I like Ava DuVernay’s work. While it moved a little slow, I enjoyed “I Will Follow.” I thought it brought a different perspective on the sorrow of a black family and I was happy to see the underused Salli Richardson-Whitfield in the film. I thought DuVernay’s short film “The Door,” featuring sharply dressed black actresses was cute. I am eagerly waiting for her second film “Middle of Nowhere” to be available online next year.
“Selma” is DuVernay’s third major film release.
“The film is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and Martin Luther King, Jr. of SCLC and John Lewis of SNCC. The film stars David Oyelowo as King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson, Common as Bevel, and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selma_%28film%29
The movie is set to come out during the Christmas holiday. I have mixed emotions about it. I think it’s important to continue to make films about the Civil Rights Movement, the sadistic brutally used against black folks (who simply wanted their basic human rights) was just a mere 60 years ago. But I do wish we could get different stories about this same journey. Particularly, black female voices. Or just some black female stories on how they have resisted racist/sexist oppression. I’m still waiting on that Harriet Tubman movie, Russell Simmons. Oh, wait…
In any case, the trailer looks interesting and I will probably go see it.
Sadly, as most folks know, Maya Angelou passed away last week. There were numerous wonderful articles written about the amazing life of Dr. Angelou. So much so, that I couldn’t keep up. However, there were only a couple of articles that mentioned the film “Poetic Justice.” The 1993 movie was inspired by Dr. Angelou’s poetry. Maybe folks have glossed over the film because it wasn’t that good. Or maybe because Janet Jackson was in it.
I love J.J., but her acting can be hit or miss. The film was revolutionary for its time. It was the rare nationally released film that tried to explore the complexities of black womanhood. Yes, the film was kind of all over the map. John Singleton’s directing/writing skills can also be hit or miss. But I think the film has its beautiful moments. I mean, it does feature the poetry of Dr. Angelou.
Who can forget the last scenes as Janet’s character has an epiphany about who she is and what see wants out of her life. As she flips through all of her black clothes in a closet, Dr. Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” is narrated in the background. if you don’t get a tear in your eye, I don’t know what to say about you…
There is something about the those last scenes that make up for the nonsense of the rest of the film. I wish Singleton had the skills to have made the whole film as thoughtful as those scenes. The film has so much potential. I think enough time has passed it could be remade/tweaked for a new audience.
Maybe black women directors like Ava DuVernay or Dee Rees could take it on.