Initial Impression Thread: Crooklyn

About half of our blog watched the movie on Friday night in Professor Parham’s office (I realized a few hours after the movie that everyone there is in this blog group). It was a pretty intimate setting, which turned out to be a very nice thing once we got to the end of the film. It’ll be interesting to compare the experiences of the Friday night viewers and the Sunday night viewers.


Author: arohde

First-time blogger; full-time student

5 thoughts on “Initial Impression Thread: Crooklyn”

  1. I thought this movie was an emotional roller coaster and captured a great coming-of-age story through the eyes of Troy. Lee did a great job capturing both the pros and cons of growing up in a bustling household with so many children. I think one interesting thing to note is that this is very much an autobiographical film about Spike Lee’s sister, Joie Susannah Lee, who wrote the main story for the film.


  2. I loved this film, it is probably my favorite of Spike Lee so far and for a couple reasons. Story, characters and nuance. This story sucks you in and has your full attention the entire time, meshed beautifully with the strong character development in Troy, the parents and her siblings as they all did a wonderful job acting. Lee uses nostalgia paired with these relatable characters and touches on the nuances of big family living together trying to make ends meet. The audience by the end of the film is connected to the characters so strongly either through the nostalgia, relatable family nuances, story or some combination of the three that it leaves you saying “wow” at the credits role. “Wow” because you’ve just experienced so much packed in to 2 hours, maybe you relate to the whole movie, parts or none of it, but I believe this film resonates with a large audience and leaves everyone connected to the story in one way or another.

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  3. This film plucked at the heart-strings in the “family” region for me. It was refreshing yet in many ways deeply familiar to experience the story from the perspective of the daughter in the family. From beginning to end, this film felt believable to me. To put the term believable in perspective as I’m using it here, I’ll refer to the scene of domestic violence. Having witnessed such scenes myself, the build-up from random conversation to verbal argument to disciplining the children while upset through to violence (partially masked for the audience) all felt true-to-life. Beyond that, it all felt fair to the characters as individuals.


  4. It’s also striking to know that this film is very much of a coming-of-age story for a black woman and brings up questions and what roles black women should assume. I can definitely tell the difference between Crooklyn and Lee’s other films: the thematics and constructions of the film are slight and subtle, but still ever-so-present. This observation (how Troy gradually embraces her blackness as a woman through her hair and clothing, the different camera ratio when Troy is in the South with relatives, etc.) made me realize the type of director Lee is striving to be. You can tell this film was a collaboration of some sort, especially with family, as @thomasgilligan points out: it’s handled gentler than the others.

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  5. Just as @thomasgilligan points out, this film was handled gentler than most other films Lee has made. The coming of age story of a young black woman is left out in the movies. The only movie I can remember off the top of my head the circles around young black girls or black women is “The Secret Life of Bees”. For me, the thing that sticks out the most is the soundtrack. Although I did not grow up during the 70s when most of these songs were released, I am very familiar with the music because of the memories I have associated with it. I heard most of these songs during clean-up days, during car rides with my parents, or in my numerous dance classes I took growing up. I was drawn in by the music heard with the childhood innocence, adult issues, family structure, and a wide range of situations and emotions on the screen


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