Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Dream Time

I had a dream last night that I had 2,000 hits on my blog. I guess it is a sign that I have not been writing. So far my cousin and 3 other friends have called specifically to tell me to get my ass back on that keyboard. Thanks Stan and Ava.

So, what have I been doing? The list could go on and on, but let's concentrate on Dreamgirls, shall we. I finally saw the movie at the Ziegfeld Theater on the same evening as the Oscars. German Musicologist and I rushed back to his hotel room to watch the show. I think I will watch a couple of movies on the same day as the Oscars next year because it makes the actors' performances and the award ceremony equal in immediacy. It is a great feeling of anticipation actually.

I guess what I liked about the film above all was how it delved into the complicated world of drugs, sex and attraction without a nude scene or Eddie Murphy's character bleeding out of every orifice after some caustic overdose of bad heroin. I have never seen the original Broadway version of Dreamgirls. I was just 8 or 9 when it first came out, and we lived in Nashville, Tennessee not in the Tri-State area. Even if my mother had asked me then if I wanted to go, I would not have gone, I would have wanted to ride my bike down some rocky glass laden side road with my dog or a couple of friends. So, I was surprised to see a composite of Marvin Gaye, Berry Gordy and a couple of the Temptations mixed together with the epic story of The Supremes. The tragedy of Florence Ballard deserves several operas in my opinion.

So, I think Jennifer Hudson deserved the Oscar. I loved the way she was delectable in that way big sisters can be delectable. She was love on the screen, soaking up all the lighting like Grace Kelly. Beyonce Knowles gave a more than worthy performance, but I don't think that film gave her enough space to go where she could have gone. And I wish over all that Anika Noni Rose got more attention, she has caught mine, so I am looking out for her.

In so many ways Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose feed into America's mythical stardom cortex of black girls in the entertainment industrial complex. All talented, all divas and all conjurers in a way. During the 2007 Oscar Awards ceremony you see Beyonce smiling, screaming, crossing her eyes and pushing up vibretto laden hallelujahs; Jennifer Hudson biting the ends of notes like hot pickled peppers straight from the jar; and, Anika singing like a 1970's Philadelphia Sound songbird given a chance to stick her head out from the overshadowing battle. It is enchanting somehow. It is a living trope. Its mustard powder and love charms.

I am waiting to see what comes next. In some funny way, with the way R&B, Hip-Hop and NeoSoul have been progressing, this seems like some sort of apex, from which no one knows how to dismount, or turn it into something else. It is like Lauryn Hill's debut album and the cashing in of an inheritance. For Hill it was the Marley set of miracles, for these Neo-Divas it is the heavily historical phantom hurricane of Miss Ross and the shunning of that original Dreamgirls cast in some obvious and not so obvious ways. Lauryn was our savior before our sugar and grandiose political land of Afro-Valhalla fell directly on top of her head. And by the way, where is Jennifer Holiday? Jennifer Holiday come back to the five and dime baby, we miss you.


Reel Fanatic said...

"Dreamgirls" not being nominated for Best Picture was the biggest crime this Oscar season, I think ... My only disappointment with the whole movie was when Eddie Murphy donned that Marvin Gaye-style knit cap to sing that awful treacly song "Patience" .. Just an incredibly wrong note in an otherwise very satisfying movie

Littlemilk said...

I just did not see all of the contenders, though people told me the Departed was not the best of of the contenders.

I do want to see the Queen, and I do believe that The Last King of Scotland should have been nominated for best picture, every actor in the film was in top form. I was really transported and transformed after that film, and that has not happened to me in a long time.

Homer said...

I thought Ms. Hudson totally stole that film. I was so proud of her. Jamie Foxx was a surprise, he could play the creep so well.

Littlemilk said...


American Idol is turning into something else now. They have an Oscar Award Winner in their alumni now. Says something about how everything is changing.