Sunday, January 01, 2012

Black Cloud

Recently I saw Black Cloud, directed by Rick Schroder. It’s a formulaic film, with clichés from boxing movies and teen dramas. Best thing going for it is the Four Corners landscape.

Schroder had a role in the Lonesome Dove TV series, so it’s natural that he’d make a movie in the SW.  But I also wonder if his interest in American-Indian “spirituality” (e.g. vision quests) isn’t tied into his Mormon faith. Is this his nostalgic homage to the lost tribes of Israel?

On a tangentially related note, I ran across this site:

A few of the actors are familiar. Spears is currently performing in Hell on Wheels. I saw Adam Beach in Skinwalkers. I remember Graham Greene from Northern Exposure. I best remember Wes Studi from the The Last of the Mohicans. He’s currently performing in Hell on Wheels.

In Hollywood films, the Indians used to be played by white actors. I wonder if Clint Eastwood, casting Chief Dan George in The Outlaw Josey Wales, didn’t open doors for American-Indian actors.

I expect it’s easier for female American-Indians to break into film. Since most directors and TV producers are men, I assume they choose an actress based on whatever they like in women. It’s more personal than professional. Hormonal. Not tied to the characters they play. Ethnicity is secondary.

By contrast, they cast an Indian actor for an Indian character. Typecasting.

I also expect that it’s easier for Indians to break into the Canadian film and TV industry. It seems to have more of a repertory ethos. And takes more interest in local history. But I speak as an outsider. 

Given the number of American movies and TV shows made in Hollywood North (i.e. Vancouver, Toronto), that creates entrée into the American market.

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