Hip Hop Cinema Essay

779 words - 3 pages

The articles describe the hood cinema genre and how members of society viewed it during the time period. In the article “Producing Ghetto Pictures” by Craig Watkins he explains that “the popular rise of the ghetto … film cycle illuminates the complex relationship between the social transformations that characterize post-1960’s black youth culture and the changing of popular media production” (171).
It is suggested that this new wave of films was an attempt to promote the shift in moog change and ideologies created from the civil rights movement of the late 1960s. Watkins contends that “the industry’s sudden interest in and exploitative turn to ghetto narratives was a swift response to new market opportunities and popular appetites made possible by the currents of social change” (172). Not only that, but these movies were helping the industry to make the big bucks because of the youth moviegoers. Watkins states that “the language, fashions, cultural productions, and allegedly nihilistic lifestyles associated with ghetto youth seem to give life to the production of new popular culture trends in the United States” (175). Even with the genre’s popularity and commercial success, Watkins refers to the time period that these movies originated as the Blaxploitation era because of the exaggerated configurations of blackness (172).
The movies Boyz N the Hood and Menace II Society are two examples of ghetto films that one may believe exploit the conditions and lifestyle of those who live in the hood. These movies depict the lives of young African American males and how their lives are impacted from living in violent areas with people whose lives are influenced by drugs and alcohol. Celeste Fisher did a study where students of all races were to watch urban youth films and give their opinions on them. Boyz N the Hood and Menace II Society are a few of the movies they had to watch.
In Fisher’s article, “America’s Worst Nightmare: Reading Menace II Society,” she explains that the participants responses were “warm” to the film because they felt the need to relate their life experiences to the situations in the film, but they also brought up the idea of how the situations portrayed in the movie may bring about different responses for those who are uneducated compared to those who are educated (42). This was brought up because it was believed that...

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