It was exciting to participate in the panel the OEB Society hosted at The Society for Utopian Studies conference this past weekend in Charleston, SC. Claire Curtis was doing double duty as one of the conference chairs and as a founding officer of the OEB Society. Two of the four papers were specifically Butlerian in nature. I gave a paper called “Next Will and Testament: Black Girls Rock Utopian Reformation” and Edward K. Chan from Aichi University in Japan titled his talk “Octavia’s Butler’s Lilith’s Brood as Haptic Utopia.” I began my talk by noting that as a person who studies film and media, Butler’s works are among the best films no one has ever seen. Edward’s paper was all about imagining Butler’s work on film. We got into an interesting discussion about who could direct a Butler film. Names like Ridley Scott and Peter Jackson flew about the room. I said when it came to Lilith’s Brood I’d vote for Steve McQueen. Of course, I’m fresh from being impressed with his handling of the human factor in @12 Years a Slave. (The moment that most impressed me from that film was how McQueen chooses to highlight Solomon’s return home after twelve years in hell. The first thing Solomon does is to apologize to his family for his appearance. That humanized him more than any other moment in the film for me. He was afraid of offending his family. After all he’d gone through, he still honored them and held them in such gentle and high esteem.)
It would take that kind of attention to detail and not just access to the latest CGI technology to do justice to OEB’s work. The other person on my list would be, my all time favorite, @JulieDash. She is another director whose ability to nuance time, character, color, sound, and expression would make her handling of Lilith, Anyanwu, Dana or Shori mind-blowing. I am including a link to an article written for The Griot by OEB Society officer Tananarive Due about projects that are currently in the works.