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New In Theaters Today - John Akomfrah's "The Nine Muses"

by Tambay A. Obenson
October 7, 2011 3:35 AM
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The Nine Muses, the latest offering from award-winning Ghanaian-born Brit director, John Akomfrah's, opened today, beginning a 1-week theatrical run here in New York City at the theaters at the Museum Of Modern Art.

New Yorkers will be able to see the film, which made its stateside debut at this year's Sundance Film Festival, when it runs at MoMA from October 6 - October 12.

While I was at Sundance, I didn't get to see the film, but, thankfully, now I'll get my opportunity.

Although MsWOO saw it when the film debuted at the London Film Festival in the fall of 2010, and she discussed and reviewed it on the old S&A site HERE.

The experimental film is described as "an allegorical fable divided into overlapping musical chapters, this film retells the history of mass migration to post-war Britain through the suggestive lens of Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey."

A little background on Akomfrah for those unaware... originally from Accra, Ghana, Akomfrah moved to the UK as a child. He studied art and sociology in college. At 28, he made his seminal film, Handsworth (1986), about racial and civil strife of 1980s Britain, and has since made 16 other films, including Seven Songs for Malcolm X (1993), Martin Luther King: Days of Hope (1997) and The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong (1999).

In 1982, he co-founded the Black Audio Film Collective, with the objectives of addressing issues of Black British identity.

I'll share my thoughts after I see it.

Will it travel to other cities? I have no info on whether it will at the moment.

Watch its enigmatic trailer below:

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  • CareyCarey | October 5, 2011 11:08 AMReply

    I tried it again... and it worked! :-)

    Now check this, MsWoo is such an excellent writer that midway through the post I started to stop reading. She was taking me there... I was watching the movie through her words. But I was hooked so I kept reading. And the following made sense to me:

    "Seeming to share the same feeling of despair that had consumed me, she said she liked it but wondered how to recommend such a film and, given that she was from a radio station that caters to a Black British audience, I understood her concern"~ MsWoo

    Listen, the synopsis didn't hit me but her words did, and it appears this movie is right in my groove zone. But it's not a movie I could recommend or watch with my lady or any of my friends. I mean, based on MsWoo's discription (& the synopsis,) I could "do" this movie all by myself. I could feel it, ponder it, pause it, think about it and enjoy it all by myself.

    NOw how do I get a copy?

    Btw Tambay, I also read your comment, so I'll be interest to hear what you have to say about it. And, what didn't you like about the directors style? I'm asking becuase I'm thinking about checking out his earlier work.

  • tambay | October 5, 2011 1:58 AMReply

    Try it again Carey.

  • CareyCarey | October 5, 2011 1:46 AMReply

    MsWoo's link does not work. I was interested in what she had to say b/c I believe her "voice" would be perfect to describe / analyze a movie of this nature. First, Homer's epic poem is a challenge from the jump, so entwining “film” with that Odyssey would certainly be interesting.

    John Akomfrah’s background and past films also peaked my interests.

  • Nia | October 2, 2011 7:37 AMReply

    Wow. This looks stunning. I love the narration paired with the different film types.

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