Jump to content
Troy

Carey I saw For Colored Girls

Recommended Posts

Well I saw For Colored Girls last night. For Carey's benefit every comment that ever made about the movie stands. Actually I could have said that before I saw the movie because I never previously offered an opinion of the film itself, just commentary on the debate and on the comments of others.

The film itself was OK. I'd give it 2 stars out of five. One tremendous plus was For Colored Girls was an excellent showcase of some of the best or most popular Black actresses working today. I enjoyed Thandie, though her accent grated on my nerves. Even the secondary males characters were quite good. Loretta Divnine's faux beau was perfectly cast and Kimberly Elise's baby daddy was convincing as well.

I do not think it was a male bashing film. If anything, women could make a much better case for being offended. But I won’t presume to speak for the Sisters in this case -- as very few I spoken with seem to mind.

My biggest complaint about the flick was that Ntozake's poetry seems to have been shoehorned into the film. The movie seemed disjointed during the transition the from dialog to the soliloquies. If you were unfamiliar with the original play, you would have asked yourself, “what the heck is this character talking about” at least until you became accustomed to the technique.

Maybe if the background was darkened and a spot light was put on the character while they were reciting Ntozake's work (sort of the way they do during Shakespearean plays), that may have helped.

The film was also set in the present day but based upon a 40 year old work. The mismatch was evident in the film. The days of back alley abortions in New York City are a thing of the past. Similarly the "Low Down" man being converted into "Down Low" Brother was a liberty that was taken purely for dramatic effect -- a Tyler Perry trademark.

Overall I think the film would have worked better if Tyler simply rewrote the work entirely -- basically starting from scratch using updated, modern material. Tyler could have even engaged Ntozake and other poets create the new material.

Alternatively, he could have set the flick in the 70's, but I think fresh material would have worked best.

For Colored Girls work represents a film which goes beyond the coonin’ and buffoonin’ for which Tyler is constantly accused of producing. This plus his ability to corral a large stable of talent bodes well for future work. Work that I’m looking forward to seeing.

coloredgirlsmovieposter.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Troy, you're a good man. *smile* You're my kind of man. You reached in your tight scrooge britches and dropped a few dollars so you could come back and put me in check. I like that.

Hey, your words are reminiscent of many that I've heard. The following is one that says it all. It's an exchange I had with another person at another site. I pickup the conversation from here......

Joy said: "This is truly interesting, but I am not exactly surprised that people aren’t jazzed by this piece being re-imagined as a film by Tyler Perry. While I don’t think we need to bash Tyler Perry for attempting to do this film, one thing that has not been addressed is the fact that Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem is still vibrant as a theatre and literary piece after 35 years. The book For Colored Girls just went back on the NY Times Bestseller list. Some folks, like myself, had extreme reservations and some disappointments that the right to do this film was not handed to a Black female director. I also find Tyler Perry extremely similar to the late Frank Capra who created movies with clearly defined two-dimensional villains and two-dimensional heroes. Capra and Perry create/d entertainment that allowed audiences to escape. We all know in real life heroes are often deeply flawed and many villains have a few redeeming qualities.

FYI: Tyler Perry came to see Jasmine Guy’s phenomenal direction and interpretation of this piece for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company. I saw Tyler in the audience twice, and on one occasion he was present with Janet Jackson. I also think that there are times when an all-star cast can be a bit of a turnoff.

However, I stand by the same position that I held the day I learned that Perry had received the green light from Lion’s Gate: For Colored Girls… belongs on the stage, period– Just like “Beloved” should never have been anything but a book by Toni Morrison. You have to damn near be a genius to take character-driven novels or theatre pieces and transform them to film. Film is almost always plot driven. When directors step outside of that formula they should be prepared for a limited audience."

[Carey]: Ms. L Joy, based on your short(but fact filled) comment, you’re the type of person I would pay to have a conversation with. Really, I would pick your mind until you told me to go home.

