The Afterlives of Kathleen Collins

A Black Woman Filmmaker's Search for New Life

by L. H. Stallings

Published by: Indiana University Press

216 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 1 b&w illus

This book can be purchased from this website 60 days before the publish date

  • Paperback
  • 9780253059031
  • Published: December 2021

$25.00

This book can be purchased from this website 60 days before the publish date

  • Hardcover
  • 9780253059017
  • Published: December 2021

$65.00

This book can be purchased from this website 60 days before the publish date

  • eBook
  • 9780253059048
  • Published: December 2021

$24.99

An absorbing portrait of a groundbreaking Black woman filmmaker.

Kathleen Collins (1942–88) was a visionary and influential Black filmmaker. Beginning with her short film The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy and her feature film Losing Ground, Collins explored new dimensions of what narrative film could and should do. However, her achievements in filmmaking were part of a greater life project.

The Afterlives of Kathleen Collins: A Black Woman Filmmaker's Search for New Life showcases how Collins used filmmaking, writing, and teaching to assert herself as a polycreative dedicated to asking and answering difficult philosophical questions about human being and living. Interrogating the ideological foundation of life-writing and cinematic life-writing as they intersect with race and gender, L. H. Stallings intervenes on the delimited concepts of life and Black being that impeded wider access to and production and distribution of Collins's creative writing, cinematic vision, and remarkable pedagogy. Contextualizing Collins's meditations on life within the arc of Black Diaspora Cinema and diaspora literacy, The Afterlives of Kathleen Collins examines the filmmaker's unproduced film scripts Women, Sisters, and Friends, Only the Sky Is Free, and But Then She Is Madame Flor as threats to Hollywood genre films about love. Buttressed by personal papers, interviews, film scholarship, feminist theory and criticism, literary and performance scholarship, philosophy, and narrative medicine scholarship, The Afterlives of Kathleen Collins highlights these works alongside her unpublished and recently published short fiction and plays, as well as her produced films The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy and Losing Ground. Paying particular attention to diary entries and plays, The Afterlives of Kathleen Collins notes that even during a terminal illness Collins would seek out new definitions of life.

The Afterlives of Kathleen Collins definitively emphasizes the evolution of film and film studies that Collins makes possible for current and future generations of filmmakers.