Invisible Audiences

After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue 1999–2000 Jeff Wall

I really, really feel like everyone everywhere should read Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. It is my favorite book, likely, and the best written - strange and mysterious and horrifying and brilliant and prophetic.

This Britticisms post on the “Whitewashing of Young Adult Fiction Continues” is also a must read. To elaborate, generally, on what she’s discussing: I wish there were more outlets for cultural idealism - I mean that in the best possible way - where minorities are represented, where the target audience, and where you fit in, is not being condescended to. (As a woman who is not an idiot, for example, I know I am starving, starving, for representations of smart young women in film, Whip It aside. Which is why I’m still citing the complicated female friendship at the heart of Walking and Talking fifteen years later. Ms. Britticisms, in her post, mentions seeing Tyler Perry films, just for a shred of representation. ) I feel like the promised idealism of the internet is just killing the small guy, for now, and that means that media, from film to music to books that get published are desperately flailing at the percieved audience that buys things.

One thing to keep an eye on/to keep hope alive is a company like Adam “MCA” Yauch’s Oscillosope Pictures, whose stated intent as a film distributor is simply to put out stuff that’s good. No more, no less. The results are far more interersting than your average distribution company, and the kicker? All of these films are, on average, excellent. It’s a small fry Merge-esque set-up, and we’ll see if it works. I hope it does. Unlike IFC Films (if a bigger company put out In the Loop it would be mentioned for Oscars. It’s criminal that it’s not), who do put out a wide variety of interesting things, Oscilloscope is actually trying to get their actors (Woody Harrelson in The Messenger) nominated for awards.