I loved the way you said the following…

“We all know in real life heroes are often deeply flawed and many villains have a few redeeming qualities”

In relation to FCG, there’s so much to say in those words and I’d ask for more. Futhermore, when you mentioned the difficulties associated with using an ensemble cast, I knew you knew what you were talking about. And again, I’d say, come on, give me more, talk to me. It’s very rare that movies comprised of more than, maybe, 4 “top stars”, each given more than a cameo role, reaches a level that would be considered a great film.

And then…. THEN when you hit us with Tyler’s appearance at “Jasmine Guy’s phenomenal direction and interpretation of this piece for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company” I knew you were someone to listen to. Again, I’d say, come on baby let me buy you dinner, I want to hear more. I don’t know when Tyler and Janet visted, but I wonder if he was researching the play to see if he could do it (and what actors to use) or if he was using the play as a way to tudor Janet?

But wait, you were not done. You closed your comment with…

“For Colored Girls… belongs on the stage, period– Just like “Beloved” should never have been anything but a book by Toni Morrison. You have to damn near be a genius to take character-driven novels or theatre pieces and transform them to film”

See Ms. Joy, again you’ve left the door open and I want to know more. You obviously have a connection to film and/or theatre because your words say so. You are not a casual film buff that gives their opinion without supporting information, so as Marvin Gaye said, “What’s going on”? Talk to me… please.

CareyCarey:

"You are much too kind. I do have family and friends in film and theatre. I am a doctoral student of History. And I am doing some research on theatre history. I’m typically inside a theatre to see stage plays on average about 15 or 16 times a year. I’M GOING TO GIVE YOU A LITTLE BIT MORE (smile). With that said, I think Tyler Perry understands that there is only so far he can take his “Madea” films before his core audience grows weary of them. I also suspect that Perry has listened to some of his critics perhaps more than he should have. While his films have always had a certain predictability to them, I think that most of us occasionally enjoy a bit of predictability. It helps us escape. And let’s face it–sometimes you just don’t feel like watching anything too heavy all of the time. The only problem is that predictability also gets old.

I think Perry’s attempts to demonstrate that he can do “serious” cinema may have backfired in some quarters as “For Colored Girls…” as a stage piece does not have a real linearity; and the piece is one subject to interpretation. I saw “For Colored Girls…” with LaTanya Richardson-Jackson as the ‘Lady in Red’ when she came home to Atlanta to perform the piece for the Alliance Theatre back in 1980. It was a dark and depressing piece in 1980. Jasmine Guy kept the piece’s original qualities, but she brightened it at the end by adding an exuberant running exit where all of the women cheered, danced to Mary J Blige, and then ran off the stage, colors streaming through the audience. The women had been through hell, but they would ultimately survive. Their suffering had been redemptive. Several folks who saw the original “For Colored Girls…” felt Guy’s production surpassed the original.

Personally, I think Perry should have used unknown or less well known actors. The Atlanta cast used by Guy would have been phenomenal. I watched Crystal Fox weep real tears during four different performances that made me weep each and every time as if I were watching her for the first time. However, I suspect the real problem for Perry may be his trying to mix apples and oranges. He clearly is comfortable with his formula films. I’m not angry at him; he keeps a lot of brothers and sisters working. Yet “For Colored Girls…” cannot be easily reduced to formula because Shange designed the choreopoem to be interpreted in any number of ways. On stage it engages an audience the way film never can.

As a cousin of mine said so eloquently, “Theatre humbles you.” There are no second takes and no performance is exactly the same. The actors and the audience are right there in the same room. I have seen actors ad lib with perfection or correct a mistake without anyone knowing a mistake took place. “For Colored Girls…” naturally resonates on stage because it was never designed to maintain the distance that film creates between actor and audience. Trying to recreate that intense emotion on film would be a challenge for the most experienced director and/or screenwriter.

