Visit our Christmas Gift Finder
Click & Collect from 2 Hours*
Free Delivery to UK Shops
Free UK Standard Delivery On all orders £20 and over Free Delivery to UK Shops Local shops and expert booksellers nationwide Free Click & Collect to UK shops From 2 hours of your order*
Disintegrating the Musical: Black Performance and American Musical Film (Paperback)
  • Disintegrating the Musical: Black Performance and American Musical Film (Paperback)
zoom

Disintegrating the Musical: Black Performance and American Musical Film (Paperback)

(author)
£23.99
Paperback 352 Pages / Published: 14/08/2002
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
From the earliest sound films to the present, American cinema has represented African Americans as decidedly musical. Disintegrating the Musical tracks and analyzes this history of musical representations of African Americans, from blacks and whites in blackface to black-cast musicals to jazz shorts, from sorrow songs to show tunes to bebop and beyond.

Arthur Knight focuses on American film's classic sound era, when Hollywood studios made eight all-black-cast musicals-a focus on Afro-America unparalleled in any other genre. It was during this same period that the first black film stars-Paul Robeson, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge-emerged, not coincidentally, from the ranks of musical performers. That these films made so much of the connection between African Americans and musicality was somewhat ironic, Knight points out, because they did so in a form (song) and a genre (the musical) celebrating American social integration, community, and the marriage of opposites-even as the films themselves were segregated and played before even more strictly segregated audiences.

Disintegrating the Musical covers territory both familiar-Show Boat, Stormy Weather, Porgy and Bess-and obscure-musical films by pioneer black director Oscar Micheaux, Lena Horne's first film The Duke Is Tops, specialty numbers tucked into better-known features, and lost classics like the short Jammin' the Blues. It considers the social and cultural contexts from which these films arose and how African American critics and audiences responded to them. Finally, Disintegrating the Musical shows how this history connects with the present practices of contemporary musical films like O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Bamboozled.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822329633
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 730 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 31 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"African American influence on American music is legendary, but not until Arthur Knight's Disintegrating the Musical have African American contributions to the Hollywood musical been put in the spotlight. Finally, we have a first-rate book offering a new slant on everything from blackface and Paul Robeson to the film version of Porgy and Bess."-Rick Altman, University of Iowa
"Knight's fine book is compelling reading that takes black cinema scholarship into new unmapped issues and territories. Notable is Knight's thoroughly innovative and nuanced discussion of `blackface' (and its `whiteface' counterpoint) and how blacks deployed forms of `black blackface,' to discover pain, pleasure and irony in its complexities. Importantly, Knight charts the power of black musical performance, illuminating the schizophrenic disjuncture between the pervasive influence of the black Jazz sound and the simultaneous erasure, segregation, or devaluation of the African American musician's visual presence in mainstream cinema. Disintegrating The Musical casts its arguments in bold, lucid strokes, standing out as a solid contribution to the fields of cinema and performance studies and Jazz scholarship."-Ed Guerrero, New York University

You may also be interested in...

The Undercommons
Added to basket
£16.00
Paperback
Comanches
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
Autobiography of Malcolm X
Added to basket
The Canadian Sioux
Added to basket
The History of Mary Prince
Added to basket
Negro with a Hat: Marcus Garvey
Added to basket
Empire of the Summer Moon
Added to basket
The Three Degrees
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
The Washing Of The Spears
Added to basket
The Black Atlantic
Added to basket
£17.99
Paperback
Orientalism
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Narrative of Frederick Douglass
Added to basket
Hurricane
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Islandman
Added to basket
£7.50
Paperback
Exodus
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.