights revolution.
Graham analyzes depictions of southern race and social classification in quite a lot of Hollywood films—including A Streetcar Named Desire, The 3 Faces of Eve, and A Face within the Crowd from the Fifties; later movies like Cool Hand Luke, In the warmth of the Night, and Mississippi Burning; and MGM's Elvis Presley autos. She strains how movies have confronted—or avoided—issues of racism through the years, paralleling Hollywood depictions with the tamer characterization of the likeable "hillbilly" popularized in television's The actual McCoys and The Andy Griffith Show. Graham reinforces the political impression of those fictional representations via reading media assurance of civil rights demonstrations, together with the documentary Crisis: in the back of the Presidential Commitment, which pronounced the conflict among Robert Kennedy and Governor George Wallace over the mixing of the college of Alabama. She concludes with a provocative research of Forrest Gump, deciding upon the preferred movie as a retelling of post-World warfare II Southern historical past.
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Extra info for Framing the South: Hollywood, Television, and Race during the Civil Rights Struggle
The hillbilly rapist killed by Lewis’s arrow becomes an emblem of the men’s ultimate impotence, their own insigni cance within the technology-driven New South, represented by the powerful new dam. “Every now and then I looked into the canoe and saw the body riding there,” Ed admits, “slumped back with its hand over its face and its feet crossed, a caricature of the southern small-town bum too lazy to do anything but sleep” (115). For Dickey, the stereotypical bumpkin has shed his aura of harmless ignorance; he has now become death itself.
The displacement of race onto the realm of gender, however, suggests that Hollywood practices and southern politics may have been closer in spirit than defenders of either would consciously acknowledge. The “clean documentary clarity” of Nunnally Johnson’s screenwriting and direction, so hailed by critics like Bosley Crowther, marked the lm’s obsession with its own truthfulness. ” The form that emerged was strikingly solemn. Black and white photography and ominous music announced the lm’s “serious” intent in the opening credit sequence, and the introduction and voice-over narration by “noted journalist and commentator” Alistair Cooke pushed the conventions of 1950s realism into the service of non ction documentation.
In Duel in the Sun (1946), half-Mexican Pearl Chavez (Jennifer Jones) is taken in by a powerful Texas family whose racial expectations are made explicit in the lm’s casting: Lillian Gish, the Confederate angel of The Birth of a Nation, plays the family matriarch; Butter y McQueen (the bu oonish slave Prissy in Gone With the Wind ), plays the family servant. The adoptive mother’s hope that young Pearl will grow up true to her white “half” are dashed by the adult Pearl’s illicit encounters with the black-costumed, crude Lewt McCandles (Gregory Peck).