20 May 2013
09 May 2013
24 April 2013
In 'Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood,' educational theorists Joe Kincheloe and Shirley Steinberg assemble a collection of essays on children and the commodification of identity. They bring together a number of contemporary scholars of education, psychology and sociology into an interdisciplinary study of children’s popular culture and its implications for schooling and child development. Steinberg and Kincheloe introduce the essays with a chapter entitled ‘No More Secrets: Kinderculture, Information Saturation, and the Postmodern Childhood.’ The basic premise in their introduction is that the ‘information age’ has radically altered childhood, especially in the US but also in places adopting the American way of life, to the point that even the most basic assumptions underlying education and psychology are hopelessly outdated.
15 April 2013
For those who like their Vietnam films in Technicolor and Dolby stereo, Karma would probably be a disappointment. But this stark, simple - and black and white - venture has other things to commend it, beginning with the fact that it is a Vietnam film made by and about the Vietnamese. Directed by Ho Quang Minh, an overseas Vietnamese based in Switzerland, Karma was in fact the first independent production undertaken in Vietnam since 1975, and, in marked contrast to official Vietnamese cinema and Hollywood alike, it focuses on what Minh described as 'the only real losers of the conflict - the South Vietnamese Republications.'
26 March 2013
Historically, African cinema and Afro-American cinema can and should be located within the same social space of the Third Cinema-Third World Cinema. In broad terms, however, the former can be characterized by the search for and interrogation of origins, while the latter can be defined by its fight for positions and identity. African cinema seeks to establish methods and systems of production, distribution, and viewing, while Afro-American cinema is produced within diverse political and cultural national contexts. Afro-American cinema is situated within a particular national culture, albeit one governed by complex and nuanced historical, social, and economic factors. The movement of historical events is the primary--although not the only--preoccupation of African cinema, while the examination of social mechanisms is central to Afro-American cinema. In both cinemas, however, oppression, liberation, struggle, and hope inform thematic structures and references.
13 March 2013
18 February 2013
To the filmmaking community, Trinh T. Minh-ha is best known as the Vietnamese-born director of a number of experimental documentary films: 'Reassemblage,' 'Naked Spaces - Living Is Round,' and 'Surname Viet, Given Name Nam.' Visually stunning, poetic, and highly idiosyncratic, these works radically question and reopen ethnographic and documentary film languages. Her films represent one part of a much larger project, loosely organized around the 'problem' of how to represent a Third World, female Other. As well as making films, Trinh studied ethnomusicology and West African vernacular architecture, composes music, and has written a number of books. Many of these trends in her work are represented in the 1989 book, Woman, Native, Other.
10 February 2013
At the height of its military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and concurrent with its ongoing 'war on terror,' the US government launched a public diplomacy campaign in the Arab world. It was ostensibly intended to project a cooler, kinder, and gentler image of the USA, even as American policies continued to wreak havoc in the region. Utilizing a variety of media, including news and entertainment in audio, video, and print, the efforts were linked by what appeared to be a common goal of attempting to win the hearts and minds of Arab youth.