39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This review is from: Feast Of All Saints (DVD)i [tried] to read this book, but couldn't get past the first 250 pages or so. while it was fascinating to read and i found the characters intriguing, i didn't have the TIME to sit down and read it through: the pacing was entirely too slow. so, i put it down and promised myself to 'come back to it,' wishing SOMEONE would adapt it to film so that i could have time for the actual STORY.
i was thrilled when i discovered this dvd at the local byygglockbuster.
the film, which outlines the lives of one french-creole-haitian family in louisiana who--by a series of questionable and irreversible decisions made through generations--enjoyed the privilege of being part of the 18,000-strong community of those both black and free in early-1800's louisiana, is paced WONDERFULLY.
i found that the film adaptation was true to what i'd read in the book and the characters, except for anna bella who i thought would look more african, were just as i had imagined them in my mind. this is def. the best book-to-film I'VE ever seen. the movie was beautiful to look at and of altogether intriguing subject matter. I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. on the contrary, because it was a made-for-tv movie, i was expecting quality far LESS than that which i actually saw. the relationships between the characters were believable, as was the plot of the film. it's about 3 1/2 to 4 hours long, but it certainly didn't feel that way. in fact, i was disappointed when it ended.
the acting was great (the accents, less so). and my goodness, the cast read like a who's who in black hollywood. forest whitaker, pam grier, jasmine guy, ruby dee, ozzie davis, james earl jones, eartha kitt, goodness...the list goes on. however, those that were newer to me, such as the films protagonist marcelle (robert richard) did as well--sometimes better--than the veterans.
i love historical movies, especially those about wwii and america in the 1800s. this is the best movie of the latter category i've ever seen. it neither over-dramatizes or under-dramatizes the situation of the people it depicts (which is more than what u can say for classics such as 'gone with the wind').
i'd recommend this one to anyone.
61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Anne, they still butcher your books!,
This review is from: Feast Of All Saints (DVD)I had an interest in this story both as a woman of color and as an Anne Rice fan. After reading this book about 6 years ago, I became very passionate about it being made into a film. When I heard finally that they were going make the film and how perfectly they cast the roles I became obsessed with seeing it. Yesterday when I finally saw it (I did not have Showtime when it came out), I felt they rushed it like a bad pornography. We learned too early in the film what Lisette's relationship to Marcel was or why Richard needed Marcel to "be a brother" to Anna Bella. They definitely did not capture the importance of Christophe to the entire society .I personally felt that they only needed the talented James Earl Jones at the very end and perhaps in the beginning.
EVERY actor in this film has proven thier talent over and over again in other films yet I think with the rushed dialouge they were not given the opportunity to show the talent they usually have. Each actor , later in the movie, had moments where they shone, but only Eartha Kitt , as usual, stood out from the moment that you saw her.
It amazes me to this day that Americans of all backgrounds still pretend that people of color, no matter how light they are, have no connection with the "white" people of this country. I had hoped that this movie would be so powerful that it would make all of us think. I think this was a good movie, but not as great as it could be.
To Anne Rice fans who read Queen of the Damned first and THEN saw the movie you will feel the same way about this movie.
...Why did they bother making this a two part series if they were going to gloss over important points?
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
My take on this movie,
This review is from: Feast Of All Saints (DVD)My take on Anne Rice's Feast of All Saints
A beautiful movie about America's least known group of People in Antebellum Louisiana, Gens de Colour. As a woman of African, American Indian, and White ancestry, I've always been fascinated by those people in New Orleans who formed an aristocracy unto themselves and were free. They have their rituals, customs, and amusements such as the famous Quadroon Balls. They have rights and freedoms that most blacks and multiracials, slave and free, in antebellum America didn't have, yet they were not completely free because the power elite of that time didn't want to share power with the free people of color. They may conduct business with them, but refuse to invite them to their houses for dinner or social function.