There will be those folks who are going to give Perry the benefit of the doubt and appreciate his effort. I certainly wish him the best. But there are going to be those folks who will be unable to overlook the film’s shortcomings precisely because Perry chose to tackle a “theatre classic” that has some recurring themes, but never had a real plot. And he is not the first person to make a film version of “For Colored Girls…” But you’ve never heard anyone say much about those other film versions either"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carey, nice meaty comments from your Blog (I presume).

A few of my comments based upon what you just posted:



  • The ONLY reason for Ntozake's book in on any bestseller's list (including #1 on my lastest list) is because of Perry's film.
  • The idea that Beloved only belongs on the page and FCG only belongs on the stage is silly. It is just difficult to do. Indeed, making ANY good film a difficult.
  • I think the argument that "predictability also gets old" is flawed. Sure the predictability may get old for current consumers, but as someone once said "There's a sucker born everyday"
  • I'm not aware of any other film version of FCG, other than the public TV version a couple of decades ago. We never heard so much about that or any other version because 20 years ago the public never had a voice the way it does today with the Internet
  • I'm defintely one of the folks who "appreciate his [Tyler Perry's] effort".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The idea that Beloved only belongs on the page and FCG only belongs on the stage is silly. It is just difficult to do. Indeed, making ANY good film a difficult.

I think the argument that "predictability also gets old" is flawed"

Troy, I agree, however, we shouldn't minimize the word "difficult". Some things are damn near impossible, and thus, should be left alone. I don't know if you know this (and I can't reference my source) but I believe I heard that Oprah told him not to do it., or at least had major concerns.

Re: predictability. I agree, aside from there being suckers born every day, it's hard to teach old dogs new tricks. I mean, "we" are going to continue to laugh at what makes us laugh, or whatever. In most cases, whatever makes us feel "good", we generally will continue to do just that.

An analogy: I like old school music. If someone tells me "it's" not cool, or significant, I'm going to turn up my music and look at them like they're crazy. Tyler Perry can beat that same drum until he dies, and the crowds will get larger, not smaller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What the person quoted in Carey's post had to say really resonated with me, because it pretty much fleshed out what old Cynique, the woman of fewer words, said earlier about FGC losing its artistic integrity when it was sacrified on the altar of mass appeal.

Unlike Troy, I appreciate that many literary people have a problem with giving stage plays make-overs via movies. You rarely here of a movie being made into a play, this being somewhat akin to "east being east and west, west and never the twain shall meet". The "stage" is an esoteric media. The "screen" is for "the great unwashed". Viva la difference! I also agree that predictibility does get old; fortunately, some things mellow with age.

Similarly, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker were both unhappy with how "Beloved" and "The Color Purple" were interpreted on the screen, perhaps feeling the way Cher felt when she had to endure her beautful daughter Chastity being mutilated and mutated into a big, fat, goofy-lookin man, who is now her son Chazz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Kat

Your critique is unique, Shange's choreopoem continues to live on in college classrooms, community and local theatres, it's all good. The new movie idea you offer should still be on the table as new projects would be likely to find an audience.

K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynique, "You rarely here of a movie being made into a play"; In this case Cynique I'd have to question what you are hearing. Not only are films being turned into stage plays TV programs are as well. You can check the numerous offerings currently on Broadway to see what I mean.

One could make a very strong case that MOST of what is on the "stage" today is for the great unwashed. Again, most of what you see on Broadway, right now, would serve as a perfect example.

Your comment; "...FGC losing its artistic integrity when it was sacrificed on the altar of mass appeal." makes it sound as it something can not have mass appeal and retain artistic integrity. Now that may not have been your intent, and if may be true for the Tyler's FCG case; but I do not think artistic integrity and mass appeal are mutually exclusive -- just really difficult.

We have;

A: an stage based performance by Ntozake Shange that was not designed for mass appeal.

B: A major motion picture, based upon A:, designed for mass appeal.

