Sunday, 7 November 2010

Ntozake Shangwe's - For Coloured Girls who have considered Sucide When the Rainbow Was Enuf' - Shock Film Adaption

Oh well another big shock !!! Ntozake Shangwe's' choreopoem -for Coloured Girls who have considered suicide when the Rainbow Was Enuf' - piece has been made into a USA film . I have just watched the film trailer . It appears to have been given the full Hollywood treatment, which fills me with dismay - I will see the full film but I dread it too. The casting alone causes concern - Janet Jackson (anodyne), Macey Gray (who I like) two popular singers feature in roles. On the Strand radio program BBC World Service, a afro american woman n Journalist gave quite a balanced review. Noting the difficulty,the challenge of a non linear work of poems i.e. taking all that and making it into a film. But neverless she continued to list its considerable short comings. Clearly huge changes were made for the film and male cahracter additions, for 'the market'. This is further established, by an interview with the author herself, I paraphrase here - Ntozake was pleased that her work - (which is 37 years old,) was to join with Tyler Perry Producer/Director ? (populist Fim /Soap Maker) demographics (my italics) .... On hearing this I sagged visibly - with Hollywood (which has in my view completely lost its lead artistic mojo - but not money making ability) - money always talks. This film will go the way of other USA Black Women's Writers work ' Waiting to Exhale' 'Colour Purple' all Hollywood commercial 'benign lobotomies' in filmic terms to me. The Writers having given their approval, for wholesale changes for business rather than wholly artistic reasons I would guess. . It will of course be, de rigeur for everyone black woman across the diaspora to see it and comment upon it. Alongside the sound track etc and the 'bad' black male characters added in. If only it had been made somewhere else Europe say- how truly beautiful it could more faithful to is innovative structure . Of late I seem to only be able to enjoy european /world films - they are more everything, so more satisfying- good stories, great convincing acting , visuals etc. the difference between a fully home cooked meal and quick packet of crisps. So two key pieces of literature that have inspired me for my own piece - in their own way, for different reasons, have come back into the public spotlight - the DVD issue of the orginal film of 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner' and now a Hollywood film of a play For Coloured Girls etc. Of course this is excellent , for people to become aware of these brilliant writers and their classic works - enjoyed by my generation and others to come . As they are now in the public domain, more in the forefront etc. But I do wonder - how this may all impact on what I am doing and the project from now on ?

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