Anne Rice has done an excellent job telling the story through the eyes of young Marcel, who came of age at 17, was promised by his absentee father an education abroad. However, because of the racism and jealousy of the Ferronaire family as well as the economic troubles at Bontemps, he was denied his lifelong dream of going there to pursue his prestigious education at the Sorbonne. He took matters in his own hands and went to the plantation where his father lives and was forbidden by his father to visit there. It was there where Marcel was brutally whipped and kicked by his own his father, in the presence of his estranged wife and children. What man would abuse his own flesh and blood? It has to be motivated by race and class: Marcel must learn his place in the white world of 19th-Century Louisiana. He learned it the hard way through the denial of privileges his absentee father enjoy as well as his humiliation and abuse by M. Ferronaire. He now learned that he must cast his allegience to people of color, whose lives have been shaped by society's limitations and its racist, classist behavior and ritual. Also, Marcel learned more about slavery, the war in Saint Domingne(Now Haiti), the limitations placed upon free people of color, the slave status of his half sister Lisette, who has the same father as he: she was the product of a liaison between Ferronaire and Zazu, a very handsome black slave woman from the Ferronaire plantation. He was upset at his mother for being ignorant of history, for her adopted mother brought her from Saint Domingue during the war of independence from France and like Lisette, a product of a liaison between a rich white planter and a beautiful black slave mother who is unnamed in both novel and film adaptation.
His mother's insane devotion to her absentee protector didn't help Marcel's recent problems, yet he must leave his family to live at his schoolteacher's house or else they lose monetary and material support from M. Ferronaire. Humiliated and hurt, Marcel offer himself to him, but Mercier refuses, citing his childish dependency upon others, especially by those whom didn't truly love him. His father was a prime example.
The free multiracial women of New Orleans were in a very precarious position. While they were praised for their "exotic" beauty, they weren't allow to marry white men. Pernicious class prejudices made it difficult to marry free multiracial men for that meant lower social status. Some of the women chose convent life, but even that is out of the question for most of them. So they settle into a lifestyle of their mothers: That being a well-kept mistress of a white man. Only certain white men qualify. He has to be wealthy, refined, educated, and of the upper class. Those women wouldn't settle for less. Case in point: The argument between Cecile Ste Marie and her daughter over her daughter's position. When Cecile's daughter Marie chose to be married to Monsieur de Lemontant's son, she was very furious at her choice, for she is expected to follow her mother in the tradition of having a wealthy, refined white man as her protector. She recently lost her lover in death who didn't bother to leave her family any provision in the event of his passing. Marcel's exile in San Souci and her daughter's pursuit of Richard Lemontant didn't help her current financial woes. She summon her long-neglected daughter to discuss about the situation and for her to accept placage, which her daughter consider it another form of slavery in a gilded cage without the benefits of marriage. They had a very heated argument over it that caused her mom to summon her less than respectable friend, Dolly Rose to her house to help Marie to see that her decision of marrying Richard isn't in her mom's best interest. She steadfast held to her position which led to disasterous consequences afterwards.
I couldn't forgive Cecile St. Marie for the neglect of her daughter, indifferent to the suffering her son had at the hands of his callous and insensitive father, the brutal rape of her daughter, and the suicide of their half-sister Lisette after the incident at the voodoo brothel. He finally found peace with his people, gens de colour libre at the end of the movie. He decides to become a photographer and to work with the people in his hometown instead of studying abroad. He also found renewed love from Anna Bella Monroe played by Bianca Lawson from "Save the Last Dance." Anna Bella emerge as the stronger character in all of this and much more, even with the placage with Aglae's brother and eventual abandonment by him. He didn't left her in poverty, for he left her the house along with all the possessions as well as lifelong monetary support which Philippe didn't do for the Ste. Marie family.
I wish Americans know more of this least-known group of people andstop the unnecessary divisions among the human race. America needs to acknowlege their ties to one another, that racial/ethnic category terms such as "blacks" and "whites" are just artificial social categories design to keep people apart and resentful of one another. We are one people regardless of our various racial and ethnic origins.
I recommend this movie to those who want to know the whole truth about American history instead of the doctored version parroted by the media and educational system.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Anne Rice - why do you let them adapt on their own?,
This review is from: Feast Of All Saints (DVD)Anne Rice has had a troubled history with her books turning into films. Unrecognizable adaptations of EXIT TO EDEN and QUEEN OF THE DAMNED are more frequent than quality films such as INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE. Here you have a half and half treatment of a novel that dealt with people who were half black and half white! Parts of it are true to the novel and its characters, and then parts will leave you scratching your head wondering where they got something. Anne Rice should step in more often and make sure these things are done right, but alas ... this one is close!
