Spike Lee: a new black wave of cinema
We've spent past two weeks in a collective state of horror and anger over George Floyd's killing at the hands of Minneapolis police, officer Dirk, Shaaban, just one thousand unjustly killed by police. It's hard to look at what happened. Floyd, and not think of Radio Raheem Bill. Nuns character from do the right thing. Or countries fucked up needs to change. No American filmmaker has had the foresight or insight about that need for change quite like spike has. Some directors interpret the past some capture the present spike does both and he sees the future. Spent some time in the past few weeks. Returning to some spikes movies in anticipation of his new film to five bloods, it's a staggering body of work as wide as it as deep as warm and inviting as provocative and laden with traps ever. Spike isn't the totality of the black filmmaking experience and I don't want to suggest that, but for forty years he's told stories about that experience that have been seen more widely and discussed more feverishly than anyone and they still haven't been seen enough. Of the conversations you've been having with loved ones this month about the problems that people are forced to look at more closely police brutality, systemic racism locally sanctioned violence gentrification, tribal loyalty, the failures of government, personal sacrifice versus public good hiring practices, power, art and money spike was ahead of most Americans for decades on these issues, but while the stories he tells are frequently polemical. His movies are quite nuanced. They rarely tell you exactly what to think. Instead foisting contradictions and crises, interviewers, laps and making them decide. He crafts extraordinary dilemma movies inspired by the new Orrin Westerns and social dramas that he studied at Nyu and even though he doesn't force a conclusion is movies are frequently an intelligence test over the years, critics and audiences have repeatedly shown their ass immediately upon exiting a spike movie. For person like me seeing his work at a young age me up, helped me see beyond my keyhole-size view of the world, but it's not like spike wasn't relatable. He was the Avatar of new. York Knicks FANDOM! He was a regular presence on TV and Jordan commercials. He was directing music videos and frequently according controversy in the movie world he consistently challenged fans and detractors to reexamine their beliefs, and he always destabilized our comfort at sixty three. He is still very much a vital filmmaker. Twenty eight teams Black Klansman was among his most honored films and marked his First Competitive Oscar win for best adapted screenplay. Spike is a hall of Famer on this show and his work accounts for some of my favorite movies ever made. This episode is dedicated to those movies and will include conversations with a couple of his key collaborators as well as a part of a conversation that was more than I had on the watchable last summer. About Lee's nineteen eighty-nine masterpiece. Do the right thing. That movie redefines the term remarkable. In it! You can see and hear the pain and conflict. We're talking about right now. Watch it again. If you haven't really later in the show, we'll have a conversation with jazz. Musician and film composer Terence Blanchard a longtime contributor of spikes. They've teamed up on fifteen films including two five bloods, and he is truly one of the great writers of music for movies. I also wanted to share a conversation I had with the film editor Barry Alexander Brown in February. Two Thousand Nineteen, after he received an Oscar nomination for his work on Black Klansman they've been together since spikes first movie. She's gotTa, have it? Like so many great filmmakers spike works with the same crew over and over again, not just Aronson Berry, but production designer when Thomas Costume. Designer Ruth Carter casting director Robby Reed, and that incredible troop you've seen over and over again in his movies Denzel Washington, of course, Johnsboro on Davis Samuel Jackson Roger One of Your Smith Arthur Nas. Kerala Delroy Lindo is Ahah whitlock junior Alleluia Debbie Masar Ruby Dee, the list goes on. Later this week will be back with a review of spikes, the five bloods, which will be available to watch on Netflix on Friday, it's the story of four black Vietnam veterans who return to the jungle for some unsettled business, its reunion of sorts of some of those actors, and for it's a kind of mission statement about missions. Lastly. We'd like to top five on this show. Spike is made more than thirty feature length films, many of which are indisputable classics to cover every style and format under the Sun. Drama Comedy Crime Films Romances Documentary Sports Movies farce satire musical. He's really done at all. I would recommend virtually every movie he's ever made, but before I share my five year a few places, you can watch his movies just in case you're trying to bone up on some of the ones you've missed. Overlook along the way.