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Film

NYFF: 'American Utopia' Sets a Glorious Tone for Our Difficult Times

Spike Lee's crisp concert film of David Byrne's Broadway show, American Utopia, embraces the hopes and anxieties of the present moment.

Recent
Film

Framing White Nationalism in Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman most dramatically reveals how race is a performance, not a biological essence, as it focuses on the importance of language in structuring racial representations.

Film

Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman' Is a Provocative, Entertaining Mess

The new Spike Lee Joint is irreverent and challenging, but it fails to rival contemporary social powerhouses like Sorry to Bother You and Blindspotting.

Books

Prince Shall Forever Remain the Enigma: 'This Thing Called Life'

Instead of cherry-picking facts and quotes, Joseph Vogel lets Prince's legacy shine in all its vague and erratic splendor.

Film

Film's Overlooked Histories: Charles Burnett and the L.A. Rebellion

The general absence of the L.A. Rebellion from most film history text books and Burnett's relative marginalization within film and media studies speaks to the socio-economic myopia and privileges that define both areas of study.

Music

Michael Jackson: Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall

Something as fresh and lively as Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall results in a rare enhancement of what you already have come to know and love.

Film

Double Take: Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989)

Double Take looks back at Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, a film that celebrated its 25th anniversary during another summer of strikingly similar violence.

Steve Leftridge and Steve Pick
Reviews

'Dear White People' Untangles Complicated Relations of Racism and Identity

This film's ability to balance character-driven stories with didactic critiques against the racist practices that haunt our daily lives speaks to a sophisticated outlook rare among first-time directors.

Film

Disney and Spike Lee Unite in 'The Spike Lee Joint Collection'

Even with some dips in quality, these four movies represent part of a remarkable run; you can feel all of them strive for masterpiece status.

Reviews

Former Heavyweight Champ Mike Tyson Becomes a Raconteur and Memoirist -- Who Knew?

Mike Tyson has a gift for introspection and storytelling those whom disdain him as some sort of anti-social beast might find surprising.

Reviews

Spike Lee Continues His Chronicles of Brooklyn in 'Red Hook Summer'

This is the magnificent Clarke Peters' first go-round with Spike Lee, and fans of The Wire or Treme shouldn't miss it.

Music

Bruce Hornsby: Soundtrack to 'Red Hook Summer'

This might not be your typical Bruce Hornsby release, but this for-true-fans-only collection certainly has its high points.

Film

Class Conflict: Hollywood's View of the Black College Student

These eight films portray a variety of storylines, but the “black college student” movie has not come close to fulfilling its potential.

Film

The 100 Essential Directors Part 5: Derek Jarman to Mike Leigh

Mid-way through our series, Day 5 is a glorious mishmash of international auteurist cinema. Today we go from saints and sinners, from Brookyln to Britain, from the beginning of time to the Dystopian future, and around the world and beyond.

Reviews

Really, 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

What was something of a self-indulgent escapade in the UK version takes on far more resonance and dramatic and cultural relevance in the US version.

Film

'If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise' comes to DVD on 19 April.

Spike Lee's angry and magnificent documentary tracks how the U.S. exploitation of resources, in particular oil, has shaped New Orleans' ongoing fragility.

Reviews

Passing Strange

A melding of serious drama, sarcastic humor, and brash power pop attitude, this marks a watershed moment in the life of a musical adventurer who has yet to bask in the spotlight.

Film

Why, Spike, Why?

For all of Spike Lee's status as the eternal Young Turk, he's also a moviemaker who came of age just a few years after the brat pack of Spielberg, Scorsese, de Palma, et al.

Reviews

Miracle at St. Anna

Spike Lee's answer to the many WWII movies that have left out the experiences of black soldiers, Miracle at St. Anna is ambitious and ardent.

Reviews

She's Gotta Have It

Supported by armchair psychology, a jazz soundtrack, and a healthy concern with sex and relationship anxiety, Spike Lee's film plays like a Woody Allen movie across the bridge.

Stuart Henderson
Television

Children of the Storm

Spike Lee tells them to "start at home." The catch is that many of these young documentarians don't have homes, or at least not the homes they had two years ago.

Reviews

Inside Man (2006)

Appearing in tight shots, the grainy hi-def digital exacerbating their complexities, the interviewees are traumatized or performative, sometimes both.

Reviews

Edge of Outside

As much as the lines between 'independent' and 'mainstream' movies seem impossibly blurred, the impulse to mark their difference appears irresistible.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Inside Man (2006)

New York is everywhere in Spike Lee's sharp, new, genre-bending movie.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

She Hate Me (2004)

As the last bill appears -- a three dollar 'bogus' bill featuring George W. Bush's face -- Spike Lee laughs. 'Hopefully, by the time you're seeing this DVD, he'll be out!'"

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

She Hate Me (2004)

Spike Lee's She Hate Me begins with money.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The 25th Hour (2002)

The 25th Hour opens with huge, hard-hitting shots of the March 2002 tribute to the Twin Towers, the towers of light.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Spike Lee: Interviews edited by Cynthia Fuchs

Some day critics will stop calling Lee the "black Woody Allen" or an "African-American filmmaker" (or even a "controversial" one) but simply acknowledge him as one of the most intelligent, articulate, and able filmmakers of our generation.

D. R. Peak

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