Pretty pretty sets, costumes, and actors bring to life a story of racial identity crisis in the South of the 1800s. New Orleans before the slaves were free had a third race of people who were neither black and slaves nor white and truly free. They lived on a fringe of society, and had to arrange their lives carefully or pay for the consequences. Educated bohemians they became the basis for the creoles!
It's an oft ignored subject of American history, and a beautiful story told in rich detail. The book has the luxury of its own pacing, and here the movie has to step quickly to keep up! So some of this feels rushed. But they got the right people! Famous black actors mix with unknowns, and they all come out fine and noble. Even if the dialogue or pacing does not always seem to be on their side.
But worth a look! Then read the far superior novel.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The Feast of All Saints,
This review is from: Feast Of All Saints (DVD)I am a man of African, Native American and White descent. My father and mother both from (previous) Slaves states (mother from Virginia and father from Texas) never discussed what they knew about my family history regarding slavery and the only history I learned up until high school was about White American history, so when I became an adult I had a desire to find out about American history which included slavery, because that is a part of America history. I've read several books about the subject and seen (I thought) all the movies about slavery in America. I'm glad that Anne Rice wrote the novel and allowed the movie to be made from her book, otherwise, I wouldn't have known about this part of American history. This movie moved me so much because I could identify with the characters of mixed heritage and I think every American of all races should see this movie. Just one more true story that all American's should know about so we can understand how blessed we are to have moved from that very terrible time to now. In America we still have problems, but not like the ones that existed during Slave time. I've seen this movie 6 times during 2003. It's one that I know I will be watching again and again. I've also purchased the book based on the ratings I saw at Amazon.com so I could compare it to the movie. I'd highly recommend this movie to everyone, but parents should be cautioned about showing it to young children because some of the scenes are very difficult to watch.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
What a Beautiful Movie,
By A Customer
This review is from: Feast Of All Saints (DVD)When I first saw this movie for the first time, I saw myself watching it over and over again. Being an African-American woman in America, I was tired of seeing the usual slavery movies such as Roots, Amistad, and Beloved.All movies that were difficult to watch. I'm pretty sure that both black and white america are tired of seeing the same thing over and over again! the plot is always the same white america opressing blacks! But this movie was different in every way. It actually taught me something about my history, that there were free people of color who were aristocrats, living on the thin line between priveledge and oppression.
The characters and actors put a lot of energy and feeling in this movie and I wish I could give it 10 stars! If your looking for something to watch besides Beloved, Roots, or Amistad, I highly recommend this film!!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Historical Insight to Another Side of New Orleans!,
"Creole". The drama was a story of Love, Betrayal, Romance, Finance, Family and Forgiveness. The acting by Jennifer Beal and many of the noted actors and actress' really helped one to understand what was going on in New Orleans in that time period and how Black People chose to survive without having to endure the anals of slavery, yet through the lighter skinned blacks, oppressing the darker blacks still continued the same oppression as their White counter parts. This movie is a must have for any video library. Please release soon!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
If you enjoyed the book, you'll enjoy this movie......,
A definate must see if you like historic facts about African Americans in the US. This story uncovers a lot of unknown truths about our people and is extremely entertaining. I give it 2 thumbs up !!!!
Twisted look at a lost history,
By A Customer
This review is from: Feast Of All Saints (DVD)This movie is sooo great. Of course, the movie pales in comparison to Anne Rice's novel of the same name but it is still a great film. You've got many hollywood up and comers as well as veterans that make this film awesome. One may think that this is another Roots or Queen of the Alex Hailey genre but this movie is in a league of it's own. Showtime did an excellent job in making the story a movie! If you love period pieces or just thought provoking content put into a movie check this one out!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Manages to capture the soul of New Orleans,
This review is from: Feast Of All Saints (DVD)Having not read the book, I can't compare it with the movie, but I can certainly say the movie has been enjoyable for me on its own. Especially after Katrina and the subsequent spread of the Creole people all over the US, and the possible loss of the city's culture through them.
I find this movie enlightening, and even as flawed as it gets for those who read the book, it is nonetheless a feast for the eyes and well acted. I'd certainly refrain from comparing the botched Queen of the Damned (which I have read) with this superior production. Worth owning. As a former New Orleanian, it made me homesick.
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