Last night, Houston Cinema Arts Society held a special VIP event to kick off its upcoming film festival in November, and it featured a special advance screening of Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls, which officially opens on November 5. The film is an adaptation of Ntozake Shange's landmark "choreopoem" For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, first-performed in California in 1975, and on Broadway the following year.
The movie has already generated controversy, particularly among black women, some of whom think Perry will mishandle the source material. The play is essentially a series of poems spoken by women. They describe the search for love and identity, while coping with disenfranchisement, abandonment, abortion and rape. The work is considered a benchmark of African-American Theater.
Art Attack saw an advance screening on Monday and had a chance to talk with the lovely Loretta Devine (a Houston native and graduate of the University of Houston), who gives one of the film's most powerful performances. For her, making the film was like getting a second chance. "I auditioned for Colored Girls [in 1975] and I got it--it was my last year in college, and I had to make a choice," she recalled. "They wouldn't let me out so I stayed in and missed it. So now I get to do it for a movie."