All Articles Tagged "spike lee"
Watch The First Trailer For Spike Lee’s Kickstarter-Funded Film, “Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus,” About A Man’s Addiction To Blood
We told you last summer that Spike Lee turned to Kickstarter in order to get funding for a new project, once pitched as “The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint.” He was hoping to raise $1.25 million for the film, offering fans all kinds of perks for their donations, including the chance to sit courtside with the die-hard Knicks fan at a game in Madison Square Garden.
Well, Lee reached his goal, and the film was made and finally given the title of Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus. The short description of the film is that it’s a reimagining of the black horror film Ganja & Hess (1973), and is about the addiction to blood. The longer, more interesting description, which comes from Shadow & Act, is this:
“…the film stars Stephen Tyrone Williams and Zaraah Abrahams in what Spike describes as a new kind of love story. Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) becomes cursed by a mysterious ancient artifact and is overwhelmed with a newfound thirst for blood. He however is not a vampire. Soon after his transformation he enters into a dangerous romance with Ganja Hightower (Zaraah Abrahams) that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society.”
While I can’t say that I’ve been crazy about the last few Spike Lee joints that have been feature films (I’m a fan of most of his work though), I’ve always been impressed at the fact that Lee gives newer, more unknown actors, the chance to shine. And after watching the trailer, I think it’s beautifully shot and I’m pretty intrigued by the story and the glimpses of it we see in said trailer.
So what do you think? If you like what you see, you can check out the film when it’s released on February 13. Check out our conversation with Lee from last year about the film and the importance of Kickstarter support below:
“Two boys pitching back and forth to one another and I overhear one of them say ‘I’m Mo’Ne.’ And the other one says ‘No, I’m Mo’Ne.’ We all know that girls aspire to be Mo’Ne but here are two boys talking about what it is to be Mo’Ne and to pitch and perform on that level. And it was so cool, I was so tickled by that.”
This is just one of the stories, City Council Constituent Services Representative, Duwayne Terry told Spike Lee as he was conducting interviews for his Chevrolet produced documentary about Mo’Ne Davis, called I Throw Like A Girl.
Mo’Ne Davis captured the nation’s attention a few months ago when at thirteen-years-old, she pitched a new hitter in the Little League World Series, throwing at 70 miles per hour. And while she gained notoriety for her success in baseball, Mo’Ne’s favorite sport is basketball. One of her coaches, who first noticed her throwing perfect spirals with a football at seven years old, said she can see the court like a chess board.
And that mental focus and skill doesn’t just exist in her athletic endeavors. In second grade, Mo’Ne left a south Philadelphia public school and moved to a private school where she’s been on the honor roll every year from second to eighth grade.
You might think such a successful child must be intense, especially with all the increased media attention and fame. But that’s not exactly the case. Instead, Mo’Ne says, “I don’t actually think about it. I’m not that serious. For sports, we’re always laughing on the bench. If you watch any of our games, you always see one person laughing.”
Spike Lee interrupts: “Whoa, whoa hold up, hold up. You’re not serious about sports?”
“I’m serious but it’s not all about being serious and it’s not all about being the best. I mean, you always have to laugh. You’re still a kid and you’re always going to laugh.”
What Mo’Ne does for fun changed the sports conversation and eventually earned her a cover on Sport Illustrated.
Albert Chen, the author of the cover story said, “13-year-old Mo’Ne Davis, from Springside Academy, bumped Kobe Bryant, NBA MVP, off the national cover of Sports Illustrated. In one week goes from a complete unknown to a curiosity in the sports world, to a national sensation. That’s a first in American sports.”
Mo’Ne doesn’t necessarily see it that way. She wasn’t exactly thrilled about that particular cover photo.
“Just to see my face on here is pretty cool, but not the face that I’m picking.”
Spike Lee: “You don’t like your face on the cover?”
“I mean, I look like a blowfish but otherwise, it’s pretty cool. You can see how much power I put into it.”
Everyone, from her coaches, to her peers to her mother say despite all the attention she’s received, Mo’Ne is the same young woman she’s always been. Her mother, Lakeisha said, “Mo’Ne is grounded, when she’s on the field, when she’s off the field, playing basketball. Mo’Ne is just going to be Mo’Ne. Mo’Ne’s very humble. And as you can see, nothing bothers Mo’Ne. So Mo’Ne’s going to always be that respectful, polite humble child no matter how much this media is attacking her or how much this media want to take pictures, that’s just going to always be Mo’Ne.”
You can watch the full, short documentary in the video below.
Kelly Rowland has the rumor mill spinning this morning. After posting a picture of herself channeling Donna Summer’s signature look, multiple outlets are claiming that Rowland is campaigning for a role as Donna Summer.
The reports could be true thanks to a new Spike Lee movie were Donna is a character. The biopic, Spinning Gold is about Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart. Bogart helped launch a number of musical acts including Kiss, Joan Jett and of course, Donna Summer.
