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What the Shadow Knows: Race, Image, and Meaning in Shadows (1922)

Alice Maurice
Cinema Journal
Vol. 47, No. 3 (Spring, 2008), pp. 66-89
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30136117
Page Count: 24
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What the Shadow Knows: Race, Image, and Meaning in Shadows (1922)
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Abstract

Tom Forman's 1922 film Shadows capitalizes on the link between the motion picture and its proto-cinematic forerunner, the shadow play. Like many early American films, it links the Chinese subject to shadow puppetry, theatricality, and magic in order to produce the mystical, mysterious "Oriental." The film's Orientalist discourse is routed through a nostalgic play with the origins of the screen image. The racialized figure that results stereotypes the Asian character while also creating a mythical status for the cinema.

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