Friday, February 11, 2005


Gotcha! No, it is not what you are thinking about!
This is not about Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black, much as I would like it to be. But since the movie is still on my "MUST WATCH" list, this one's going to prove 99 per cent of you, who came here expecting it, wrong.
But then, it's not merely a red herring. This is also about movies, it is also about Black- my abiding passion for the last decade or so. A genre of literature and movies that has consumed me rapaciously for five years and warmly for the next five: Black American history. As much as The Third Reich has attracted and kept my attention over the same period.
I have been fascinated by the history of the black movement, right from its origins in Africa, through the slave boats onto the cotton fields of America, the Civil War, Ku Klux Klan, Malcolm X, modern Black messiahs, blues and jazz...
There are popular movies chronicling each aspect of this journey, like Gone with the Wind, Amistad, even Roots, all great works, but the works of Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, Tennessee Williams, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison have kept me awake several nights. It was a bad idea to start listing names, because I cannot really stop. I stop now, because the purpose of this post has not yet been served. It will now be served...

What excites me now is the Black History Month Film festival in Chennai. the visible line between February 14 and 19 at the Film Chamber Theatre, Gemini Circle. Schedule is as follows:
February 14 - Once upon a time... When we Were Colored. Starring Al Freeman Jr., Phylicia Rashad and Leon, 7 p.m.
February 15 - Ghosts of Mississippi. Starring Alec Baldwin, James Woods, Whoopi Goldberg, 6-30 p.m.
February 16 - Greased Lightning. Starring Richard Prior, Beau Ridges, Pam Grier, 6-30 p.m.
February 17 - Separate but Equal. Starring Sidney Poitier, Bert Lancaster, 6-30 p.m.
February 18 -The Color Purple. Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey, 6-30 p.m.
February 19: Malcolm X. Starring Spike Lee, Angela Basset, 3 p.m.
I know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Starring Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee. 7 p.m.

Watchem! I certainly intend to!



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