All Articles Tagged "school daze"
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…
While some people watch movies and quietly root for the villain (no lie, I thought Bane in The Dark Knight Rises was bad a**!), many of us do the complete opposite–we watch these cocky, disrespectful, distasteful and often violent characters with disgust. Some are so good at being bad that we equate the actors with these characters for a long time, and some are eerily effective, to the point that you watch the character, act like you know them, and scoff at the fact that you dislike them so much. If you ever say, “UGH!” when you watch these movies, or shake your head at these characters a few times, then you’ll probably agree that they were villains you loved to hate.
Sanaa Lathan in The Family That Preys
If you watched just 30 minutes of The Family That Preys and viewed Lathan as Andrea, you were probably just as sick of her as we were. She was a conniving cheater, dogging out her hard-working and fine man (Rockmond Dunbar) for the town’s stuck-up socialite and trust-fund baby. And in the end, she revealed that *SPOILER* the son her husband thought was his blood was a product of her affair. She didn’t even look remorseful at all! Who else wanted to reach through the screen and shake her real good???
Where Are They Now? 11 Forgotten, Familiar and Favorite Faces From Some Of Our Favorite Spike Lee Joints
I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge Spike Lee fan (if you’re a Tyler Perry fan, I’d assume you’re not down with Spizike). I own most of his movies, including an awesome five-in-one Spike Lee Collection that has everything from Do The Right Thing to Clockers and Crooklyn in it. And through watching his movies over the years, I’ve seen a few folks give awesome performances; so awesome, I was wondering where the hell they ended up at. As a heads up, because we’ve covered the little girl, Zelda Harris, from Crooklyn a zillion times, she won’t be on here, but you can see what she looks like here. But I have included some of the women from a previous leading ladies “Where Are They Now?” in case you missed out on that one. Everyone else though, they’re some fresh forgotten, familiar and favorite faces. Enjoy, and be ready to click!
The * applies to actors we’ve covered before.
Tracy Camila Johns * and Raye Dowell
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 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* Last we heard, Johns has become a born-again Christian and is keeping her distance from Hollywood.
In She’s Gotta Have It, Raye Dowell played Opal Gilstrap, the lesbian friend of Nola Darling. She was a loyal friend, but also an extra thirsty one, consistently flirting with Darling in the hopes of possibly…how else can I say it…well, turning her out. Of course, Opal never got her wish, but her character, who wasn’t too fond of Darling’s male friends/loves, still remains one of Spike Lee’s most interesting ones. Since then, Dowell appeared in a few more Spike Lee Joints (including Mo Better Blues and Malcolm X), as well as showing up on an episode of “Living Single,” but since then, she’s tried her hand more at producing movies (Hounddog, Virgin). After She’s Gotta Have It, Dowell also had a baby with actor Forest Whitaker.
Before School Daze what movies were talking about the good, the bad and the ugly of black college life? Though this was only Spike Lee’s third film, he took on heavy topics including colorism in the black community, Greek life and apartheid. It only took Lee $152,000 to complete School Daze‘s predecessor, She’s Gotta Have It, and Columbia studios entrusted him with $6 million for this one. Though the musical drama was received with mixed reviews, (which we’ll get to later), the film went on to earn $14.5 million at the box office. Check out the interesting little facts and tidbits behind this game-changing flick.
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.)
With all the separation that still sticks around when it comes to being a black person of a fairer complexion or one with darker skin, it’s about time we have a conversation about what skin color means to black people these days. Not since Spike Lee’s School Daze has the obvious sensitive topic about the differences (are there really any?) and animosity between light and dark skin black folks been so thoroughly evaluated, so our friends at Uptown Magazine decided to tackle it. They interviewed five movers and shakers in the black professional world, including TV host Marc Lamont Hill, editorial consultant Michaela Angela Davis, TV personality Bevy Smith, Daily Beast writer Allison Samuels, and media attorney Julian Riley. All players were asked to evaluate the way they perceive the range of black complexions, and how it has defined them or shaped their experiences. It also helps that their shades vary as much as their opinions. Veeeeery interesting responses people!
To read what these elite professionals had to say about skin color when it comes to dating, growing up and their perception of blacks in the media, head over to Uptown Magazine.
Before there were fashionable films like Sex And The City and The Devil Wears Prada, there were a few films in black cinema that provided us with just as much influential fashion. These films highlighted the fashions of their time while also setting trends in the process. These trends were bold, fresh, and represented black America. From European inspired designs meshed with around-the- way styles, some of the fashion represented in these films is still relevant today.