Blanche Dunn, the exceedingly stylish Harlem Renaissance-era actress who was also a mainstay at Carl Van Vechten’s legendary parties which were, as Langston Hughes put it, “so Negro that they were reported as a matter of course in the colored society columns, just as though they occurred in Harlem instead of West 55th street.”
JAZZ KINGS a drama set in 1920’s Harlem New York during the influx of the Harlem Renaissance, the upswing of gangsters, prohibition, and suffrage, following Evelyn “Evie” Holmes [Zoe Saldana], as she navigates her new life in the city, where she quickly becomes beguiled by the new Jazz scene and the world of the men who run it…
I’ve got this whole concept where Evie is from Louisiana, but wants to try her luck as a real New Yorker cosmopolitan kinda gal, and so she legs it to Harlem and gets herself a job and a crappy tiny apartment with a few other girls, and meets some really glam dolls who lend her things so she can go dancing (because she’s so obsessed with work and they just wanna show her a good time) and she learns to loosen up and becomes a bit of a rebellious flapper since she’s away from her parents and she makes friends with Zhang Ziyi’s character who was working as maybe a waitress or something and they just get it and how people are bringing them down and they bemoan working and Evie meets the Jazz scene boys, with different groups and their followers vying to be the Jazz King, and there is sneaky alcohol consumption and mafia, and ~trendy~ white people who try to move in on the scene but mostly cause problems and the white ladies are always chatting about suffrage but they really only care about themselves for the most part and their new ability to vote. People have intense literary discussions and talk about Langston Hughes or Zora Neale Hurston or Dorothy Parker if you’re gettin’ outta Harlem and Warren G Harding scandalizes everyone then DIES, Calvin Coolidge gets elected, people listen to the radio for news. Also people are dropping dead of wood grain alcohols smuggled in as drinking liquors and sometimes people get bumped off if you know what I mean~ and there would be a lot of sex because progressivism.
IT’S THE BEE’S KNEES.
…In my fake TV show, I’m having Zhang Ziyi. Fight me.