Spike Lee is my man! I have a great admiration of his films. His body of work is impressive, even if Hollywood doesn’t agree. Screw them, I love his work and look forward to seeing his next cinematic gem. I’d like to take this time to do a brief overview of my opinion of some of his films:
She’s Gotta Have It: This was a great film to me. I love that he filmed this entirely in black and white. When this film was released, many people viewed this film as sexist and were turned off by the fact that the main character had sexual relationships with several men. I felt the movie was pro-woman and the main character was a sexually liberated female who had needs and desires similar to many men.
School Daze: School Daze was a look into Black college life. At the time it was released, I didn’t know too many people who went to HBU’s or any colleges for that matter, so it opened my eyes to a whole new world. I also was not aware at the time that colorism and classism among Blacks was such a major issue. Loved this film too!
Do The Right Thing: Again, another eye opening experience. Being from the Midwest, I had no idea that there was such a great racial divide happening in New York. I’d always viewed NY as a liberal place where everyone just simply coexisted. This film led me to do more research on NY and learn more about those issues.
Jungle Fever: This film showed the possible outcome of the interracial dating experience. I had never experienced interracial dating prior to seeing this film, so I didn’t know much about the subject. I appreciated the way the film showed both all sides of the coin by showcasing friends, family, and co-workers reaction to the coupling.
Malcolm X: The Oscar committee owes Spike Lee a big ass apology for totally overlooking this film. I was so angry that this film was snubbed so badly by the Academy. From start to finish, the film is an epic on par with The Godfather as one of the greatest film ever. You can tell Spike was really passionate about this subject and really wanted to convey to the public how significant Malcolm X was.
Crooklyn: A beautiful, moving story of Black family love, pain, and survival. Spike did an excellent job with a very sensitive subject, children dealing with the death of a parent. This film was also a great memory lane trip of the 70’s.
Summer Of Sam: This movie did not do well at all at the box office. I feel this film is highly underrated. I have always been intrigued by the Son Of Sam murders and was pleased with Spike’s interpretation of the events surrounding the case. I think critics and audiences alike for two main reasons panned it: Reason 1- I don’t think critics appreciated a Black man recreating a story that featured a serial killer. Possibly because serial killings are not a big part of the Black experience. Most serial killers and victims are White people so maybe they felt that Spike could not do justice to the subject matter. Reason 2-Black movie patrons were probably so accustomed to one genre of film from Spike. This film was a sharp departure from his previous work.
Bamboozled: Now this is the first Spike film that I can honestly say I did not like. I’ve watched it twice and both times I came away with the feeling that Spike made this film out of anger. The entire film feels “bitter”. Also, it was so much like another great film, Putney Swope…that to me it had a “been there, done that” quality to it.
She Hate Me: This would be the second film of Spike’s that I did not enjoy, not only did I not enjoy it, I found it highly offensive. I could not figure out Spike’s agenda for this film. At first you have this whole whistle blowing, shaking up the system type of vibe, and then you flip it to a man being paid to impregnate lesbians. It perpetuated the “big Black buck” stereotype to the fullest IMO. I was not pleased with this film at all.
When The Levees Broke: A return to the greatness that is Spike Lee! This 4-part series was a mind-blowing and eye-opening look into the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. It supplied me with knowledge about this tragedy that the media conveniently left out. I cried, laughed, and rejoiced while watching this documentary. Spike did a superb job and I hope he finally gets the recognition he so deserves.
Labels: Eccentric Diva