william steig drawing

December 10, 2011
Kartina Richardson

Ebert Presents: Race and the Movies

See parts 2 & 3 of the episode at www.ebertpresents.com

And below are a few of my previous Race in Film posts that elaborate on some of the films and ideas mentioned on the show!


In Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1962 film L’eclisse (Eclipse), time is the enemy. For this reason the chronically depressed will understand it implicitly. They will know that a fan turning left to right makes all the more stagnant the air in a room. They will understand that no part of that room, no corner or cushion, can provide relief from the realization that every approaching minute is opportunity for life to prove itself meaningless… (Full post & video)

Shanghai Express:

As evidenced by this very Race in Film series, color is a large part of my life. This is frequently not by choice, as was certainly the case when I was a child… (Full post & video)

Tammy & The Bachelor:

In elementary school, my desire to be white was so strong, I created two imaginary sisters. They were both older and white with red hair and lived in California. One’s name was Gina, and the other’s was Tammy. I named her Tammy after the character in the 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor directed by Joseph Pevney. Who could be whiter than Tammy? (Full post & video)

The Joy Luck Club:

I know The Joy Luck Club like the back of my hand…Unfortunately.

While I recite lines from The Thin Man Goes Home at the drop of a hat, I carry the script of TheJoy Luck Club in my mind’s eye like the scene of a horrible crime. I cannot shake it. It will not be shook… (Full post & video)

Swing Time & Shall We Dance:

This, more than any previous Race in Film post, gets to the nitty gritty of the whole series, and I am very nervous. It might be strange to get timid nine posts in, but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what I am comfortable talking and not talking about.

Judy Garland is fair game, but Fred Astaire… Fred Astaire…

He is the man that makes my knees lose themselves… (Full post & video)

Stormy Weather:

The first thing you must realize about Stormy Weather before anything else, is that it is not real.

Of course it isn’t real in the sense that it is a narrative film and as such it is fiction, but it is unreal in another way. It is a  romanticization of African American life offering one-dimensional characters without nuance– in “response” to the one dimensional un-nuanced characters in other films… (Full post & video)

More Race in Film…


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  1. You make me so proud Kartina. Having lived through the time of all of these films and wishing for all my life for someone to lead the chorus of truth telling about how hurtful Hollywood was/is in their depiction of race in film. I’m so glad to have lived long enough to be able to read your work. Thank you.

  2. Max Oblivion

    Thanks for going easy on Fred, Kartina. He was a great dancer and entertainer but like most of us, he lacked either the vision or the courage to counter the prevailing racial attitudes of his time. It is interesting to imagine what could have been if he had dumped Ginger and replaced her with a lovely and talented woman of color. I can picture it now.

    • Max Oblivion

      I’m guessing that had he replaced Ginger with a woman of color he wouldn’t have been allowed to make another film or perform at a big time venue. He no longer would have been invited to all of those high society parties he frequented and probably would have fathered a love child with his new partner and become the proud parent of a mixed race child and lived happily ever after working as a night watchman. The end.

  3. Not a bad effort. Keep working at it, Kartina. It can only get better from here.

  4. I don’t know who is using my website name to comment here (I always sign anything I write with my name – Kimberly Lindbergs – not the name of my blog, “Cinebeats”) but I don’t appreciate it. Kartina should have no problem checking IP addresses, which can be easily traced to whoever thinks it’s ‘fun’ to use my identity online.

    On a side note, just watched this clip and enjoyed it. Generally speaking I appreciate what you and the rest of the staff do on Ebert Presents, Kartina.


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