N***** is a beautiful thing

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 11.23.21 AM

The screenshot I decided to focus on is from the “N***** is a Beautiful Thang” scene. I chose this clip in reference to this scene, because this is the only place and the only scene where during auditions for the mockery minstrel shows both Pierre Delacroix and Sloan Hopkins illustrate satisfaction with a particular performance.

The performance is by a man who is dressed in a suit who will later be introduced to the audience as Honeycutt. The scene I chose is a clear display that Honeycutt is one that is perceived as intelligent by Hopkins and Delacroix because of his mention and performance of Hamlet. Additionally Honeycutt is discerned as intelligent because of what he is wearing, Honeycutt is one of two performers who came wearing a suit. What is interesting and different about his suit, however is that it is something a pimp could be seen wearing or is typical of a pimp outfit. The hat is purple and dawns a feather, the suit jacket is a little too long and under the suit jacket he sports a yellow button – up and a purple tie to coordinate with his hat.

In this way Honeycutt’s Character can be viewed as Polyvalent, still holding true and playing into mainstream ideals of typical roles black actors should play, but opposing that simultaneously with his performance.

I chose this screenshot because, Honeycutt, being well-liked by both Delacroix and Sloan gave him perspective and dimension in contrast to the other people who auditioned. During his performance is the first time we see a head on shot of all three of the judges, we get a shot from behind Honeycutt a shot from a theatre through his eyes and his lens. The close up and tight angle on the judges for the first time during his performance even takes away the idea of him being a spectacle or a show and turns the lens on the judges, in a way that makes his performance shared and Honeycutt seem almost equal to the people who are watching and judging him.

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