12-29-2009, 11:05 AM
Dedicated follower of the black line
I really appreciate everyone's comments on this. The reason I brought it up was because my immediate reaction to this OD was so strongly negative that when I didn't see anyone else saying anything, I thought I might be off-base. I'd love to hear from more people in other places. How is this seen in Australia? Japan? China?
12-29-2009, 11:22 AM
Speaking as a black Canadian, I'd like to echo jcoates on the subject.
12-29-2009, 12:47 PM
I can't share the same sentiments(speaking as a brown face) as others on the subject. For me the definition of racism is lot liberal, that is something like if someone attacks me because of the race or holds a prejudice against me during an interview because of my race , thats is racism. here, in the board i have seen some caroline fans complaining that her UR calls are due to racism, which i completely disagree.
Originally Posted by Wicked
i may feel this way because i have never been on the receiving end of any racist behavior, while i was abroad or in my country because i was born long after british had left India; may be my grandparents may have a different view on the subjects.
Interesting i found it funny when europeans acting as indian in western movies would just rub their face against charcoal to look more indian (honestly we laugh).
Just one question, Did the movie " tropic thunder" create any racism debate, or was the explanation given in the story good enough.
12-29-2009, 12:52 PM
I just thought the Aboriginal dance was really bad - performance and choreography - it seemed really sloppy and had a ton of cross cuts - not much dancing -
12-29-2009, 01:22 PM
Well, I was just reading more about D/S's lifts, if swinging by the belt can be called a proper lift. Apparently this recurs six times? [color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color] D/S! ?
Maksim's free leg sometimes doesn't leave the ice. He has his weight on his right edge and there's a lean, but his left foot is also on the ice (I'll look again, maybe it's vice versa, which would make more sense - that when his left foot carries weight, his right foot is also on the ice to help support it).
There are some elements that to me would be properly performed with Maxim skating on one edge with a free leg extended, and instead he's doing two footed skating. A LOT of it. Also, in a carry he and Oksana do while he is in a besti squat, it appears to me as if her skate/leg is pushing into his waist, and not on his thighs (which would add more direct pressure on his injury, I guess).
I was kind of surprised at how wobbly her skating was. She struggled to change positions in one maneuver, she landed kind of heavily on her skate coming off one lift, etc. Is this program VERY new?
12-29-2009, 02:31 PM
I think the difference between your perception and mine is that in the US and Canada, blacks are definite minority groups that have always been subject to the will of the majority. Blacks in the States (I'm not as sure of Canadian history on this matter) have had to pull up from a base of no political power whatsoever from a time when they were considered literal property and commondities rather than persons to our current status today. Along the way there were significant struggles to claim every bit of social status and political equality that exists today. While our size, political and cultural influence are growing and many past issues have been addressed, if not resolves there is still a great deal more to be tackled before any sort of declaration can be made that these problems are behind us. In fact, complacency even for a generation, can lead to a recurrence of many problems thought to have been defeated. BTW, I hesitate to link to it for fear of violating forum rules, but I would suggest that if you are interested in learning more about the topic, you look up the article on blackface on Wikipedia. It gives an excellent summary of the issues and history involved as well as a number of visual examples.
Originally Posted by life684
My understanding of Indian history and culture (please correct me if I am wrong) is that while that are many diverse ethnic and religious groups in the nation, there is a strong national Indian identity. While under British rule, the situation was not dissimilar to than in any of their other colonies in that the power rested with a minority group. Still, if I recall, the British model was to make use of existing political structures withing a country under colonization in order to draw sufficient support for their presence and to allow for stability given their own relatively small numbers. I think this is a significant difference between the experiences of India and the US. It is far easier to laugh off potentially offensive portrayals when your are in the majority or have the majority of the power. If you are still in a position of relative vulnerability, then you are likely to have a different impression. Of course this is why laws exist in the US and elsewhere to shield various minorities or protected classes against forms of discrimination, because social progress is not always permanent of its own accord and sometimes you need rules, written or not to enforce and forward strides a society makes.
Regarding Tropic Thunder, you bring up a very interesting case. I was frankly shocked when I first heard of how Robert Downey Jr.'s character was to be played. Of course at that point there was very little known about the movie at all, so there were few details available.. However, I later learned two important facts. First it was mockumentary/movie within a movie which always are send ups of particular subculture or profession and reveal their flaws from the inside. Second, the intent was necessarily not a "straight" blackface performance where donning the makeup was the end goal just so Downey could have the part. The point was to make very strong satirical and social commentary about acting as a profession (the point of the whole movie actually) and the lengths to which its various participants will go to play a part or create a film by giving an insider's point of view into a farcical film making process gone wrong.
In America at least, it has become something of a joke to hear about actors "suffering" for their craft while also being paid $10-20 million a film. Still they will gain or lose significant amounts of fat or muscle, wear expensive prosthetics, etc. in order to portray a character and hopefully win acting awards for their sacrifice. However, for reasons I have already stated, donning makeup to change one's racial appearance for a performance, is highly taboo. That most offensive of taboos along with the whole method acting process was deliberately inserted into film in order to demonstrate how absurd the overly serious process of acting and artistic endeavor can all become if taken too literally.
In that way, an element of humor was intentionally inserted giving the audience the "power of the majority" and making the actor the butt of the joke. This produced a reaction somewhat similar to the one you mentioned above where portrayals of Indians by foreigners are found to be humorous. The difference is that many of those portrayals, like the movie within a movie in Tropic Thunder are meant to be serious. However, the overall film revealed how badly wrong things can go when this is blindly attempted as a serious endeavor in the name of one's craft with no awareness of the perception of others. Because that I was not offended by the movie as a whole and quite enjoyed seeing it.
12-29-2009, 04:21 PM
Wicked Yankee Girl