Michele Wallace presents "Beloved"
Thu, Oct 24
5:30 PM — 8:30 PM
NAC160 Convent Avenue137th Street and Amsterdam Avenue
As a feature of her Toni Morrison course, Prof. Wallace will screen "Beloved.""Majestic, confounding and rich with secrets, 'Beloved,' the film based on Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1987 novel, runs bravely against the grain of market-driven Hollywood entertainment. Here's a film, nearly three hours long, that doesn't sanitize its tale of African American loss and survival -- the way Steven Spielberg's 'The Color Purple' did -- but delves deeply, heartbreakingly into an American tragedy.
"Directed by Jonathan Demme, who won an Oscar for "The Silence of the Lambs" and hadn't made a film since 1993's "Philadelphia," 'Beloved' has a large and daunting agenda. Demme attempts the impossible here, not only in doing justice to a revered, complex book and its Nobel Prize- winning author, but in crafting a mainstream hit about slavery -- an event that's never been adequately resolved and that most Americans would rather not think about.
"His movie is tough and frightening and devastatingly sad -- how's that for a commercial recipe? -- but also gorgeous and haunting, a drama to chew on for days afterward. Instead of offering glib emotion and punched-up pop rhythms, "Beloved" un folds slowly and mysteriously, creating a mood of impending suspense."
—San Francisco Chronicle