There’s nothing better than music and movies to compliment a hot sunny day. On Friday July 20th, ImageNation hosted yet another day of the Summer Outdoor Film Festival, but this time with a Pulitzer winner as well as the screening of an award winning film.
Some winners of prestigious awards simply rest knowing they’ve earned such an achievement, but not Suzan Lori Parks. Parks, recipient of 2002 Pulitzer Prize for her masterpiece of a play Topdog Underdog (2001) has started a band, and she gave the St. Nicolas Park audience an epic performance.
Suzan Lori Parks And The Band, made up of Parks, Christian Konopka, and Michael Vitali are group devoted to creating music that fits within the genres of Modern Soul, Black-Country, Psychedelic-Afro-Righteous. On Friday, Parks, who sung, played guitar and harmonica along with her guitarist Christian Konopka performed hit songs like, Love Revolution, Someone, and The Looking Song. Not only did the combination of instruments matched with Parks’ voice sound tremendous, but the overall message of her music to spoke to the crowd. One message I took from her songs was that one shouldn’t place boundaries on expressing themselves. In addition another message I took specifically from Love Revolution, was to truly display love and appreciate to all forms of life whether it’s a human being or even a plant. Parks and her music definitely had left a great impression on the crowd, myself included.
After the performance, the audience began to get ready for the screening of award winning film, Fences (2016), which featured both Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. Fences was originally written as a play by August Wilson, and Washington absolutely did a great job of taking the patented play, to the big screen. From an aesthetic point of view, Washington's version of Fences is as good as it gets, since he stuck to the same few settings like in the play. Most of the film was set inside the house, or in the front yard just like how it was in Wilson’s play.
As for the acting, I mean it’s Denzel and Viola, so audiences already knew the acting was going to be spot on. I feel the best part about the film was the fact that each actor matched the personalities of the characters within the play perfectly. Also, each character’s monologue held the same amount of value, which is always an important aspect in any film.
Regarding the content in general, Fences is a great work of art. It takes viewers on a journey through the good, bad, and ugly of the family dynamic. It shows how important the values of respect, trust, forgiveness, acceptance, and love play such a crucial role within any family relationship.
In conclusion, both the performance and film were amazing, and we were honored to have Suzan Lori Parks and her band in attendance. I was also able to catch up with Parks, so stay tuned for our interview.