Initial Impression Thread: Malcolm X

I absolutely loved this movie, though I am not sure I liked all of the techniques Lee uses within it. The movie isn’t up on Moodle for me to create screenshots yet, but I found it odd that Lee used some of his more experimental/informal techniques in such a serious, otherwise realistic movie. For example, I was confused why Lee had the camera spin when Malcolm X was waiting for yet another person to call him and threaten his murder, and I didn’t like it when Malcolm X seemed like the drugged-out young men in Crooklyn and his surroundings disappeared. These techniques seemed kind of juvenile for such a mature film.

As soon as the movie is up on Moodle, I’ll post screenshots to illustrate the points I discuss. What are your thoughts?

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Author: arohde

First-time blogger; full-time student

3 thoughts on “Initial Impression Thread: Malcolm X”

  1. Loved it. Long, but worth it. It was such a successful film at showing the other side of the history books and really showing who Malcolm X was. I thought it was funny Lee included a small jab at MLK when the CIA was monitoring the phone calls and said, “This guy is like a Monk compared to King” referencing King’s infidelity that is often glanced over or never mentioned. This film effectively showed why Malcolm X is such an important leader and to show his real story that is not the history book version of “total segregation back to Africa and advocate of violence” because that’s really not the story. Denzel did a great job as usual.

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  2. For me, I enjoyed this movie from start to finish. Despite the length of the film, I think it was because Lee used some of his earlier filming techniques that kept the movie moving. For example, when Malcolm walks off the screen to what is our left to show him leaving the space when he has an argument with Betty, but then in the following scene Malcolm returns to a new space from again our left. Also, the spinning of the camera I enjoyed because just as Malcolm felt in that moment, I was scared, confused, worried of what move to make next. So yes, Lee’s ways of filming work again in X but for different reasons.

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    1. I also really enjoyed the movie. Actually, I thought some of the camera angles in this film were the most interesting/sophisticated we’d scene thus far. I especially liked when every time Malcolm was going through a psychological change where his mind was being opened up to a new form of thought, the camera would show him at an high angle– making his presence seem intimidating to the viewer. I thought this was insanely clever technique.

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