While we’re celebrating Women in Horror Month, The Whorer would also like to address the subject of underrepresentation in the film industry more generally.
With the racial controversy around Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (you can find a tasting of it here and here) and February also being Black History Month, I want to highlight a book written by my favorite author, bell hooks, titled Reel to Real: Race Class and Sex at the Movies. One of the issues hooks explores is the social impact of white filmmakers creating content about black culture, discussing films like Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction as well as others like Jennie Livingston’s documentary Paris is Burning. She also writes about black filmmakers like Spike Lee (who has also contributed to the Django conversation), Charles Burnett, and Julie Dash while looking forward to the future of black cinema. The book is a mix of essays and transcribed conversations. It’s not horror focused, but an important topic nonetheless.
Relating back to the western theme of Django and thinking about Disney’s upcoming release of The Lone Ranger, I also want to recommend Neil Diamond’s documentary Reel Injun. It explores the representation of Native Americans throughout the history of film and challenges myths and stereotypes like the noble savage and the general Hollywood homogenization of indigenous cultures. It also discusses well-known Native American actors, including Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance who after being outed as part black was shunned from social circles and committed suicide in 1931. Diamond also focuses on the importance of Native voices in cinema and highlights works like Chris Eyre and Sherman Alexie’s Smoke Signals and Zacharias Kunuk’s Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. Again, not horror focused, but important to keep in mind for our own explorations here at The Whorer.
Have any favorite books, films, or articles to add to the conversation? Tell us in the comments!