Racing Through the Tunnel

“…the film’s racial joke depends on visual codes that direct the spectator on how to read the women as (proper and improper) spectacle. It is because the black woman is inscribed as not properly a ‘woman’, as anything but the object of this man’s desire, that the racial object is so rigid in the first place. This is enforced even before the joke through the directions of the man’s attentions and the representation of the women. The white woman, first centered within the shot as the recipient of the diegetic male look, wears a dark, high-fashion hat and dress with an elaborate collar that frame her face to be seen. The black woman, wearing a mostly white maid’s uniform, is obese and very dark. Displayed in this fashion, her facial features almost disappear in the composition, and she is visually marked as ‘other’ than the white man and woman, who are more visible and visually joined.”

Susan Courtney, HOLLYWOOD FANTASIES OF MISCEGENATION: SPECTACULAR NARRATIVES OF GENDER AND RACE, p. 8-9

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