CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Anika Noni Rose
CHICAGO – A&E’s “Bag of Bones” is a mess. There are elements that work but a source material that doesn’t exactly translate to the mini-series form along with a mediocre script by Matt Venne and generic direction by Mick Garris add up to an experience that’s disjointed and inconsistent. There was a time when a Stephen King mini-series was an event – “The Stand,” “It,” even “Storm of the Century” – but what’s so disappointing about “Bag of Bones” is how inconsequential the whole thing feels.
CHICAGO – Tyler Perry must have a bit of internal conflict. On one hand, he gets critically slammed for films that display little creative effort at all like “Madea Goes to Jail” or “Why Did I Get Married Too?” but those movies make money. Then he tries to do something clearly considered artistic with his adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” now truncated to simply “For Colored Girls” and recently available on Blu-ray and DVD, and it makes less than most of the films he’s directed.
CHICAGO – Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” was a landmark event in 1974, giving voice to a segment of society rarely seen on the stage. It took 34 years for a filmmaker to tackle this remarkable work in film form and Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” retains some of the inherent power of it source and features some strong performances in the process but never finds the narrative cohesion needed to translate it to modern movie audiences.
CHICAGO – This 19-image slideshow contains all of the official press images for the highly-anticipated “For Colored Girls,” starring Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Michael Ealy, Kimberly Elise, Omari Hardwick, Hill Harper, Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Tessa Thompson, Kerry Washington, and Whoopi Goldberg. The film was written and directed by Tyler Perry. It will be released on November 5th, 2010.
CHICAGO – The expansive and intuitive prose poetry of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” comes to life in Tyler Perry’s film adaptation “For Colored Girls.” Thandie Newton portrays Tangie (color Orange) and saturates the character with a precise truth.
CHICAGO – The importance of Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” should not be underestimated in that it not only successfully brought back hand-drawn, 2D animation in an era dominated by CGI but it presented an American fairy tale for African-American children and adults everywhere. It’s a lovely little film with a few flaws that are easy to overlook with such a marvelous Blu-ray presentation.
CHICAGO – Once the Walt Disney company confers the title of “Princess” upon one of their characters, in pop culture they live forever. Tiana is the latest title holder, and she is voiced by Anika Noni Rose in “The Princess and the Frog,” now on DVD.
CHICAGO – The feature animation film tradition, invented by and fostered by the Walt Disney Company for close to 70 years, gets another glorious rendition in their latest release, “The Princess and the Frog.”