By Richard Brandt
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Extra resources for Social Justice
S t r at egic R em edi at ion a n d T r a nsm edi a Dissipat ion Such complicated racial climates play a key role in informing how a controversial text is historically received. The resiliency of such racist imagery is also dependent on the complex relationship between industry producers, paratexts, and media audiences. Hollywood’s racist past haunts the cultural politics of modern convergence media. ”33 As a conceptual model, convergence emphasizes two historically interlocking influences regarding the analysis of media—the industry that produced the text(s) and the audiences who consume, interpret, resist, or casually notice them.
Next, in “‘Put Down the Mint Julep, Mr. Disney’: Postwar Racial Consciousness and Disney’s Critical Legacy in the 1946 Reception of Song of the South,” I closely examine 1940s periodicals, such as the Washington Post, the Chicago Defender, and the New York Times, to offer the first thorough historical account of the film’s harsh reception in 1946, which was shaped by not only disappointed film critics but also frustrated civil rights groups. ” While the responses were not monolithic among any audience group, Song of the South was, overall, criticized at worst and dismissed at best.
In her recent study on Gone with the Wind, Molly Haskell suggested that audiences’ investment in politically difficult texts are further complicated by a natural tendency to remember, or misremember, films in a way that privileges what people wish to remember about them. ” 46 Nostalgia is a simplifying, deeply affective attachment to a past time and place that is by its very definition an illusory utopia. But there are many different types of nostalgia associated with Song of the South, which collectively suggest just how deeply nostalgic the film is.