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Film Genres: Blaxploitation films

This guide highlights library resources for some of the more popular film genres.

A quick definition for blaxploitation films

A variant of the exploitation film consisting of low- to mid-budget, non-mainstream, US genre films released between 1970 and 1975, starring black actors in key roles, and originally intended for black urban audiences. Blaxploitation films range across a number of genres, including the crime film (Black Caesar (Larry Cohen, 1973)), the horror film (Blacula (William Crain, 1972)), and the western (Boss Nigger (Jack Arnold, 1974)). Nonetheless, the films share many characteristics, including strong black protagonists with anti-authoritarian attitudes, predominantly black urban settings (replacing the southern settings of earlier race films (see black cinema (us)), rhythm-and-blues soundtracks (often with extended montage sequences set to music), culturally specific dress codes and language use, high levels of violence, and a liberated attitude towards sex.

Kuhn, A. and Westwell, G. (2012). "Blaxploitation." In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 15 Dec. 2015

Finding library resources for blaxploitation films

To find what we have in the Library's collection, you can do a subject search for "blaxploitation films" in the online catalog. That search will show you what film titles are classified as these films as well as books and other items about them. As you look at the list under blaxploitation films, the subject headings which include "history and criticism" critically talk about the genre itself.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book titles

Finding articles & using SUMMON

Articles and other writings about movies can be found in many publications. Our collection does not include a journal or magazine which looks exclusively at blaxploitation films. Other film journals within our collection will cover these films. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find relevant articles. You can also use the SUMMON box below.

About?

Dartmouth Users: Using Summon from off-campus? You'll need VPN for access to full-text.

Selected movie titles

For more movie titles, click here.

Keeping up with the journal literature

Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for all facets of Film Studies? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's you can download and read the articles you want.

You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's now available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.