Livin’ Da Dream

I originally wanted to write this post after we watched “He Got Game”. But, the semester is almost ending and I thought it would be cool to share.

Outside of creating amazing films, Spike Lee was the creative mind being the My Career 2K16 video game that came lat year. The theme chosen was about being the story, the star that rises despite all the obstacles. When I first heard of this, I was excited because of Lee’s success with “He Got Game”, starring great and deadly three-point shooter Ray Allen who deals with a rocky relationship with his imprisoned father, played by Denzel Washington. I recommend watching “He Got Game” on your own time and then comparing it to My Career 2K16 cut scenes.

In both “He Got Game” and “”Livin’ Da Dream” the main character, the future basketball star, struggles with pursuing their dreams of the basketball while dealing with issues on the sideline. Lee combines his artistic skills with his love for basketball to give you an epic master piece of drama. Also, despite this being made for a video game, Lee explores some issues we have discussed before and uses familiar scenes, such as the post office offering reliable jobs to help put children through school, men bonding in car scenes, defining blackness, and masculinity. If you have time, please watch the video below. What similarities and differences do you find between this film and other films we have watched in class?

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Author: jayjay

photographer, dancer, aspiring lawyer

3 thoughts on “Livin’ Da Dream”

    1. For me, this film “Livin’ Da Dream” explores a virtual reality because it is a video game platform. Using video games helps Lee spread his message to a younger generation. At the same time, it does give us insight on other ways we can document a history and create a live book. In this case, we get the story of Freq on his rise to the NBA, a dream so very few athletes get to achieve. At the same time, we get to learn of critical relationships between hard working parents, a sister who always has your back, and a loyal friend who is struggling to find his own path. Each of these are real people but now in a digital world to fit a fictitious story. Along the way, we the see the importance of long term relationships and those who honestly care and have your best interest at heart. Although the ending to this film is tragic, we do learn more of the human condition and the necessity for love; in this particular case, the necessity for black love and brotherhood (my midterm post discusses this a little). We also Lee’s love for young black men in urban centers, and it is rare to see a man accomplish both in his films we have seen in class and now a new digital platform in video games.

      Also now that I think about this, NBA 2K16 was released a few months before “Chi-Raq”. So Lee was working on both of these at the same time. So who knows what really is going through Lee’s mind during the time creating both of these, especially after today’s class discussion.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hey,

    I low key missed this post–I only saw it after your comment on my post about the video game. I think it’s so great how Lee is able to explore meaningful issues even through the video game platform. Also, thinking about this idea of virtual filmmaking that I mentioned in my post. I think it’s meaningful that Spike Lee was able to use a few of his signature techniques / angles (especially during the documentary-like portions) even though the video game is animated. I wonder if 2k will continue to bring in artists to help with their storylines, or revert back to the way they usually do things.

    Liked by 1 person

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