I chose to call this blog Mixed American Film Buff quite simply because I am those things. Film in particular and audio/visual media in general are my areas of highest interest and, for lack of a more appropriate term, expertise, but the content herein will in no way be limited to film, nor will I comment exclusively on issues related to my identity as a mixed person, although, since my ethnicity and background are inextricable facets of my identity, all issues relevant to myself and my perspective necessarily relate to those aspects of myself, because they, among other things, inform how I view the world. Film and related media provide me with a familiar framework to frame and interpret other concepts, precisely because they all relate to each other at one point or another, just as my identity, ethnicity, and background relate to everything I consume because they necessarily inform my perspective on whatever I consume.
Mixed American Film Buff refers to the way that I relate to film and the world at large, as well as my alienation from them. Mixed American Film Buff is intended to be somewhat of a contradiction in terms, because to be a mixed film buff is in itself somewhat of a contradiction. I am by no means the first Other to document and investigate the strange circumstance of my devotion and simultaneous alienation from certain media, especially in their commodified mass market forms and methods of production and distribution. I plan to speak to issues of representation, misrepresentation, underrepresentation, identity, authorship, and cultural authority. Media are reflections of the societies they emerge from and are presented to, so whatever alienation or affinity I feel to and from media reflects my place in society and position within the power structure thereof, communities I belong to or don’t, social status, sexuality, afflictions I do or don’t suffer from, struggles endured or not, experiences and opportunities had or missed, beliefs, phobias, neuroses, so on, so forth, as it is for all consumers.
I am a connoisseur of film and media theory, particularly the Marxist and Psychoanalytic traditions, but I am not exclusively devoted, limited to, or constrained by them; they just happen to be of particular interest and relevance to me. I recognize that both these schools of thought have their shortcomings in all manner of discourse and seem to have more detractors now than proponents, but their contributions are far too legion and crucial to ignore. If you find yourself in opposition to these tracts but are otherwise interested in the subject matter explored in this space I respectfully ask that rather than dismissing or ignoring me you engage and challenge me on the relevant content; it is the very reason I do this. As far as I’ve been able to glean, there exists no grand media theory to displace all that came before it and I believe all discourse produced in good faith to be valid and necessary.
The tools at my disposal are my own perspective and experience, my empathy, and my voice. I do not presume to speak for any other individual or group, even if there are areas of common ground between us, and I have no desire to impose my beliefs, opinions, or conclusions on anyone else. I speak with whatever authority I have as myself, and if my words resonate with or provoke questions within the reader then perhaps the specific sequence of letters I generate will have been of some benefit.
I plan to comment on all manner of text as it suits the page, ranging from brief commentary and analysis of relevant pieces of media or works of art to more comprehensive studies of particular figures and their work. I am also a voracious fan of certain artists and works, as well as an incurable science fiction enthusiast, so this will also serve as somewhat of a de facto fan page for many of these interests.
At the end of day, I’m just a black kid who loves the myriad methods human beings use to express themselves. I enjoy discussing these methods and wish to see them flourish. That’s the closest thing I have to an agenda.
I envision this as a participatory endeavor; I share my commentary and analysis in the hope that they might engender discussion and further engagement with our media and culture. I relish your feedback and criticism.
-Mixed American Film Buff