African American Comedy Film.
Extracts from this essay...
Banos 1 Angela Banos WGS 300.50 14 October 2003 African American Comedy Film Reid centers on the interaction of textual, sociopsychic and socioeconomic factors when describing African-American Comedy Film. Minstrel was formerly a popular stage show in which white performers with blackened faces sang, danced and joked. The three forms of race humor described by Reid are blackface, hybrid, and satiric minstrelsy. "Carwash", the comedy about the life of black workers in a carwash business, is an example of the second variety of minstrelsy. The movie deals with a number of race and gender issues that permit different readings of the same text. Blackface minstrelsy consists of white people wearing a blackface and performing caricatures of African-Americans. Their lifestyle is objectified in this way.
Carwash avoids social subjects concerning African-Americans because hybrid minstrel humor lacks any dramatization of black lifestyle. This film is intended to amuse mainstream audience. It is humor without social or political intent. For example, when the laborers are cleaning the cars, they sing happily unconcerned by their low salary. It isn't realistic because no life is that free of worries. The Fly, for instance, has no money, Banos 2 no future, and gets refused by the woman he loves. It is not until the end that he has some serious words with the waitress about their similar situation. Abdula and the ex-convict are the only characters that add touch of gravity to the socioeconomic situation of African-Americans.
For example, although the black people portrayed in this film are poor and unskilled, not all African-Americans have these living conditions. An example of tension within race and between sexuality is the confrontation between the travestied and Abdula. The former does not hesitate in arguing about his right to have any sexual identity and criticizes Abdula's unconstructive approach to life. "Carwash" was released in 1976. Directed and scored by African-Americans, the film attracted a large mainstream audience and grossed six times the production costs. The appearance of famous artists, such as George Carlin and Professor Irwin Corey, contributed to the film's success. I enjoyed the film because of the esthetics it portrayed. The language usage, such as the ungrammatical use of "do" and "does", was interesting to me. I have a wider perspective of African-American comedy now than before watching "Carwash".
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