The process of going from A: to B: , we all agree is very hard.

Some would argue that it is so difficult, that it should not even be attempted. I vehemently disagree with this point on every level. Flight is really hard, but fortunately many people had the balls to try it; until someone succeeded.

Today flight is so "easy" that it is taken for granted. But that does not mean tragic outcomes will never occur.

Again I commend Tyler Perry for trying; because it shows the man has balls to do something that so many believe is possible. Indeed it is this attitude that has placed him in the position that he is in today. Maybe he did not do so well going from A: to B: in this case, but others will learn from his mistakes and improve upon Perry's efforts.

This is how progress occurs.

@Kat what up doc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Troy, although you may vehemently disagree with some of my assertations, I would make a poor hustler out of you if I didn't question some of your supporting "opinions" to your position.

I am sure everyone agrees there's a point A and a point B. Yet, you seem to be implying that the risks of getting to point "B" is always better than the consequences of the interim period between A and B, which we all know is not the case. I mean, Hip Hip Hooray for the "try" but fools go where wise men tread not.

Sure it's easy for you to wrap your argument around "it's always possible".... "flight didn't come into existence"..... until man was around for thousands of years, but lets move away from the dream sequence and the ambiquity of the word "possible". Your use of the word "possibilty" minimizes the words "collateral damage" and "a pointless effort", to a degree that says ALL risks are worth a "possible" reward. Troy, excuse me, but that's utter nonsense. For every action there IS a reaction, and sometimes, the risk of that reaction is not worth the reward.

So Troy, I ask that you rethink the following... "Some would argue that it is so difficult, that it should not even be attempted. I vehemently disagree with this point on every level"

Now, I am suggesting that "hard" is not the optimum word. That's the core of your flawed argument. Hard work is the least of ones problems it they ignor the possible pitfalls in front of them. They can work their ass off and go nowhere, but to an ugly place. Come on back when you can bring a better analogy to support your opinion... other than the discovery of flight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, Troy, I should've been more specific when using the term "stage", and made a distinction between the genres of "musicals" and "comedy" as opposed to the high drama of Broadway "theater". (This would be a good place to insert the famous images of the ancient Greek masks depicting Tragedy and Comedy.)

I know the Addams family is a big hit on Broadway and this comedy was patterned after the TV series which actually was taken from the outre cartoons in the highly sophisticated New Yorker Magazine. These cartoons were always enigmatic, but the TV and screen versions turned Charles Addams' cryptic little gems into broad comedy. The musical "Annie" was based on the comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" and so, of course, was "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown" both of which were successful endeavors. Shakespearean plays also have been made into movies, but they had to be revised and expanded and made palatable to movie audiences. So this is a debatable subject.

But I can't think of any original screenplay that was made into a movie and which somebody later decided, hummm, this film would make a good Broadway play so let's transform it into one, editing out all of the things that a movie has to illustrate, incorporating them into dialogue that challenges the imagination of the theater-goer. Doing this would especially compromise the intent of experimental art films which are created especially for the screen.

In agreeing with the writer whose comments Carey posted, I was precariously putting myself in the category of elitists who don't want the mass media to encroach upon the domain of classic theater. The opinions both she and I voiced are held by many, including actors themselves who place TV and movies on a lower plane because they have wide popular appeal, not to mention playwrights who don't want their works given the "Hollywood" treatment. It's somewhat comparable to the book world, where the literati looks down its nose at commerical fiction. Many purists believe that unless a certain artistic standards are maintained, the tradition of the "theater" is tainted.

