Film

How the Portrayal of Houses in Cinema Shows Uncomfortable Truths About Hollywood's Relationship to Race

Posted On: Jan 13, 2018   |   Posted By: Arch Daily

How the Portrayal of Houses in Cinema Shows Uncomfortable Truths About Hollywood's Relationship to Race

The Stately Oaks Plantation House in Jonesboro, Georgia, is widely believed to have been the inspiration for Tara, the fictional plantation house from Gone With the Wind. Image © Wikimedia user Maksim Sundukov licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
This short excerpt is from Places Journal's article " Prop and Property: The house in American cinema, from the plantation to Chavez Ravine ," which in turn was adapted from John David Rhodes' book Spectacle of Property. The article, which investigates the many layers of property inherent in the production and viewing of movies, investigates in particular the films Gone with the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird, revealing how their themes of race and property are made even more complex by the practicalities of Hollywood filmmaking. Perhaps the most mysterious and desired feature of housing is the privacy of property, and especially the property of and in the house. Property, however, is fungible and alienable. Whatever is promised by the house is radically susceptible to...

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