Reckless Eyeballing with Ethnic Notions

Reckless Eyeballing with Ethnic Notions

Reckless Eyeballing 
This evocative title, taken from a Jim Crow-era law prohibiting a Black man from so much as gazing at a white woman, can also be ironically applied to the gaze emanating from the screen—that of Pam Grier as the iconic blaxploitation heroine Foxy Brown as she confidently, accusatorily, and defiantly gazes back at the audience. Using optical printing and a soundscape of repetition employed to haunting results, Christopher Harris’s powerful short recontextualizes historic moments of Black rebellion into a radically experimental reclamation of power.   

DIRECTED BY: Christopher Harris. 2004. 14 min. USA. B&W. English. DCP. Restored by Canyon Cinema and the Academy Film Archive. DCP courtesy of the Academy Film Archive. 

Ethnic Notions  
Marlon Riggs’s deeply researched and deeply felt documentary illuminates how a centuries-old lineage of dehumanizing caricatures of Black people—seen everywhere from children’s books to films to household products—are tools of white supremacy. Riggs’s razor-sharp analysis and powerfully curated imagery gracefully dismantles centuries of American racial mythologies. Narrated by actor Esther Rolle and featuring Leni Sloan as Bert Williams, Ethnic Notions is an essential companion piece to the museum’s Regeneration exhibition. 

DIRECTED BY: Marlon Riggs. 1986. 58 min. USA. Color. English. DCP.

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. 

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