According to Dan Flory’s “Spike Lee and the Sympathetic Racist,” how does “racial allegiance” influence spectatorship? How might Do the Right Thingchallenge a spectator’s “racial allegiance”? (200 words)
Lee probes white audiences investment in what might be called their “racial allegiances,” a dimension of film narrative pertaining to the manner in which audiences become morally allied to characters through categories and presumptions about race. Foregrounding racial allegiances allows him to depict the way in which ideas of race may affect characters’ and audience members’ behavior at much deeper levels cognitively, emotionally, and morally than many of them realize. By offering a critical perspective on their investment in race, Lee issues his viewers a philosophical challenge, both within the context of their narrative understanding and their lives generally. In focusing audience attention on a character toward whom they feel favorably while also revealing that character’s racism, Lee constructs a film that philosophizes by developing a conception of what it means to be racist that fundamentally challenges white viewers to inspect their own presumptions about how they see themselves and others.
Lee depicts sympathetic racist characters so that viewers may initially form positive allegiances with them in spite of those characters’ anti-black beliefs and actions, which in earlier stages of the narrative seem trivial, benign, unimportant, or may even go unnoticed. He then alienates viewers from such characters by revealing the harmfulness of these typically white beliefs and actions.
According to Robert Carringer, what were some of the innovative techniques and technologies deployed by Perry Ferguson and Gregg Toland that helped Orson Welles achieve deep focus cinematography and the “realism” that Andre Bazin appreciated? (200 words)
The first set of advances involves the sharpness of the film image. In the 1930s, the typical studio style tended toward heavily diffused lighting, soft tonality, and a relatively shallow depth of field. Several developments made a sharper, deeper, high...