All Articles Tagged "mo better blues"
A Spike Lee Joint: The Director’s Most Captivating, Most Underrated, And Most Side-Eye Worthy Films Yet
In many ways, Spike Lee is a cinematic genius. He’s covered a wide range of topics that many folks in Hollywood wouldn’t touch with a five-foot pole. And in the process, he’s made some iconic films, some very underrated ones, and a few movies that just didn’t make any damn sense once the credits started rolling. But in the end, where would black films and black filmmakers be without the man? So here are a few of our favorites, a few that deserve more love, and a few that he maybe should have kept under wraps…
She’s Gotta Have It
To me, Spike Lee was one of the first, if not the first, directors to proudly tell the story of black women (and ladies in general) doing what men have been doing for years, but getting negatively labeled for–having a healthy sex life with no want or need for a relationship. Nola Darling was that character with that story, and with the smooth black and white way the film was shot, the vintage shots of Brooklyn, the style and the dialogue, it was one of those movies that could suck you in and keep you watching. Darling was a very unconventional heroine, and probably because she was so unapologetic about her lifestyle (“I am not a one man woman.”), and I for one, loved that. Even if I wouldn’t dare live the same way…
We’ve talked so much about underrated actresses in the past, but the ladies on this list are women who had huge breakthrough roles in some of our favorite movies. And while it was easy for us to see them having all the luck and reaching superstardom in Hollywood (or at least black Hollywood), things haven’t been that easy. We’re still hoping they’ll become household names sooner or later. Check out 9 black actresses and the movies that put them on our radar and help us figure out why they aren’t as big as the Gabrielles, Tarajis, Nias and more. Where are they now?
Tracy Camilla Johns
My hair idol! And also the heroine in one of my favorite films of all time. Tracy Camila Johns was dope as the sexually liberated Nola Darling in Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It. She knew what she wanted, and the number of men she wanted it with, and scoffed at the idea of monogamy and being a one-man woman (how do you like that!?). But after she breaking through in one of Spike’s first feature films, she kept the momentum going for a second, and then fizzled out. Johns went on to have a tiny role in Mo Better Blues, was the scandalous girlfriend of G in New Jack City, and had a small role in an early Air Jordan commercial, but after ’91, that was it. *sad face*
Subsequent to the release of the box office hit Think Like A Man that came out last month, we decided to go down memory lane and reminisce about some of the best black films of the ’90s. Last time we gave you few movies that we loved in part one and noticed many of you were quite anxious for part two, and even had films that you wanted to recommend. Well, here it is: Part 2, and you will not be disappointed. And if you are…*Kanye shrug* We tried…
Love Jones (1997)
Many people seem to love Love Jones. Why? Because most would agree that unlike most romantic films, it’s one of those movies that just keeps it real about the struggle in searching for love. It’s a black urban romantic comedy set in Chicago, involving a a male poet named Darius (Larenz Tate), who persistently pursues a female photographer, the lovely Nina. But feelings are soon assessed by her after a series of romantic obstacles are set in motion that force her to try and find out if her old beau is the real deal or if she needs to be with Darius. The movie includes a great soundtrack and several scenes intertwined with soulful jazz music and spoken word.
There’s nothing like a Spike Lee Joint. His pro-black, beautifully and artistically crafted films are layered with messages conveyed through his one of a kind imagery and dialogue. A Spike Lee Joint is guaranteed to make you laugh, maybe shed a tear or two and think. After you finish watching a Spike Lee Joint there’s bound to be discussion. Being that love is the strongest force it our world, it only makes sense that it shows up in several of his films.
Check the love lessons we’ve learned from some of our favorite Spike Lee joints.
**Spoiler Alert ** (if you haven’t seen some of these movies you might want to scroll on.)