Day: February 25, 2017

Bradford Young’s Arrival

It’s day 25 of black history month, the day before the Oscars. One of the films I’m rooting for is Arrival, a meditative, gorgeously-shot piece of science fiction. (If you haven’t seen it, see it.) As it happens, the cinematographer, Bradford Young, is African-American. As it happens, he’s the first African-American ever nominated for Best Cinematography. Ever.

(There was one previous black nominee, ONE, in 1998, Remi Adefarasin, for Elizabeth. He’s British. He also shot Sliding Doors, About a Boy, The English Patient…)

In an interview with Variety, Young, who also shot Selma, notes that most of the African-American cinematographers he respects and references didn’t graduate from well-known film schools. They mostly went to Howard University, where among other things they focus on how to expose for black skin tone – an area the rest of us who’ve studied film lighting (like me) need to catch up on.

We already know that, and we already discuss it – but we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Per Young, we need to look at what the Howard grads are doing. In particular, he points to Clockers. (Spike Lee film; cinematographer Malik Hassan Sayeed.) I think you’ll find the rest of Young’s reference list intriguing.



Employer-Owned Worker

We do need immigration reform, not because they’re stealing our jobs, but because they’re being exploited by bosses all-too-happy to have an underpaid, captive workforce with visas “owned” by employers instead of the workers themselves.

H-2A workers reach the States bound to a single employer here and often heavily indebted to a contractor in their home country.

The set-up practically predetermines abuse. Should employers renege on promised work and/or wages, H-2A recipients can’t shop their services around. Walking away from egregious conditions means voiding the contract and inviting arrest and deportation. Even if these so-called guest workers possess the resources to seek legal redress, the involvement of middlemen insulates employers, who can always point the finger at labor contractors.

Want to know who likes the so-called guest-worker visa the way it is? Guess. Did you guess?

President Donald J. Trump’s various business holdings have secured at least 1,256 guest-worker visas—most for Mar-a-Lago—over the past 15 years.

Both quotes from:

The High Cost of Cheap Labor” by Brian Barth, in Modern Farmer.

A little more on Trump’s (and the defeated Puzder’s) relationship with H-2 specifically, at Buzzfeed.

Eric’s in on it too. Filed for more H-2s for the Trump Winery last week, about the same time all the (disgustingly self-owned) “illegals” were getting the boot.