Why do racial stereotypes change over time? How do they develop? According to author Shilpa Dave, the movies play a huge role. This hour on Focus, Jeff Bossert talks with her about her new book “Indian Accents: Brown Voice and Racial Performance in American Television and Film.”
Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, Shilpa Dave loved going to the movies. Her father was a self-proclaimed film “buff,” and Dave loved every minute of it. Her parents immigrated to the US from India before she was born, and as she grew older, she started to wonder why there were no people who looked like her in the movies she went to see with her father. This hour on Focus, Jeff Bossert talks with American Studies Professor and author Shilpa Dave about her new book “Indian Accents” recently published by the University of Illinois Press. In it, she examines Indian culture and its portrayal in American popular film. We’ll talk about why there were very few prominent Indian or South East Asian characters until the late 1990’s and the affect Bollywood’s growing success is having on casting in Hollywood films.
During this episode of Focus, we’ll hear about an MTV cartoon that caused a hunger strike in New Dehli and forced the network to release a formal apology because of its animated depiction of Gandhi and will talk about “Raj,” the popular character from “The Big Bang Theory” and Apu, the Indian convenience store owner from “The Simpsons.”
At some point, almost everyone dreams of being a movie star or being on stage and in the limelight… but without the actors and actresses in supporting roles, there would be no star of the show. This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation Jeff Bossert had with Stephen Toboloswky and University of Illinois Acting Program Chair Henson Keys about the importance of the character actor and how supporting roles are sometimes even more challenging to play well than leading roles. We’ll also talk with Stephen about the moment he knew he was destined for a career as a character actor....when he started to lose his hair while he was studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with RoberEbert.com’s new Editor-in-Chief Matt Zoller Seitz about the future of the flagship movie review site for fans in an era post-Roger. The site, recently expanded and revamped, now includes all or Roger's work, a blog by his wife, Chaz, and other new features for movie fans. We’ll also talk with him about new movies out recently - what’s worth seeing….and what’s not. Michael Phillips, film critic for the Chicago Tribune, also joins us.