I think you, Troy, speak as an entrepreneur who sees unlimited possibilities in any project that promises a profit. Yes, one can tackle the impossible and achieve the "difficult" but when doing this inevitably calls for distorting the original then you've turned a prototype into a stereotype - and the artistic integrity is sacrificed. Some things are better left alone. The Venus De Milo statue doesn't need arms to be iconic. IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carey regarding your comment: "...and sometimes, the risk of that reaction is not worth the reward..." Carey it is up to the person engaging in the activity to make that determination. The reason I commend Perry is that he tried. Haven't you ever done something that others thought was a waste of time, but you went ahead a did it anyway? Did you ever succeed? Did it not feel good? Did you fail, but felt good inside that you at least tried?

Without getting too preachy here MOST people are unhappy because they've wasted their lives never trying any thing risky, or hard -- even if that thing was as fundamental to their own happiness as pursuing their passion. In fact ,some people don't even have a clue WHAT there passion is, 'cause they perceive even that level of self exploration as impossible.

So I would augment Cynique's assessment of my perspective as so; Troy speaks as a person who sees unlimited possibilities.

Cynique, as far as screen play that was made into a movie and put on Broadway there are many (at least several). Off the top of my head, I can think of the Lion King one of Disney highest grossing films. Someone decided to turn it into a play and it has been on Broadway and many other cities ever since.

Conversely the Motion Picture A Soldiers Story was an excellent adaption of Charles Fuller's play A Soldiers Play.

These are examples where I suspect you would agree that the results were quite good. Actually if you ignored the professional critics MOST people believe Tyler Perry did good job! (Carey this alone is sufficient to nullify your argument).

To be clear: I never said A was equal to or equivalent to B. Of course they are different. However I don't consider either form of art superior to the other.

We obviously disagree on whether this particular A (Ntozake's choreopoem) should be made into B (Tyler's film). Carey and Cynique it sounds like you believe Tyler should have left this one alone. However do you believe this is true for the general case -- that no staged work should be ported to the big screen? Or vice-versa?

If so we'd have to disagree about that too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Troy, you said, "Carey it is up to the person engaging in the activity to make that determination"

Sure, who said it's not?

Troy, you continued... "The reason I commend Perry is that he tried. Haven't you ever done something that others thought was a waste of time, but you went ahead a did it anyway? Did you ever succeed? Did it not feel good? Did you fail, but felt good inside that you at least tried? "

Okay, you commended Perry? Troy, I am trying to follow you, but your skip down memory lane is not focusing on the central issue. Look, I am not disputing the fact that a person can do what they please, and thus, they reap the rewards and/or suffer the pains of doing so. But again, that is not my issue.

I am suggesting that point A is completely different than point B, and there's a distance between the two. Now, if the challenge/desire/reward is to reach point B, two very important decisions have to be considered. Sure, the individual could throw caution to the wind and bask in the glory of the challenge. But to wave a flag of approval that's based solely on the attempt, is akin to giving approval to any foolish act or record setting attempt.

A guy jumps out a window (Butt naked) to see if he can fly. By luck, he lands in a area that breaks his fall and saves his life. The next day, he jumps again...

Do you again say, you commend him?

Under the premise of your argument, it's not about the likelyhood of the man ever flying, its about him fighting against tremendous odds.

Lastly, this.....

"Actually if you ignored the professional critics MOST people believe Tyler Perry did good job! (Carey this alone is sufficient to nullify your argument)."

Oh no Troy, so now you're ignoring the "professional critics" and laying your opinion (supporting your opinion) in the arms of the MOST ambiguous "MOST PEOPLE". Come on man, who are these MOST people? That's akin to me saying "everybody I know". Troy, you can do better than that.

On another note, I will say I am on your side in your discussion with Cynique. I can name several "stories" that started on the stage that made their way to the screen. You've highlighted a few, so I'll just add "Raisin in the sun", and then, get outta yawls way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and I didn't see this.... Cynique said, "Some things are better left alone. The Venus De Milo statue doesn't need arms to be iconic. IMO."

