A Separate Cinema: Fifty Years of Black-Cast Posters

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Presents the history of black-cast films through their posters, covering the years from 1915 to 1965 with two hundred full-color reproductions and a brief text that places the films in a social and cultural context.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Noonday Press; First Edition edition (November 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374523606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374523602
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds

Customer Reviews

Significant Art and History

 on November 21, 2013
By Jessica Salmonson
As art, as cinematic history, this is a winner. Taken together with a text-oriented book like “Black Cinema Treasures” you’ll have loads of information and quality reference such as thrills any serious film lover.

Beautiful Art

 on January 3, 2017
By Amazon Customer
Everyone should see this book. The art is wonderful.

A Must Have for any movie buff!

 on June 23, 2014
By C. Gillespie
Love the vibrant colors! We actually used some of the full page prints for artwork (the quality is that good). One of the few books that showcases the history of Black cinema in color and in depth detail. A must for any movie buff!

Five Stars

 on June 3, 2015

A Separate Cinema – A Must!

7 people found this helpful.
 on February 19, 2000
By Robert Cooper
The images of Black in the history of American cinema is in constant need of exploration. Too often what we are presented with are images and visions created by movie moguls and mavens that bear little resemblence to the rich vitality of Black life and culture in America. Mammies. Coons, and Sambos are omnipresent in most studies, adding a buffoonish, yet toxically inaccurate picture whenever Blacks are portrayed. Fortunately, “A Separate Cinema” is a move in the right direction of presenting an alternative view. Complete with colorful and vivid posters and information, the reader is returned to a period where such early pivotal Black auteurs as Oscar Micheaux attempt to show Black images on screen through Black eyes. Paul Robeson is shown in all of his splendor. The sauve and handsome Ralph Cooper makes his appearance. Movies that are now in the dustbin of history returns to the viewer. As a teacher of U.S. history and African-American history, “A separate Cinema” never fails to enlighten and impress my students – both Black and White. This book is a must for those willing to move beyond the stereotypical version offered by traditional hollywood accounts. It not only offers a Separate Cinema, but a separately created vision of reality. I highly recommend this book for all progressive students of American film history.

The black cinema comes into the light.

9 people found this helpful.
 on December 16, 2002
By Robin
I doubt any future book will cover the subject of black cast movie posters as well as this one. As a designer interested in the look of popular culture I was surprised that there were so many posters for this niche market. Over two-hundred are shown in this very well designed book (thanks to Debbie Glasserman) they are all in color and each has a very detailed caption. I must say though that as designs they are all uniformly uninspiring (except for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1927 and The Green Pastures, 1936) but what they lack in stylish graphics and type they make up for in an exuberance of color, flamboyant images plus huge angled titles and cast lists, all to put across what the movie was about and pull the customer into a downtown picture palace.

Incredible stuff

One person found this helpful.
 on May 3, 2006
By danger ex machina
After skimming through a friend’s copy of A Separate Cinema one evening, Mr. Danger was so impressed that I purchased it myself the very next day. This is an amazing book, essential to the collection of any student of American film. Within it’s 150 oversized glossy pages are theaterical posters, from hundreds of mostly forgotten Black films dating back to the roaring twenties, to train your eyeballs on. Entire chapters are dedicated to the great Paul Robeson, Jazz and sports themed pictures, and early Black musicals such as the classic Hallelujah!. Donald Bogle contributes an essay on the often obscure history of American Black cinema, and every poster is accompanied by a paragraph about the film it represents. Spike Lee even wrote the introduction! Rarely have I gotten so much replay value from a single book. In fact, I’ve been inspired to watch as many of these films as are available on DVD (criminally few). The only drawback is that ASC seems to now be out of print, but don’t let that deter you. Scour the used bookstores and flea markets in your area. It’s well worth the effort.

An eye-opener for every movie loving person.

3 people found this helpful.
 on March 23, 1999
By Harold Pflug(H.J.Pflug@students.let.uu.nl)
A simple love of movie-posters has turned into a serious interest of African-American cinema. Something I never really knew about. This book showes the viewer a history in pictures about pictures mostly unseen in The Netherlands or anywhere outside the US. If you just like posters, it is unmissable. If you like film-poster history, it’s unmissable. If you’re interested in anything besides pure Hollywood-soaked books and paraphernalia, this book is simply a must-have. Fantastic!

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