Archive for the 'magazines' Category



19
Apr

A white person is wrong about Spike Lee…again.

The current issue of Esquire contains a piece by Mike D’Angelo entitled Critical Blasphemy: Five Things You Can’t Say in Hollywood. After assailing Ben Stiller’s recent work, high-minded documentaries, The Queen and “lengthy, ultracomplex, and artsy single takes” that he believes are ruining filmmaking, he makes the following bold statement:

“Spike Lee’s best movie of the past 15 years is one he did primarily about white people.”

Here’s why he’s wrong.

1. Since when did taking a shot at Spike Lee become blasphemous in Hollywood? Spike Lee is far from a sacred cow in this town. He’s always remained something of a pariah in Los Angeles because he clearly doesn’t care much for the city or it’s primary industry’s machinations. Also, he has a tendency to not take any shit from white people. (A friend of mine was doing production work on a Spike Lee directed State Farm Insurance commercial. The premise of the commercial was that a black guy had taken out insurance on his car’s expensive rims. When one of the suits suggested that the actor try smiling more, Spike turned to the guy and screamed, “You want him to dance too?”) It took him directing a painfully moving Hurricane Katrina documentary and his most commercially successful movie ever in the same year to finally get in the good graces of white folks. I’m sure you would find a ton of people in this city to agree with the sentiment that 25th Hour is his best work in fifteen years. And I’m sure that the vast majority of those people never bothered to see Clockers or He Got Game.

2. In his rush to praise a Spike Lee film that doesn’t feature black characters, D’Angelo forgets one important thing. There are several Spike Lee Joints produced post-1992 that are better movies than 25th Hour. Malcolm X, 4 Little Girls, When the Levees Broke,and The Inside Man are all significantly superior films. But, of course, those movies aren’t about white people.




There are no tags associated with this blog