Archive of topics from before June 2012. PM a mod to get one reopened.
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#227203
Malcolm Armsteen wrote:He may not have needed to, but he did.

What do you think of this?

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/pw ... ly-racist/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
In the context of blackface though, Kingsley wan't "blacking up". He was simply wearing make up to look more like the character. I know it seems I am being very picky, but the cultural background is different. Blacking up was offensive not because of the act but how people were portrayed.

I agree completely with the article that it is context that matters.
#227205
In what way? It looks like the very definition of pragmatic to me.
#227206
storygirl wrote:He was simply wearing make up to look more like the character.
Specifically to make his skin tone darker to make him, a mixed race actor, look like an Indian.
Colloquially known as "blacking-up".
#227208
storygirl wrote:
Malcolm Armsteen wrote:He may not have needed to, but he did.

What do you think of this?

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/pw ... ly-racist/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
In the context of blackface though, Kingsley wan't "blacking up". He was simply wearing make up to look more like the character. I know it seems I am being very picky, but the cultural background is different. Blacking up was offensive not because of the act but how people were portrayed.

I agree completely with the article that it is context that matters.
So Kingsley wasn't wearing blackface makeup he was just wearing makeup that made his face look more black, because although he isn't actually visibly black he's sort of black inside, so that's OK?
#227212
oboogie wrote:The job of an actor is to convince the audience that they are someone that they are not. That is true of all acting roles and can include nationality age and historical differences between actor and character. Why should sexuality be exempt? Should gay actors be prohibited from playing straight roles? I'd have thought that would limit their career prospects somewhat and would certainly be discriminatory.
It's hard to describe, but to see a gay actor playing a gay character is still a rare and sometimes liberating experience. It's along the lines of: "We exist! We can represent ourselves! We are recognised!" Gay characters in Hollywood, when they're not just boring stereotypes, tend to be portrayed with kid gloves. Often the filmmaker is trying to get the straight viewers to empathise with a gay character, and the gay viewers to accept Tom Hanks or Whoopi Goldberg as the person representing them on screen. The result can be tepid and worthy, a character that feels neither representative nor authentic.

When a gay actor plays a gay character, one layer of inauthenticity is removed. The actor may be portraying a cyborg, but s/he's your cyborg. This is not an issue for straight viewers — I've never seen a movie or a tv show where all the characters are gay and so are all the actors playing them. Straight people can always locate themselves somewhere on the screen.
#227213
Malcolm Armsteen wrote:So Kingsley wasn't wearing blackface makeup he was just wearing makeup that made his face look more black, because although he isn't actually visibly black he's sort of black inside, so that's OK?
Weren't you just questioning the idea of hueism?

Image

Adrian Piper needs to be brought into this discussion.
Last edited by ezinra on Sat May 19, 2012 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
#227214
Whatever happened to the willing suspension of disbelief?

Whatever happened to enjoying the performance instead of making it the subject of a politico-sexual dissection?

Where does prosthetic makeup stand in this world where everything must be as it seems? After all, it's precisely the same principle, that the art of drama is the projection of reality not the creation of reality itself.
#227215
ezinra wrote:
Adrian Piper needs to be brought into this discussion.
Who?
#227216
Malcolm Armsteen wrote:Whatever happened to the willing suspension of disbelief?

Whatever happened to enjoying the performance instead of making it the subject of a politico-sexual dissection?

Where does prosthetic makeup stand in this world where everything must be as it seems? After all, it's precisely the same principle, that the art of drama is the projection of reality not the creation of reality itself.
What happened to social progression? If we just went "pfft, whatever, it's a show!" then we'd get nowhere.
#227218
Why what? Why would we get nowhere?

Because we'd not be pulling up the casting directors, the actors and so forth on their mistakes. We'd not be saying "wait a minute, this isn't right". We'd just be left at the whims of whatever they decide, and turning a blind eye to it.

How does they help social progression? It doesn't. At all. And you bloody well know it.
#227219
Ah, I see.
The engine for social change is theatre, and specifically sending out casting directors to find actors of precisely the right hue and gender self-definition to suit a character written by - hang on - can only gay writers write gay parts? Can only women write women's parts? Can only black women write black women's parts? Can only straight black women write straight black women's parts?

Or might this be a, you know, creative sort of process in which empathy plays a part, alongside intelligence, creativity and skill?
#227221
Malcolm Armsteen wrote:Whatever happened to the willing suspension of disbelief?
It's not about that, it's about exclusion and invisibility. Buffy was immensely popular with gay teens but that's not because gay teens literally believe in vampires.
Whatever happened to enjoying the performance instead of making it the subject of a politico-sexual dissection?
Like most people, including you, I can do both. There's no one way to view a film or interpret a character. Yesterday we were congratulating ourselves on being able to read critically. Postcolonial, feminist and queer readings are a part of that. Minorities don't have as many real-life role models as dominant groups, so representation in the media is extra important. Is it unfair to ask that they portray themselves from time to time?

It's extremely uncharacteristic, but it sounds as though you're trying to silence alternative opinions here.
Where does prosthetic makeup stand in this world where everything must be as it seems? After all, it's precisely the same principle, that the art of drama is the projection of reality not the creation of reality itself.
That's the point, all these issues are hotly debated. There was a lot of criticism when Renée Zellwiger was chosen to play Bridget Jones and had to put on weight. Why couldn't that role have provided a break to someone who was genuinely the size of Bridget, it's not as if they're overrepresented in films? The root of the problem is that Hollywood and the media in general are racist, sexist, ableist and all the other -ists and -phobics. When that is no longer the case, there will be no need to redress the balance, and actors will be free to play any role they wish.
#227223
Now you're just being ridiculous.

Anyone can write, say or do anything (within the law) - that's freedom, right? Well, in this society we have many black, gay, trans, hispanic and so on actors who are not taken on for roles whereas white actors are. Got a gay role to fill? Well, chances are you'll have a straight person playing it.

And, perhaps "ironically", you find more gay actors in straight roles than you do gay ones.
#227225
ezinra wrote:These issues extend to other minorities, too, for whom the blackface taboo does not exist: cis-gendered actors playing trans characters, or the bizarre casting of a series like Lip service, which is supposed to depict lesbians in Glasgow although all the lead actors seem to be straight and English (or Australian).
Should actors be limited to only portraying their own nationality? Should Euan McGregor not play Englishmen? Should actors be restricted to playing their own sexuality? If you're aiming at authenticity then what about age? Or occupation? I think you're underestimating the ability of actors to portray characters who are in various ways different to themselves.

I find this an interesting contrast to your line a few months ago when we were discussing military re-enactors. On that occasion you seemed to concur with Shyamz (I think it was) that women should be allowed to portray soldiers despite the inherent historical inaccuracy.
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