Critic Aisha Harris is the co-host of the hit NPR podcast “Pop Tradition Completely satisfied Hour.” In her new ebook, “Wannabe,” she examines how all of us, together with herself, are formed and reshaped by the music, films and tv of our time.
Reel to Actual: Race, Class and Intercourse at the Motion pictures by Bell Hooks (1996)
Hooks approached movie criticism as astutely as she did feminism and race, and naturally these topics typically overlapped. Her ruminations on Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, “Ready to Exhale,” and different standard tradition of the ’90s have been a useful useful resource as I crafted “Wannabe.” Purchase it right here.
Kristy’s Nice Concept (The Child-Sitters Membership No. 1) by Ann M. Martin (1986)
The ebook that launched an indelible franchise. Kristy Thomas — budding teenage entrepreneur and founding father of the Child-Sitters Membership — grew to become a poster little one for tomboys of the ’80s and ’90s, myself included. Purchase it right here.
American Film Critics: An Anthology From the Silents Till Now edited by Phillip Lopate (2006)
A assassin’s row of essays and writers right here, together with James Baldwin, J. Hoberman, Pauline Kael, and Molly Haskell. I first encountered this anthology in school and return to it typically for reference or inspiration; it is a good introduction to the historical past and evolution of American movie criticism. Purchase it right here.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884)
The origins of the “Black good friend” trope, present in so many films and TV exhibits of the previous few a long time, may be traced no less than partially to the enslaved Jim, Huck Finn’s touring companion. He is famously difficult — without delay an assemblage of stereotypes and a fascinatingly sympathetic determine. Purchase it right here.
Superb Grace by Mary Hoffman (1991)
As a toddler, a long time earlier than Disney reimagined a mermaid as a Black lady, I encountered this story wherein a Black lady aspires to be forged as Peter Pan in her class play. She faces friends who say she will’t play the function as a result of she’s not a white boy. The ebook’s classes ring true to this present day. Purchase it right here.
The Circle of the Snake: Nostalgia and Utopia within the Age of Large Tech by Grafton Tanner (2020)
Nostalgia is inescapable, and Hollywood exploits it to the nth diploma. Tanner’s examination of our preoccupation with (and romanticization of) the previous within the digital period is beneficial for placing all these reboots and franchises into perspective. Purchase it right here.
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