Lee And Non-NYC

Just some thoughts I had from conversation about Spike Lee handling spaces that are not his home New York City. From Chi-Raq to Levees, there is always critique of Lee when handling places that do not resemble his Brooklyn upbringing.

This article is old, but discusses am upcoming documentary on racial politics (assumingly) in Brazil that Lee is directin at the moment. It is set to release this year. I was wondering about people’s thoughts on how Spike Lee treats other places and, if yes, how does that treatmwnt further a particular directorial agenda?

Balancing Art with Artist Intent

As people who watch films, listen to music, and read books, we are constant consumers of art. As students and critical thinkers, we not only consume, but analyze this art. Something that I’ve noticed is that when critiquing a film, I often wonder about intent.

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Dave Chappelle in Chi-Raq

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Ever since we watched Hollywood Shuffle and Bamboozled, Dave Chappelle and his decision to leave his highly successful show in the mid-2000s has been very interesting to me. He decided to leave the show as he felt that the jokes he was making were actually reinforcing and perpetuating the racist thought that he was hoping to make fun of and eradicate. After leaving his show, and the millions of dollar Continue reading “Dave Chappelle in Chi-Raq”

Historical Memory in Levees

I found it interesting how much Historical Memory played into the New Orleans citizen’s suspicion of their levee being blown by the government. There was a certainty among a number of people who were interviewed that there was an explosion that caused the Levee to break during Hurricane Katrina. Sylvester Francis was certain that “they bombed that sucker”(23:40), “they” one can presume to be the government.

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The Ultimate Knicks Fan

Spike Lee is arguably the most famous Knicks fan on the floor each night. The man is committed, even after this brutal season. It’s interesting that after devoting his life to this one team– and certainly bringing publicity to the team– he doesn’t get the love back from the organization.

Phil Jackson said of Spike Lee, “Spike is an avid Knicks fan who doesn’t know anything about basketball.” Judging by that Knicks record, Phil, your triangle offense ain’t working either.

How might Lee, being one of the most famous Knicks fans, use his influence to further the African-American cause? Why might the organization push back on Lee’s association with them?

Birmingham Sunday in 4 Little Girls

I thought Spike Lee’s use of the folk song “Birmingham Sunday” by Joan Baez in the opening of the 4 Little Girls documentary was perfect as the song, juxtaposed with the images of four girls that the song was about, perfectly places the viewer into the time period and gives an immediate overview of what happened on that fateful day at 16th Street Baptist Church.

More so than that, I thought Lee’s ability to recall the song later in the film, when it is revealed that Bill Baxley listened to Baez’s Continue reading “Birmingham Sunday in 4 Little Girls”

Spike Lee in Get On The Bus

It is interesting to note that Get on The Bus is Lee’s first film in which he does not play a starring role. Despite this fact his presence was still felt through the character Xavier. I know that when I viewed the film I clearly saw similarities between himself and Xavier (AKA “X”), a UCLA film student who is making a documentary film on the Million Man March. Continue reading “Spike Lee in Get On The Bus”

25th Hour Montage: Continuation of Do The Right Thing

 

In the most famous scene from Lee’s 2002 film, 25th Hour, Edward Norton’s character goes on to to curse out every single race and creed in New York City in a montage that people have read as a love/hate letter to all New Yorkers.

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