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Trailers from Hell Wears 'Coonskin'

Photo of Trailers From Hell By Trailers From Hell | Thompson on Hollywood April 23, 2014 at 11:19AM

Today on Trailers from Hell, Larry Karaszewski tackles Ralph Bakshi's controversial 1975 "Coonskin," an animated satire on race relations.

Today on Trailers from Hell, Larry Karaszewski tackles Ralph Bakshi's controversial 1975 "Coonskin," an animated satire on race relations.

Ralph Bakshi's nervy satire on race relations courted controversy from all sides, beginning with its in-your-face title (which Bakshi himself objected to) and its incendiary use of African-American stereotypes to score its satirical points. The 1975 film, a mix of live action and animation, referenced a wide range of black-cultural hot buttons including "Song of the South" and blaxploitation fare. The production of the movie was fractious enough (Bakshi was locked out of the studio at one point) but the actual release of the film was when the fireworks, including picketing and a few smoke bombs in select theater lobbies, really started. In the decades since, cooler heads have prevailed and Coonskin counts artists as disparate as Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino among its fans.

This article is related to: Trailers, Trailers from Hell, Trailers, Video

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.