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"While it doesn't seem groundbreaking, I know I will watch it eventually because of the four legends in the cast." - Rebecca

"Adored both Bergen and Keaton (and Garcia!), liked Fonda and unfortunately, thought Steenburgen kind of drew the short straw here. Overall, had a ball!" - Andrew


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Entries in Spike Lee (30)

Saturday
May192018

Cannes Closing Ceremony - the Palme to "Shoplifters"

by Nathaniel R

The 71st edition of Cannes has ended. The closing ceremony started all fiery with Asia Argento reminding the audience that she was raped at the festival and Harvey Weinstein used to use Cannes as his "hunting ground" but after that impassioned speech, this settled quickly into the usual Closing Ceremony format of jury introductions, and strange presentation of awards in which "presenters" don't actually do the presenting but then turn to Madame President (in this case Cate Blanchett in a dress with a bow the size of her entire body on its back) to read out the winners.

So here's one last gif-heavy look at Cannes, which is really our first look (since the films have yet to open anywhere) at the winners from the closing ceremony. Many of these titles will go on to further glories at other festivals and hopefully in theatrical release in the US and some will definitely be Oscar foreign language film submissions. But even if this is the end of their awards run, winning prizes at Cannes remains a very big deal...

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Tuesday
May152018

Yes No Maybe So: BlacKkKlansman

by Nathaniel R

Why you acting like you don't got skin in the game."

What a treat. Just as Spike Lee's latest joint was premiering at Cannes we were got the trailer. The movie is a true story about a black officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. Spike Lee's given it a comic spin and it looks like a potentially huge hit. 

Let's do the Yes No Maybe So™ breakdown and take in some Cannes reactions after the jump, shall we... 

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Tuesday
May152018

Cannes: How's the Palme d'Or Competition Shaping Up?

by Nathaniel R

Which of the 21 films that Cate Blanchett and her jury are screening, will win the Palme d'Or? It's the most coveted film festival prize in the world and it's always a nail biter even when the prize seems obvious due to the vagaries of jury voting. Only one film will win the Palme but juries are expected to spread the wealth so there's a lot to consider each year among the best-received films when you're talking "winners" since acting prizes, writing, and special prizes await us next weekend. Juries have been known to surprise by handing a random award here or there to a film that critics didn't like at all... or ignoring some obvious giant especially in the two acting awards. So in other words, take the "Cannes sensation!" reviews with a block of salt because you never know.  

Not all of the 21 films have screened yet but these 4 look like contenders of some sort to us from our vantage point across the Ocean...

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Thursday
Oct262017

Adam Driver to Star in Spike Lee's Upcoming KKK Drama

Fresh off wrapping the filming of blockbuster The Last Jedi, Adam Driver returns to his auteur musings this week by signing on to Spike Lee's new crime thriller Black Klansman. Lee will write and direct the film with a cast that already includes Spider-Man: Homecoming's Laura Harrier and Baller's John David Washington. 

Klansman tells the story of Ron (Washington) and Flip (Driver), two cops who manage to go undercover and run their local Ku Klux Klan chapter. Focus Features has picked up the distribution rights for the project. Get Out's Jason Bloome and Jordan Peele have also signed on to produce.

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Friday
Sep162016

Spike Lee Coming to Netflix

by Kieran Scarlett

It was recently announced that Netflix has ordered ten episodes of a TV series adaptation of Spike Lee’s 1986 debut feature film She’s Gotta Have It.  Lee will direct all ten episodes.  The age of prestige television truly allows for more fluid movement (at least behind the camera) from film to TV and back again. Spike Lee’s last few features (despite good notices for Chi-raq) have had trouble catching fire outside of the arthouse the way his earlier work has, for this reason or that. He’s certainly a polarizing figure and resistance to his work is built in to certain audiences.

Tracy Camilla Johns and Spike Lee in SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT (1986)

Have you seen She’s Gotta Have It? It’s a very fascinating piece, both on its own and in the larger context of Lee’s filmography. There’s a beautifully bare-bones energy to it that one would expect from a debut, but it still retains Lee’s voice, vigor and artistry. It’s also has a refreshing focus on female characters in a way that even ardent fans of Lee’s work can’t argue is missing from much of his filmography.

Lee’s previous notable foray into television gave us the beautiful and vital “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” his in-depth and personal HBO documentary about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath (if you haven’t seen it, get thee to HBO on demand as soon as possible). Spike Lee adapting his voice for television is definitely something that could yield interesting results.

“She’s Gotta Have It” is expected to premiere on Netflix next year. Will you be watching?

Wednesday
Jun012016

The 50 Greatest Films by Black Directors

Slate magazine has drawn up an interesting list of great black films, the twist being that they have to have been directed by a black person rather than about the black experience so out go Old Hollywood musicals like Carmen Jones or Cabin in the Sky or Oscar favorites like Sounder.  In the wake of recent conversations about Hollywood's power structures and overwhelming whiteness, Slate assembled a field of critics and filmmakers and scholars to produce the list.

Eve's Bayou

I need to get cracking on my gaps in knowledge from this list, especially because of the titles I've seen from this list several were great and the ones I didn't personally connect to were still interesting (Night Catches Us) or memorable (Eve's Bayou - I've been meaning to give that another shot now that I'm older). Unsurprisingly Spike Lee has the most titles with six. Curiously, though I've seen many Spike Lee joints (and tend to like them - I'd have included Chi-Raq on this list), I've only seen half of his titles that actually made it (gotta get to Mo' Better Blues, Crooklyn, and When the Levees Broke soon). The list is after the jump...

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