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Author Topic: 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Netflix film  (Read 538 times)

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Offline TenBrook

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'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Netflix film
« on: December 18, 2020, 09:52:34 AM »
All,
I don't know if this has been noted here yet but I just learned that Netflix released a Ma Rainey film adaptation of August Wilson's play 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' today. Netflix's description: "Tensions and temperatures rise at a Chicago music studio in 1927 when fiery, fearless blues singer Ma Rainey joins her band for a recording session."

Here's the Netflix page with a trailer and info:
https://www.netflix.com/title/81100780

And here's a piece Rolling Stone did on Ma to coincide with the film:
https://www.rollingstone.com/ma-rainey-20-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-mother-of-the-blues/

And here's a Netflix mini-doc/explainer on Ma Rainey:
« Last Edit: December 18, 2020, 10:05:15 AM by TenBrook »

Offline Stuart

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Re: 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Netflix film
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2020, 11:35:00 AM »
Thank you, Lew. There were a couple of recent articles in the NY Times about August Wilson's enduring legacy:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/03/t-magazine/august-wilson-ma-rainey.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/11/movies/giving-voice-review.html

Offline CF

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Re: 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Netflix film
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2020, 05:29:42 AM »
The movie is very well acted but is not historically-minded or concerned and Ma is painted a cranky jerk. I personally found it overheated and over dramatic most of the time.
Good production values.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline TonyGilroy

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Re: 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Netflix film
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2020, 01:20:35 AM »
I saw it last night and liked it well enough. Well acted, very theatrical and essentially a look at black life in 1920s Chicago.

Apart from Ma Rainey all the characters are fictional and she isn't really at the centre of the action. It's certainly not biographical in any sense and whilst she sings a couple of songs it isn't in any way a musical. The band plays whilst rehearsing but mainly bickering.

Good performances and well worth seeing. On netflix in the UK.

Offline Mike Billo

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Re: 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Netflix film
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2020, 06:48:52 PM »
Sometimes, the acting and writing styles of the stage and the acting and writing styles of film, translate well from one to the other

       That's not the case here. I was conscious every minute of watching a movie, of a play, being filmed. Nothing at all organic or naturalistic. A lot of over-acting.

      In the first 20 minutes, the main character (a disgruntled horn player) speaks the line "I want to play real music. Not this Jug Band shit"
  I was pissed at the movie from that point on

Not recommended 

Offline blueshome

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Re: 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Netflix film
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2020, 10:04:21 AM »
I enjoyed it. Would love to see it on stage.
As a positive the profile of Ma and her music has been raised and introduced many to her recordings.

Offline Stuart

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