I agree!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoa here. Let's see what I said. First of all, let's make a distinction between male critics offended by Tyler's portrayal of them, and drama critics displeased with Tyler's version of a Broadway play. Secondly, I didn't say you rarely hear of a play being made into a movie. This happens all the time, with mixed results, of course. Many Tennesse Wiliams and Lillian Hellman and Neil Simon plays have been adapted for the screen, as was award-winning black playwright August Wilson's play the "The Piano." So your reference to "A Raisin in the Sun" doesn't apply, Carey, because it was a play before it was a movie.

What I did said was: you seldom hear of a movie later being made into a play probably because you'd have to edit out everything that couldn't be shown on a small stage and substitute action with dialogue, all of which changes the effect. Actually, "The Lion King" is a musical revue rather than a play and musicals can be presented in any venue, but - I will give you that, Troy. I would, however, appreciate you coming up with better examples of movies being made into plays. LOL.

And, with all due respect to your emotional tribute to your new hero, Troy, I'm not blaming Tyler Perry for having the courage to do what Hollywood frequently does; which is to make a movie out of a play or a book or a - comic strip. e.g. Superman and Batman and Spider Man. Or am I putting him down for making a movie that gave men a bad rap. I'm just contending that the reason certain people in certain quarters reject the bastard children of a Broadway father and a Hollywood mother is because they want to preserve the essence of "the theater". They appreciate the beauty of dialogue and the magic of a live performance. You can't recapture on screen the intimacy of a play and the rapport between the audience and the actors. This is what they will all tell you. What I and many others are claiming about blowing up a play into a movie is that, - SOMETHING IS LOST IN THE TRANSLATION! And what is usually lost is the uniqueness of the original work. The stage and screen are 2 different vehicles in the field of performance and they should continue to exist independently of each other. (That's why they give movie stars "Oscars" and stage actors "Tonys", obviously.)

Compare the high price of a ticket to a Broadway show with the $10.00 admission to a movie and you might get a hint of why movies are the preference of "the great unwashed". Pop corn and a Coke? Forget it. Expensive drinks are what is sipped during intermission at the Theater. Not all Theater customers are elitists, but all elitists are Theater patrons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynique Broadway plays have been adapted from every concieveable source: Here is another example; Mel Brooks' The Producers was a film that was converted into a Broadway musical. You are just going to have to conceed this point.

Also, I agree with you motion picture are two different things. But again, I don't hold one over the other. They are just different forms of art and when done well both can be equally compelling.

Cynique maybe you have not been to a Broadway play recently. It has become very commercial, a tourist attraction for bus loads of overweight, camera totting out of towners and their ill behaved children.

I went to see A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway. Puff Daddy was in the lead role (which should tell you something). People we noisily eating, laughing at inappropriate times, talking back to the characters, it was a mess. It was the kind of behavior one has unfortunately had to become accustomed to in some the movie theaters (and you know what I mean).

As far as movies go I've seen serious film at the Mayseles (in Harlem), IFC in (Greenwich Village), and other views (including my own). The movies (often include a discussion with the film maker) are attended by serious, intelligent, informed movie folks. Needless to say, far better behaved than patrons of the more expensive Broadway play.

So I'll have to have a rare disagreement with you Cynique, regarding the relative elitism on Film versus theater.

Carey man, I don't know what do say to you. I'm trying to hold a serious conversation and you are talking about guys jumping "out a window (Butt naked) to see if he can fly". Is this really going to be the foundation of your conversation?

Ok I'll clarify,

  1. Most critical reviews (professional or otherwise, including my own) of Tyler's FCG film were more negative than positive. Virtually all that I've read from the adaptation of Ntozakes work lacking. Again I agree with this assessment
  2. Some of these critics found Tyler's film to be an example of Male bashing. I disagree on this point.
  3. I commend Perry for given it the ole college try. I don't really recall any other reviewers condemning Perry on the attempt -- just the outcome
  4. As far as just regular folk, I've spoken to online and off, the reviews were mixed but mostly positive, some of them strongly positive.
Again, Tyler had to know, based upon the source material, that this was not going to be a block buster film. I believe he did everything within his ability to make it a commercial success. He loading the film with popular and talented actors. All he was missing was Halley Berry and Queen Latifah.

