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bell hooks and watching movies critically

bell hooks’ film “Cultural Criticism and Transformation teaches us to watch films critically by asking us to question the things that we take for granted about popular culture and blockbuster films. hooks wants us to consider who the movie is made by and for, where the funding comes from, what the filmmaker expects us to believe about themselves, and decode the underlying messages of sexism, racism, class, and heterosexism (to name a few) that support the authority of the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy (WSCP). She asks us to become “agents of change? and understand that film culture has a certain agenda to follow, and begs us to rethink our interpretation of rap music, cinema, and mass media by interpreting popular icons such as OJ Simpson, Madonna, the film Braveheart, Spike Lee, etc, by understanding how gender, race, privilege, and class play into popular culture.
hooks’ film has caused me to consider future film watching differently because I believe in her work which states that media and film reinforces the WSCP. Although I have not watched any films since we watched hooks in class,

I know that from now on I will take a more critical lens to the media that I do encounter. I had many eye-opening experiences during the film, and often said to myself “I never thought of it that way.? I realized that the culture that I grew up with has taught me to blindly accept the WSCP and not to question it or think anything else, and I will now reject it. Blatant displays of powerless and sexed up women (such as the bathing beauties with gratuitous breast, leg, and bottom shots that hooks often spoke about) have always made me uncomfortable and I wondered how cinema could get away with such displays of women, now I know it is due to the WSCP. Now I just have to decide which of her many, many books to read!


I agree with you completely, there were many images that never registered with me until bell pointed them out. Now it is blatantly obvious.