Blog Post 10.5: Themes/Questions for Friday’s Class

Hi all,

We don’t have a printed text to draw from for Be Kind Rewind, so rather than our usual passages for Friday, you should instead post at least three themes or generative questions in relation to the film that we haven’t yet discussed by class time — the question of race and cultural appropriation is certainly one thing we didn’t get to today that we’ll discuss Friday, but there’s lots more as well, so try to think of other new things. See you all Friday!

 

18 thoughts on “Blog Post 10.5: Themes/Questions for Friday’s Class”

  1. Literal Destruction of History (Swedes were to be physically destroyed as well as the supposedly historical building)
    Reclamation and Remaking of History (building’s history was fake and so was the film’s history… but each myth was presented as real)
    Importance of the Fictional Archive (the film implicitly asks “why should the originals be prioritized over the Swede?”)

    Like

  2. For what reasons should we defend the lawyers?
    Who is the bad guy (who should be considered the bad guy)?
    Is there a problem with dressing up as a woman if you are a man?

    Like

  3. The economic domination of studio moguls/the dislike of the “hollywood movie machine”
    Why does everything have to be a business or generate profit?
    Importance of communal/collective interpretation of a narrative

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  4. Created community identity through appropriation.
    Revitalization of the original through appropriation.
    Importance/Unimportance of documentary objectivity.

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  5. Importance of recognizing narrative bias in film (should we care about writer’s intent vs. director’s intent vs. actor’s intent… are they all separate? what if the author accomplishes something that they did not intend to?)
    Jack Black’s character seems to have some mental illness… what does it mean for a potentially mentally ill character to be the one who often cross-dressing and attempting to perform in blackface?
    Creation and importance of collective memory.

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  6. -Understanding the eviction of the video store in terms of the social issues concerning city development projects and gentrification
    -How the community’s decision to create their own interpretation of their history factors into our conversations about the Archive and who controls how history is told
    -Does the absurdity of the film and overall comedic tone take away or add to the more serious parts of the narrative. And do we believe it was originally intended to be analyzed and deconstructed in the manner we are approaching it?

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  7. Jack Black blackface scene
    To what extent did they break the law (if they had a smaller audience, would they still have gotten in trouble)
    What does it mean that Sweded films are now larger trend (beyond and perhaps disassociated from Be Kind, Rewind)

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  8. Would the movie have been as successful if the attorneys did not show up? (i.e. would they still have tried to make the Fats Waller movie?)
    Could the movie take place in a major city?
    How would the movie be different if the races of the major characters were reversed?
    Why did Mr. Fowler go to a remembrance for Fats Waller if he did not exist?

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  9. Contrast between real/not real (Jack Black becoming magnetized, violating copyright laws)
    Jack Black’s role in general: unstable, ignorant, motives
    Communal identity – how the community came together and created a story for themselves

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  10. The role of jazz in a film about appropriation;
    The predominantly black town of Passaic vs the entirely white law-enforcing entities;
    Character of Jerry – his mental state/naivety and how it relates to his racial insensitivity (ie the blackface scene)

    Like

  11. The legal issues of copyright.
    The implications of wanting to tear down parts of the town that reflect lower socio-economic class, even though they hold rich history.
    The film as a whole tackles numerous social issues but doesn’t give them enough weight/significance to be flushed out.

    Like

  12. The black face moment
    Historical revision in the Fats Waller film
    Talk more about the significance of the Swedes being made for money. Does that damage them aesthetically? Or does it not matter because the money is for a noble cause?

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  13. Themes
    1. Appropriation of Culture (Black-face, cross-dressing)
    2. Copyright Infringement (Intellectual property, profit)
    3. Good/Bad Swede Practices (Hollywood standard, historical revision/remaking-Fats Waller)

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  14. 1. Fats Waller — made up history, effect on town/building
    2. Jerry — appropriation, mode of comedy or more profound statement on appropriative behavior (maybe calls forth overall white-washing culture of Hollywood)
    3. The intention of the Swede — at first, Mike and Jerry make the Swede to save the store but as the style gains popularity, where do their intentions lie? Do you they understand why their film style is popular? Are people laughing with them or at them?

    Like

  15. 1. What does it mean that the film doesn’t have a “magically happy ending?” (Along the lines of them explicitly raising enough money to keep the store.)
    2. Fats Waller and historical accuracy
    3. Politics of representation (people playing characters of different genders and races to them).

    Like

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