One could argue the effort to make the film a commercial success is counter to making it an artistic one. Again i reject this notion on very level. It can be done, it is just hard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Troy, you keep citing musicals and comedies and I have focused on drama which is what FCG is, and I seriously doubt whether out-of- town yokels and their ill-behaved children flocked to see this play when it was on Broadway. Drama is serious artistic stuff and when this turf is invaded by the atypical audience Puffy attracted, it proves that this fare is not for "public consumption".

Yes, there are serious movies which earn rave reviews, but they are measured by a different yardstick than a live play. Apples and oranges... As for making a commercial film into an artistic one, you can't be true to your craft when you are catering to a mass audience whose business you are seeking. Not only would this be difficult, it's counter-productive.

And, of course any play can be expanded into a movie and any movie can be reduced to a play but at what cost? When a camera comes between the actor and the audience, then the whole vibe is changed and the finished product is diluted. I repeat: This is what offends purists. Since you are less discriminating than a purist, Troy, then you can't be swayed. Or will you be impressed with how every movie star aspires to cap their career by appearing on the legitimate stage epitomized by Broadway. So be it.

And in light of your desire to give the screen and the stage the same props, maybe you should re-think your objection to street lit enjoying more acclaim than quality fiction. How about giving the hack writers an "E" for effort. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynique! Hitchcock's The 39 Steps and the courtroom drama 12 Angry Men, are couple of the successful example of Broadway plays derived from original motion pictures -- please, cry uncle!!!

I also acknowledged that a play and a film are as different as A & B, no need to belabor that point.

While I realize your point: "And in light of your desire to give the screen and the stage the same props, maybe you should re-think your objection to street lit enjoying more acclaim than quality fiction. How about giving the hack writers an "E" for effort." was said in jest.

But i would like to point out that; (1) I never made such an objection, and (2) the statement if flawed in that it assumes Street Lit can not be "quality" fiction.

-----------

The crux of our disagreement I believe is illustrated by your point: "you can't be true to your craft when you are catering to a mass audience"

Do you think the Godfather I, arguably one of the top films of all time, was counter productive? Sure the film and the novel are different, but both have artistic merit and one could easily argue that the film based upon Puzzo's novel has even more artistic merit than the source material. The Godfather is a commercially successful film with artistic merit. But again creating a Godfather I caliber film is really hard.

As much as I support books and complain about TV. I don't hold one over the other as superior when it comes to artistic expression.

There was a time, indeed for most of modern man's existence, when neither format was available. Do you think art did not exist? Do you think art back then was of "lower quality" that what we have today?

Sure I may have a personal preference for an specific form of artistic expression over another but that does not mean I believe it is "better" than I format I prefer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL @ please, cry uncle!!!

Yes, please, somebody tap the mat because "somebody" is getting murdered up in here.

Cynique, I am suggesting that on this issue, you are holding a dead hand. Wave the white flag and bow out gracefully. I am sure Troy will still love you in the morning. You have to know that this is hurting Troy more than it's hurting you. Heck, for years he's been protecting your blind side, and laughing at your non-funny jokes, but baby, it's time to cut the cord... on this one.

Stop the bleeding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh,stfu, Carey. To my "nephew" Troy, my son appeared in his high school’s production of “12 Angry Men”, a work which was adapted from a “teleplay” which was made into a movie and subsequently reproduced on Broadway in its original form as a stage play. I remember when TV first came out, the HallMark and DuPont networks used to stage plays and simply televise them. Their format was not that of a movie so they were called “teleplays”. Several of these outstanding productions were later performed on Broadway. So TV introduces a whole new facet to this argument. As for 39 Steps, it was a COMEDY.

