Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Why You Should Watch The Movie

This week, we're reading For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide by Ntozake Shange.  It's a play that we read, but you'll hear more about that later.

Today, I'm here to tell you, watch the movie.  Now, that may be counter-intuitive since this is a book blog and we, pretty much always, recommend the book before we'll ever recommend the movie.  But plays are a horse of a different color.

Plays are meant to be watched.  They're written to be watched and there is so much more than you can glean from a play if you watch it being acted.  When you read a play, all you're really reading are the lines.  When play writers write plays, I'm sure they have SOME sort of vision when they write (and you can see hints of that vision in the stage directing), but the point of the play is for it to be interpreted by the actors and the director and the set makers.

If you've ever read a play, you'll notice that they're short (certain bards excluded, of course), for the most part, and that's because it's nothing but lines.  Nothing but the dialogue.  And this allows you to get multiple interpretations of the same thing.  And they're all right.

Shakespeare is the fastest example on reimaginings.  10 Things I Hate About You?  Shakespeare (The Taming of the Shrew).  West Side Story?  Also Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet.  I had Clueless on here earlier, but that's not Shakespeareas was pointed out to me by one of our readers! Thanks, Artie Moffa).  They have all been repurposed and reimagined and repackaged.

Plays can also be a little hard to understand if you don't have the visual to go with it.  Plays are MEANT to have the visual, so sometimes, the dialogue itself doesn't give up what you need it to.

So, go ahead.  Watch the movie.  It's the only time I'm going to tell you to do so.

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