Justin Timberlake is already signed on to play Bogart. What do you think? Could Kelly play Donna Summer?
After a disturbing video of New York resident Eric Garner being placed in a chokeholdand restrained by police went viral, critics have publicly spoken out against theNYPD’s repeated examples of police brutality and use of excessive force particularly in inner city communities. On the video, Garner, an asthmatic and father of six who family and friends described as a “gentle giant,” is seen telling cops that he can’t breath and appears unresponsive moments later. His cause of death is reportedly “pending further studies.”
The chilling video not only provoked anger, but also possessed a troubling resemblance to a scene out of a movie — to be specific, Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.” Garner’s apparent death by chokehold harkens back to the scene in Lee’s film where character Radio Raheem is choked to death by police, reiterating how the director’s art truly imitates life.
Read more about Spike Lee and the Eric Garner case at BlackVoices.com
Hollywood loves to paint Spike Lee as the angry, black man director. But in this interview with Deadline, he proves to be quite introspective. He spoke about everything from fighting the studios to make Malcolm X to racist film critics who believed and wrote about their theories that Do The Right Thing would incite race riots in theaters across the country. But one of the most poignant moments of the interview,came at the very end when the interviewer asked him about his regrets.
Initially Lee said he didn’t have any and then he retracted his statement.
Lee: My wife has told me on occasion that I can be my own worst enemy, and she is a smart lady. But I don’t really have any regrets. Check that. You know what my biggest regret is?
LEE: The rape scene in “She’s Gotta Have It.” If I was able to have any do-overs, that would be it. It was just totally…stupid. I was immature. It made light of rape, and that’s the one thing I would take back. I was immature and I hate that I did not view rape as the vile act that it is. I can promise you, there will be nothing like that in She’s Gotta Have It, the TV show, that’s for sure
If you recall the in the film, Nola Darling, the protagonist, is dating and sleeping with three men. Though she’s open and honest about the predicament, it presents a bit of a problem with her beaus.
One night one of the boyfriends, Jamie comes over. Now, Jamie has told Nola all along that he’s not a fan of the arrangement. Instead of breaking up with her, he comes over to her apartment with the intent to seduce her. He ends up raping her.
The scene has left many audience members and critics feeling everything from uneasy to outraged for decades now, considering it was Lee’s first film. Many felt like Lee was sending the message that since Nola was sleeping with three men simultaneously that she was loose and somehow deserved this type of treatment.
I’m happy to know that after 30 years and a lot more maturity, Lee sees the error in his ways. And don’t think I say this as a rationalization. We can all agree he was wrong. The thing is though, the topic of rape is just now, like within the last three years, making its way to mainstream, public discussions. Today, there is still a lot of ignorance about what constitutes rape, so I can imagine that the climate thirty years ago was far worse. Either way, it’s good that Lee acknowledged this so future audiences and future filmmakers don’t look at this movie and think the type of message he sent back then was ok.
What do you think about Spike Lee’s comments to Deadline? Were you bothered by the rape scene in She’s Gotta Have It?
I’m quite excited about this as both a Spike Lee fan, and a HUGE fan of She’s Gotta Have It, which is on my DVD shelf right now.
According to Deadline, Spike Lee has been given the green light to bring She’s Gotta Have It to Showtime as a half-hour series. Of course, Lee will be in the director’s chair, and he will also write the show. According to the report, the series will take a modern look at the characters of Nola Darling and her love interests. Deadline also says that the project “will explore Lee’s unique and provocative points of view about race, gender, sexuality, relationships, and the gentrification in Brooklyn.”
Lee has been very outspoken about his disdain for all the gentrification going on in Brooklyn, saying this (as well as a lot of other thought-provoking things) during a talk at the Pratt Institute for Black History Month:
“I mean, they just move in the neighborhood. You just can’t come in the neighborhood. I’m for democracy and letting everybody live but you gotta have some respect. You can’t just come in when people have a culture that’s been laid down for generations and you come in and now sh*t gotta change because you’re here? Get the f**k outta here. Can’t do that!”
With that in mind, I’m excited to see how he’ll tackle this very real issue for TV. SGHI was released in 1986, and has had a big cultural impact. While it might not be as recognized and culturally significant as say, Lee’s Do The Right Thing, it still opened doors for young black filmmakers in the late ’80s and onward who were looking to discuss aspects of black life that aren’t generally documented. Plus, it was Lee’s first feature length film, and it was arguably ahead of its time.
And how can you not love a movie that introduced us to the character, Mars Blackmon (“Please, baby, please, baby, baby, baby please!”)?
Are you interested in checking out this adaptation for TV? Talk about it below.
Maybe it’s too big? Or perhaps they want something new? Who knows! But for some reason or another, a slew of celebrities are currently selling their lavish homes as they eye new digs that are more befitting of their needs.
