if there is any film that will no doubt divide critics and pundits over the next few weeks it’s Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls.” The long awaited movie adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s classic play, the film features some outstanding performances, but faces a number of challenges at the box office and among numerous cinefiles ready to pounce on anything Mr. Perry tries to do on the big screen. I’ll be discussing that issue much closer to the film’s Nov. 5 release, but in the meantime, Lionsgate has launched a slew of impressive interactive “Living Portraits” as part of an online initiative for the film.<
Conceived by Tim Palen, the studio’s marketing chief, the “Living Portraits” feature the film’s ensemble of Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Kerry Washington, Loretta Divine, Whoopi Goldberg, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad and Loretta Devine and will be available for viewing in person at the Lehman Maupin gallery between October 24th-27th at the gallery’s 540 West 26th Street location in Manhattan. These are also the portrait images that were released as individual posters and are part of the film’s moving trailer.
Palen has made a name for himself with his groundbreaking print marketing efforts for the studio, much of which he’s shot or art directed himself. Sometimes it’s awards worthy (“Precious,” “Hostel,” “W.”) and other times it’s not (“Killers,” “The Spirit”). Still, he’s championed out of the box thinking that has at times made Lionsgate’s bigger competitors look like old school amateurs. You can argue that this sort of “Living Portraits” gallery for “Colored Girls” artistically overshadows Perry’s work (style is not the Atlanta filmmaker’s strong suit), but it certainly will draw attention to the picture from different audiences. And, frankly, that’s Palen’s number one priority in his day job.
Because each imbed Lionsgate has provided starts off automatically, I’ve provided just the Kimberly Elise portrait below. To view the impressive encapsulated online gallery experience in context with eight portraits, click here.
“For Colored Girls” opens nationwide Nov. 5. Look for interviews with the cast and Perry on HitFix soon.