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  • (upbeat jazz music)

  • - I saw "Ma Rainey" in, whatever it was, '84 on Broadway

  • and was blown away.

  • I never heard that kind of music in words before.

  • - I ain't going to be too many more of your fools.

  • - Boy, ain't nobody studyin' you.

  • - All right, and I ain't nobody.

  • Don't pay me no mind.

  • I ain't nobody.

  • - Ain't nobody but the devil.

  • - There you go!

  • That's who I am.

  • I'm the devil.

  • I ain't nothing but the devil.

  • - I know a man sold his soul to the devil.

  • (men scoff)

  • Name of Eliza Cotter.

  • Lived in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.

  • (men laugh)

  • The devil came by and he upped and sold him his soul.

  • - The dialogue just pops, and it does crackle.

  • People are lyrical with language.

  • - It's poetry.

  • And he's been called American Shakespeare.

  • - The voices are so different with August Wilson.

  • They draw you in because of the beauty

  • of the sentence structure.

  • - You colored and you can make them some money

  • then you all right with them.

  • Otherwise you're just a dog in the alley.

  • - I think Ruben Santiago-Hudson did a really beautiful job

  • when it comes to the screenplay.

  • - Ruben adores August's writing.

  • So in many respects, he brought this purity.

  • And for lack of better words,

  • I brought a kind of storytelling irreverence.

  • - August Wilson translates beautifully, his storytelling.

  • But it also helps to have a director

  • who can find the essence that makes it

  • a moving picture storytelling process.

  • - It was so important to George and to Denzel and myself

  • to make sure it's cinematic.

  • It doesn't feel like you're just watching it

  • in a theater with a proscenium.

  • - Chicago 1927 is so specific, and I hate nostalgia.

  • Nostalgia puts a patina on history.

  • And when you do that, you discredit the texture

  • of the people who lived through that moment.

  • - I can't tell people what it was like.

  • You were teleported back in time.

  • You were there.

  • You weren't just imagining it.

  • You could see it.

  • You could taste it.

  • You could touch it.

  • - It's the challenge for the filmmaker.

  • And I hate to use that word, open it up

  • but to interpret it, the way he or she feels.

  • In the play, the cops bring Ma Rainey into the studio.

  • So that was a simple one.

  • Hey, let's get out in the street.

  • Now we go outside.

  • We go, "Wait, wait a minute.

  • "Not only can we go out in the street,

  • "let's have the accident."

  • - I got eyes, you got eyes--

  • - Ma, what the hell happened? - Listen to me--

  • - Better tell this man who I am.

  • Better get him straight.

  • Tell this man who he messing with!

  • - Taking a story from stage to film,

  • you know, as an actor, it's just more intimate.

  • The camera's just a few inches from where you are

  • and you have to have some practice

  • and really feeling like it's coming from you.

  • That it's not a performance, that you're not playing

  • to someone in a 2,000-seat theater.

  • - I seen my daddy go up and grin in this cracker's face...

  • (chortles)

  • smile in his face and sell him his land.

  • All the while he's planning how he's gonna to get him

  • and what he's gonna do to him.

  • That taught me how to handle them.

  • - The great thing about August Wilson is

  • it's the greatest parts that I've read

  • for African-American actors.

  • - While I feel that the beauty of August's work

  • being seen globally is that the African-American experience

  • is being experienced globally.

  • That's why it's important.

  • (slow jazz music)

(upbeat jazz music)

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A2 Netflix devil august ain storytelling wilson

Stage to Screen | Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom | Netflix

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/04
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