Certainly looking forward to seeing this, whenever it gets released. Any sour mood can be alleviated by playing Fela Kuti1 at high volume and dancing around, shaking one’s hips with abandon.
Focus Features has set Steve McQueen to direct “Fela,” a feature film based on the life of African musician and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti — the subject of the recently opened Broadway musical “Fela!”
McQueen, the British artist who made his feature directing debut last year on the Irish hunger strike drama “Hunger” will write the script with Biyi Bandele, based on the Michael Veal book “Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon.” Cine Mosaic’s Lydia Pilcher and Leigh Blake are producing. The musical has spurred a resurgence of interest in Fela, who died in 1997, and his Afrobeat musical style, which is a fusion of American jazz, funk and West African drums.
The musical is not connected to the film project: Focus is basing its pic on a rights package consisting of screen rights to Fela’s music and his life story, plus Veal’s book.
Fela lived large — with some 27 wives — and paid a high price for speaking out against oppression in Nigeria. In one attack on his home, Fela’s 78-year-old mother was killed after being thrown from a second-story window. Fela responded by placing her coffin on the steps of the Nigerian leader’s residence.
“Fela might be the most globally influential pop artist outside the Beatles in the last 50 years,” said Focus topper James Schamus.
[Click to continue reading Focus to film ‘Fela’ feature – Entertainment News, Film News, Media – Variety]
I’ve also heard rumors that all of Fela’s albums are going to be remastered and released, soon, but haven’t run across any details about the release schedule yet.Footnotes:
- Sorrow Tears and Blood, for instance [↩]