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While there were dozens of prominent touring African American “girl” bands including the Harlem Playgirls and the Dixie Sweethearts, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm was the only predominantly black all-girl band to record short subject films during the 1940s. During the war independent black cast films and soundies including Harlem Jam Session (1946) were introduced to entertain and boost the morale of black war workers and military personnel. These black entrepreneurial films provided important opportunities for African American’s to denounce stereotypical roles promoted in Hollywood films. Through their film appearances and live performances, the Sweethearts clearly mitigated prior gendered and racialized characterizations by adopting a number of performative strategies, including formulating a repertoire built upon swing and blues in order to counter dominant white all-girl band aesthetics, which promoted feminized genres such as “sweet” and light classical.
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2011 : Sound of My Voice - Zal Batmanglij : Maggie
Reflexivity interferes with cinematic illusion in all kinds of ways. When Agnes Varda's lens cap swings in and out of the frame for nearly a minute in The Gleaners and I (2000), it is reflexive. We are made aware. It’s uncomfortable. Wait a minute, that’s her lens cap. We laugh, uncertain. Varda forfeits the authority of the filmmaker, transparently, self-consciously. She tells us, “I forgot to turn my camera off.” In the middle of the film Varda pulls back the curtain and engages us in the making.
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Coinciding with the rise of YouTube since 2005, the format was first embraced most enthusiastically by film fans, who could pay homage to their favourite works by capturing the thematic preoccupations of a director or the peculiarity of an actor’s performance.