What Time It Is

 

There has been one common occurrence throughout the three Spike Lee Joints that we have watched thus far this semester. In BamboozledDo The Right Thing and School Daze, the opening shot of the action (excluding the opening credits) all feature images of a clock. In Bamboozled, the opening shot is within Delacroix’s apartment, which must be within a clock tower, because one of his walls features a giant glass clock face. In Do The Right Thing, Lee transitions from Rosa Perez’s impassioned “Fight The Power” opening to a extreme close-up of an alarm clock that is held by DJ Daddy Love as he announces, “Wake Up!” Lastly, in School Daze, after letting the audience know that it is Friday at Mission College, Lee fades into a shot of a clock tower before panning to Dap’s divestment protest at the clock tower’s base.

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Snaps to That

I have been wondering about Tongues Untied in the context of School Daze. In fact, I’ve been wondering about framing School Daze by some of the themes and motifs brought up in Tongues Untied. Piggy-backing from the idea of Spike Lee not being able to handle sexuality as well as he could, especially sexuality within the black community, I must say that I completely agreed and Tongues Untied solidifies that for me. Continue reading “Snaps to That”

School Daze, Frats and HBCUs

In class, I made the comment that I was “annoyed” at the fraternities story line that constituted so much of the plot of Spike Lee’s School Daze. A part of me still feels this way: I did not enjoy watching all of the pledges complete the various humiliating (and, in some cases, homoerotic) tasks set before them by their soon-to-be brothers, and I was much more interested in other aspects of the film. In fact, I was much more interested in the sororities story line, which provided insightful commentary on the divide between dark-skinned and light-skinned African Americans, which paralleled the divide between black women who try to change or hide their stereotypically black traits (such as the texture of their hair and the color of their eyes) and those who do not. In the film, Lee gives a name to this divide: the war between the “Wannabes” and the “Jigaboos.” Lee even accentuates said battle with a pretty fantastic musical number. 

Continue reading “School Daze, Frats and HBCUs”