Just like Music, movies have meanings too. Still going with the Black history theme of last week’s article “… With Meaning”. In the Black community we have many categories of movies, from comedy, musicals, romance and sports. Just like any other movie, it has to have a meaning. There always has to be a point to watching a movie, it can be either enjoyable, relatable, or both.
The first category of movies that the Black community is most fond of is musicals. The most popular musicals would be “The Wiz” (1978) and “Dreamgirls” (1981).
“The Wiz” (1978)
“The Wiz” is a 1978 American melodic experience dream filmed by Universal Pictures and Motown Productions. A recreation of L. Honest Baum’s exemplary 1900 youngsters’ novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” including an all-Black cast, the film was inexactly adjusted from the 1974 Broadway melodic of a similar name.
It follows the undertakings of Dorothy, a timid, 24 year-old Harlem teacher who ends up mystically shipped to the metropolitan dream land of Oz, which looks like a fantasy variant of New York City. Gotten to know by a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion, she goes through the city to look for a crowd of people with the baffling Wiz, who they say is simply the one incredible enough to send her home.
The film stars Diana Ross as Dorothy, Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, Nipsey Russel as the Tin Man, and Ted Ross as the Cowardly Lion.
The Wiz is one of the first musicals I have seen and it’s a classic. The movie focuses on what is within one and where the heart is. The movie has so many songs from “Ease on Down the Road” until the very end of the movie where Diana Ross sings “Home.”
“Dreamgirls” is a Broadway melodic, with music by Henry Krieger and verses and a book by Tom Eyen. In light of the big time goals and accomplishments of R&B acts — for example, The Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, and others — the melodic follows the account of a youthful female singing triplet from Chicago, Illinois called “The Dreams,” who become music geniuses.
Organized with a generally African-American cast and initially featuring Jennifer Holliday, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine, Ben Harney, Cleavant Derricks, Vondie Curtis-Hall and Obba Babatundé, the melodic opened in 1981, at the Imperial Theater on Broadway. The melodic was then selected for 13 Tony Awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical, and won six.
“Dreamgirls” is another musical that is known in the Black community, even before the 2006 adaption. The play focuses on the success of various artists and shows pain struggle but also positivity.
Within the Black culture, when it comes to movies about music, the list can continue on with “Sparkle” (1976), “Purple Rain” (1984), “School Daze” (1988) much more. Also, with having biographical movies that depict the lives of successful Black musicians, all those movies have a meaning and show the positives and the negatives of the musician.