At The Toast, Mo Moulton watches Downton Abbey and discusses its portrayal of Neville Chamberlain. “Here, then, is Neville Chamberlain in 1925. He is fulfilling the expectations set by an extraordinary political family. His father, Joseph Chamberlain, ran a screw factory in Birmingham, where he became passionate about urban improvement as a method for bettering the lives of his workers. As Liberal mayor of Birmingham, he was an early, passionate proponent of what became known as “gas and water socialism”: he wanted to put those services within reach of every resident by putting them under the management of local government. So far, it’s hard to imagine the Earl of Grantham having much in common with this energetic, egalitarian entrepreneur.”
Posted October 27, 2012
Racebending and Hyperallergic discuss the racism and lack of critical response to racism in Cloud Atlas‘ use of “colorblind casting.” Mike Le responds to the trailer: Ultimately…my belief is that Cloud Atlas will eventually be viewed through the same lens as films like The Good Earth, Birth of a Nation, or even Dumbo. These are films known to have artistic merit, that tell engaging stories, with imagery both striking and iconic. They are also films that are….deeply embedded with concepts of race, interwoven with acts of exclusion and stereotype and prejudice.
Zeba Blay writes of the film: “It’s a problematic message, one that sells the intelligence of the audience short — the only way for us to be invested in these characters, it seems, is to have the easily recognizable faces of our white protagonists just beneath the surface.”