In any case, my motive in posing this convoluted question was to point out how producers and directors rarely bothered with turning movies into plays because doing so would take away from the whole visual concept of movies. Yet Hollywood always wants to bloat plays into movies in order to make money.

Dating as far back as Greeks and later Shakespeare, there has always been a distinction between what was aesthetic and what would appeal to the “hoi poloi”. There was the genre known as “low” comedy, and it was forerunner of burlesque and vaudeville and screwball humor. Its opposite, as represented by the famous mask of tragedy, was serious drama, which is more attuned to the intellectual sensibilities rather than the funny bone. In any case, nowadays, you can believe that if a movie leaves too much to the imagination, it will not be popular, whereas this would not be as much of a problem to theater patrons.

As for “The Godfather”, I don’t think anybody disputes that turning this book into a movie was a great cinematic achievement. This picture is a classic gangster film. But everything that is classic is not necessarily artistic. There are films so bad that they are “classic”. Obviously the reason why it was made into a movie instead of a play was because, a play couldn’t do it justice, which is at the gist of my argument. What’s good for one media is not necessary good for another! And the bottom line is if we don’t have standards, then quality is lost. Tyler Perry dumbed down FCG, because he knew the average person wouldn't appreciate the play in its original form. He was criticized for this by those who don't subscribe to this school of thought. There you have it.

BTW, Troy, I assumed you deplored street lit by what you said to John H, on another thread which was: "I truly believe that the level of education and literacy has adversely impacted on not only our ability to produce great work but our ability to consume or even recognize it." You went on to say that "Tyler's success is a symptom of a larger problem"... You are, of course, entitled to your "revised" opinion about whether street lit in all of its formulaic semi-literate glory is on a par with mainstream and literary fiction and that FCG is a generic work of art. And others are entitled to disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynique it is interesting that you would conclude that I "deplore" street lit based upon the quote you supplied. I'll comment more about this in another post.

I guess we beat a dead horse here...

By the way 39 Steps was a british thriller the play was a comedy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW97dS7_h54

12 Angry Men was a did start out on 12 but I believe it was a movie before it was a play.

In any case I see you'll find a problem with any example I provide even through there are many other examples.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, Troy, I checked just to make sure about "12 Angry Men" and you can click on the link below and see what you think. wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Angry_Men_(Westinghouse

Back in the day when TV was just coming on the scene and movies were feeling their growing pains, things were a tad different than they are now.

And I don't know why we are bickering about this one point, babe. I guess because for some reason you zeroed in on my passing remark about movies not being made into plays. Instead of being stuck in this rut, why don't you go further and tell me why proving to me that movies have been made into plays is important to the point you are arguing about Tyler Perry turning FCG into a movie, and about how you think the theater and movies are equally artistic? I explained where I was coming from when I made this remark. Do you feel that movies being made into plays substantiates your argument???

And if I misinterpreted your eloquent lament about the sorry state of affairs visa-vis black culture, excuuuuuse me. I don't recall your ever defending the way badly-written, and poorly-edited street lit is usurping quality black fiction. But - what do I know? I guess as long as there is an audience who is willing to buy such books, this earns your thumbs up. Who are we to judge? Whatever. Gotta go. Don't eat too much turkey. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To my "nephew" Troy, my son appeared in his high school’s production of “12 Angry Men”, a work which was adapted from a “teleplay”

(What part did h play? Don't tell me. Let me guess.

He played the court reporter.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, Chrishayden, my son played Juror #3, who was a "fence straddler." My son also reminded me that there were 2 movie versions of "12 Angry Men" made AFTER this work first appeared on TV's "Studio One" and then on the stage. The first film featured Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb in the leading roles. The remake of this movie starred Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott.

Also where some confusion might be stemming from, is that after many stage plays have been made into movies, they often re-open on the stage again after the movie has come out. There is, in fact, a "Tony" awarded to the best revival of a Broadway production.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...