There was not just one but four of the best culturally significant movies that one could ever ask for. I mean what the hell when does a Spike Lee make its way onto an unguarded planet that looks like the Egyptian Theater. Presented by, American Cinemateque the Los Angeles Hollywood based venue showcased four of film director, actor, writer, producer and social activist this past weekend. When did and how did he arrive on the scene, make impact and come to broaden his social angioplasty with movies which signify deep documentary research like, The BlackkKlansman, Malcolm X, Crooklyn and Do the Right Thang? In director, writer and producer Spike Lee’s world, it’s a win, win and I win again situation. In his mind you take an already formidable,well-developed and enriched, Oscar winning performer like Denzel Washington you let his character simmer and set then settle into a very significant mode of behavior. Lee’s ability and talent to direct in real world talk and reflectively project it back to an audience is remarkable yet eerie to watch. He makes you feel something. Draws on every emotion that can possible be visible to the human eye and grinds it. He grinds hard and without apology. It’s no wonder the icon calls his production company 40 Acres and A Mule considering the time that it took to build his very long list of credits.
As usual and in keeping with his in your face dialogue, Lee speaks to the audience and makes us incredibly aware of social injustices by scripting us carefully within the realm of thought-provoking conversation. The age-old story of slavery and the enslaved is haunting as is the Blackkklansman a true story of Ron Stallworth played by actor, (James Lee Washington) as the first African American police officer in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Stallworth who successfully goes undercover asan honorary member of the Ku Klux Klan waste no time identifying his one true commitment is as a police officer and second as a black one. One can clearly see throughout the movie elements of the Black Panther movement, which sparked a black power movement and a movement started by all of those organizations and associations indirectly affected bythe advent of the enslaved. Mind you this is the same actor, director, and producer that Hollywood has not been as kind to as let’s say a Quentin Tarantino although Quentin does get shoveled his fair share of shit. I would say anyone that stands as an individual and against the grain while living, laughing and doing business in Hollywood can be buried in said shit unless good fortune intervenes recycling that shit into a powerful, I’ve done it, and what say you now to those who never thought much of you or your ideas.
In the BlackkKlannsman there is made mention of racial stereotypes and casual but significant biases toward those who don’t fit the mold. In Stallworth’s case he used those biases against the Klan by creating a double identity bordering on the drastic differences between cultural adaptations, whacked perspectives and general conversations. If you know of the radio announcer, Wolfman Jack everyone even black folk just knew that he was black until they saw his dark scruffy beard that framed his deeply engraved life all over his white skin.
So much for social acceptances in the days of Bill Maher and for ignorance’s that continue to go unchecked we have Spike Lee and that my friend is more than anyone of us could have ever bargained for.
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