Sunday, November 8, 2009

White, or Transparent?

As I haven't seen any of the films mentioned in "White," I need to work that much harder and read into things in order to understand Dyer's concepts--the examples are relatively meaningless as listed. For starts, I was very interested by the discussion on black and white as colors (or lack thereof): "black is always marked as a colour…always particularizing, whereas…white is no color because it is all colours." When asked to describe themselves, African Americans frequently include race or skin color; however, whites typically refrain, focusing more on physical attributes, religion, and the like. In film, whites are just seen as characters, unless they're contextualized by a largely black cast--then, their skin color becomes a factor. After all, "whites hold power in society, but are materially dependent upon black people."

While it's not an incredibly recent film, Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" includes an excellent example of white characters in a black film, and how their race actually matters and carries great commentary.

This is a black film, set in Bed-Stuy, and race of the non-black characters carries great significance.


  1. yeah, I agree.
    I think it was really interesting to find out that black is actually NO color while white is seen as all colors put together. Honestly, I always thought of them as opposite of what Dyer explained.

  2. Well, a black hole is technically a big entity of nothingness..