#130: Pre-Code Blogathon! Race Representation In Film, Historically and Today
The Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival has inspired us to take a look at classic films, so it was providential that two websites decided to host a blogathon about a historic era of film history. The websites in question are Shadows and Satin, as well as Pre-code.com, and the era of film history is what is known as the pre-code era of around 1929-ish-1934. If you don't know about that era, I highly encourage you to visit those sites and explore the blogathon and listen to this episode! I also have an interview I am soon posting with Pre-Code.com's Danny Reid. That will be episode number 132. Look out for it after my TCM Film Festival Wrap Up episode, number 131!
For this episode, I have very pleased to say I have a new co-host, who I hope to have join me many times in the future. Her name is Angela Englert, and she has been a good friend in livetweeting glory with the Drive-In Mob, TCM Party, and other livetweeting groups on Twitter. She's brilliant and fun, and is going to be a wonderful addition to our podcast thinkers!
When discussing what pre-code films to discuss, we quickly noticed the number of Caucasian actors playing people of color, and that made us think of similar practices today (Exodus, the proposed Ghost In the Shell), and so our topic was born. We chose to look at how different races have been portrayed over the years, and how much it has changed today. Yes, it is a bit of a volatile topic. Doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it. The use of the pre-code films are set as a sort of social benchmark. Best to listen to the episodes, but the films we talk about are:
The Mask of Fu Manchu
The Hatchet Man
I hope you enjoy our talk as much as we enjoyed having it. If you can acquire and watch the films in question, I recommend them quite highly. For various reasons, including their historical context, I think they are highly enjoyable and important films. Keep tuning into my TCM Film Festival-inspired episodes!