In any case, the wealthy elite can’t wait to get their hands on these luxury estates — they can easily impress their snooty rich colleagues by adding “Hey guess what? [Insert impressive name] lived here!” Let’s take a look at the lavish celebrity homes that are currently up for grabs.
How important is height to you when looking for a partner? In the case of these famous folks, it wasn’t a big deal. Here are 11 fabulous couples (still together by the way) who just so happen to have major height differences between them. Hey, it’s all about the love anyway, right?
Kevin Hart and Eniko Parrish
What Kevin Hart lacks in height, he makes up for in humor, and that’s probably part of the reason why his statuesque girlfriend, Eniko Parrish, is in love with him. At 5’4″, he’s shorter than most of the folks he encounters, but his confidence distracts from all that.
Do the Right Thing is one of the greatest black films and one of the greatest films of all time, period. With Spike Lee’s recent “rant” backed by facts about gentrification in New York City — prompting vandalization, it has us thinking about well, doing the right thing — a movie set on a scorching hot summer day in Brooklyn where the heat isn’t the only thing boiling, but racial tension.
Not only that, this year is the film’s 25th anniversary and let’s celebrate the film, which has been entered into the US Library of Congress — calling the film culturally significant. Also, it’s preserved in the National Film Registry.
Some of the cast recently reunited for Entertainment Weekly, but where are they now? The film definitely had an ensemble cast, so click through and find out what these stars are up to these days.
Anthony Mackie: Spike Lee Is Practicing ‘Reverse Gentrification’ By Leaving Brooklyn For The Upper East Side
We told you last week about the impromptu speech Spike Lee gave during an event for Black History Month at the Pratt Institute recently. When a man tried to ask Lee if he ever thought about the positive aspects of gentrification, Lee shut him all the way down with some deep points.
Then comes the motherf**kin’ Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can’t discover this! We been here. You just can’t come and bogart. There were brothers playing motherf**kin’ African drums in Mount Morris Park for 40 years and now they can’t do it anymore because the new inhabitants said the drums are loud. My father’s a great jazz musician. He bought a house in nineteen-motherf**kin’-sixty-eight, and the motherf**kin’ people moved in last year and called the cops on my father. He’s not — he doesn’t even play electric bass! It’s acoustic! We bought the motherf**kin’ house in nineteen-sixty-motherf**kin’-eight and now you call the cops? In 2013? Get the f**k outta here!
You can check out the full speech here. But one person who doesn’t really agree with Lee is actor Anthony Mackie. Mackie, who once starred in Lee’s film, She Hate Me, said in an interview with TheGrio that Lee’s opinions on gentrification are interesting considering the fact that the director left Brooklyn a long time ago. He feels that if Lee really wanted to help, he would have invested in businesses in Brooklyn that create more opportunities for the borough’s residents.
Chris Witherspoon: Spike Lee is in the media and in the press talking about gentrification in Brooklyn. You own a bar in Brooklyn, right?
Anthony Mackie: Spike Lee don’t live in Brooklyn.
Witherspoon: Okay, he’s from Brooklyn though. His heart is Brooklyn.
Mackie: So why did he leave Brooklyn?
Weatherspoon: I don’t know. These things I have to ask Spike when I see him again. What’s your take on his issues with gentrification? Do you think it’s a good thing for places like Brooklyn and New York City?
Mackie: I don’t know. I live in Brooklyn. My address is in Brooklyn. I have two restaurants in Brooklyn, and I don’t have a problem with the gentrification. It’s a very good thing. I wouldn’t call it gentrification. The people that want to live in Brooklyn, move to Brooklyn. I mean, New York is going through this huge transition where the people who used to live in Manhattan now live in Brooklyn. The people who used to live in Brooklyn, now live in Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. The people who used to live in Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island are just being displaced. So I wouldn’t call it gentrification. Because it’s the same income level in Brooklyn, it’s just a different shade of people. Some people might say when Spike moved to Manhattan, that was a type of reverse gentrification. Possibly. As your tax brackets changes, I guess your zip code changes.
I think Mackie makes some points that people hadn’t really thought about. I’m sure using a hefty income to buy homes and apartments in Brooklyn and trying to keep the rent low for residents would have helped big time, as opposed to picking up and moving to the wealthy side of town. But in Lee’s defense, his production studio, 40 Acres and A Mule, is in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
I would also say that the income has changed with the people who have come in. People are being forced out of their homes specifically to make way for those who can afford to pay much higher rent, so I wouldn’t say that gentrification is necessarily a “very good thing.” But Mackie’s points also beg the question, one that I’ve discussed with people on and off over the years, of whether or not it’s an issue when famous people decide to leave behind places they grew up in or try to rep the most once they can afford to (a la, J Lo and her Jenny From the Block shtick). What do you think?