All Articles Tagged "spike lee"
In 1994, after the release of the expensive, time consuming and controversial Malcolm X, Spike Lee toned it down a bit for his next film Crooklyn. With a young girl playing the protagonist, Troy, the movie would go on to become one of two Spike Lee joints that received a PG 13 rating. And though it was a bit lighter in subject matter, the movie went on to become number 3 in the box office the week it was released. You know the lines and the comical, tragic and touching plot but we bet you don’t know about these secrets. Check them out.
It’s like Christmas! Or better yet, Thanksgiving.
On November 22, aka, Turkey day, ABC will present Michael Jackson: BAD25, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Michael Jackson’s BAD album, courtesy of filmmaker and friend of MJ, Spike Lee. The documentary will take a look at old concert footage, the making of the “Bad” video with Martin Scorsese, “Smooth Criminal” and “The Way You Make Me Feel” video, as well as never before seen footage in the studio with Quincy Jones. And of course, we’re going to get some exclusive tour footage, which will be amazing!
Can you tell I’m excited?
After checking out this trailer, I’m pretty sure you’ll be as well. All of this is to of course celebrate the 25th anniversary of the making of this very popular album. Makes me want to go listen to “Another Part of Me” right now…
Be sure to check out the whole shabang on Thanksgiving at 9: 30 p.m. EST. Will you be tuning in?
With notable alumni in every field from politics to education, Morehouse College is a historically black all- men’s located in Atlanta, Georgia. Consistently ranking in the top five of HBCU’s in America each year, here are 10 famous brothers who attended Morehouse College.
The Emmy award winning director is a part of a legacy of Morehouse men, as his father and grandfather both graduated before him. Enrolling in 1976, Spike entered college with no idea about what he wanted to major in. He returned after one summer wanting to become a filmmaker, and eventually received his bachelor’s degree in mass communications. His films have helped launched the careers of some of our favorite black actors and actresses.
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.
Do The Right Thing changed the game. Before this movie, there were no filmmakers who were speaking about the racial dynamics in New York neighborhoods the way Spike Lee was. The movie took movie goers by storm, educating a lot of people along the way. Though Do The Right Thing cost $6.5 million dollars to make, it eventually grossed $27.5 million at the box office and the American Film Institute eventually dubbed it one of the greatest movies of all time. You’ve memorized the plot. You remember how you mourned for Radio Raheem. And you know how the movie touched you. But, we bet you don’t know these behind the scenes secrets.
I happen to know that Spike Lee reads, or is at least familiar with Madame Noire. After one of our writers, said that Red Hook Summer was a sequel to Do the Right Thing he was quick to correct us with a sharply worded e-mail.
“RED HOOK SUMMER IS NOT A SEQUEL TO DO THE RIGHT THING.INCORRECT,MISINFORMED AND WRONG. Thanks,Spike.”
As a fan of Spike Lee’s, I knew that e-mail came from him. The string of adjectives and the shouting caps is so Spike. If I had no intention of seeing Red Hook Summer before, this e-mail made sure that I was definitely going to check it out now.
For Red Hook Summer, Spike Lee brought it back to Brooklyn, chronicling the lives of the residents in the Red Hook projects. The project, which is both community-centered, a place for childhood exploration and spiritual salvation is also a place of violence and dashed hopes. We see all of these forces at work as the film’s protagonist “Flik Royale,” a boy from Atlanta, played by burgeoning actor Jules Brown, visits his grandfather,“Da Good Bishop Enoch Rouse,” (Clarke Peters of The Wire and Treme). As you can gather from his name Bishop Enoch, who is very religious serves as the leader for the Lil’ Peace of Heaven Baptist Church of Red Hook. Initially, Flik and Bishop Enoch struggle to relate to one another. Flik doesn’t want to be there and the Bishop can’t seem to reach his grandson with his new high tech gadgets. Flik carries around an iPad, which almost gets he and his grandfather into trouble with the local gang, lead by “Box” (Nate Parker). Though Flik initially loathes everything about Brooklyn, he meets a girl his age, Chazz, (Toni Lysaith), who shows him the ropes and the two become friends…and eventually a bit more.
Without giving too much away, there’s a shocking surprise towards the end of the film that causes the audience to question everything about Bishop Enoch and his spirituality. With the plot twist, like the setting, the characters and even religion itself, we see that there truly is, as Spike Lee has said, “beauty in ugliness.”
We see that motif in Deacon Zee (Thomas Jefferson Byrd), the alcoholic clergyman who helps Flik adjust to Brooklyn by allowing him to sneak chips from the church pantry. And we see it again with Bishop Enoch who is so religiously-minded that he’s unable or unwilling to relate to the challenges of the world around him.
Red Hook is not perfect and won’t go down as one of Spike’s best movies. There is the swift plot shift, unanswered questions in character development between Enoch and his daughter “Colleen,” and even sub-par acting from the younger actors; but the themes present and the questions the film raises, definitely make it one worth seeing.
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Juice director Ernest R Dickerson has said that in the ’90′s, black movies, specifically black movies set in the hood, were the “flavor of the month” and Juice was relatively easy to get made. Whether Hollywood’s fascination with “the hood” was a good thing or bad, it doesn’t take anything away from the fact that the cast and crew of this film managed to make a film that’s still relevant today. This year, marks the 20th anniversary of Juice and people still regard it as a classic, to Dickerson’s delight and surprise: “My daughter told me that her friends had Juice parties where they would watch the movie and recite the dialogue. Our little story still seems to resonate with so many young people today and I am very happy about that.” Check out the secrets behind this movie.
By Nekesa Mumby Moody
NEW YORK — Spike Lee worked with Michael Jackson and considered him a friend, but the director says even he learned a lot combing through footage of the icon for a planned documentary about the singer’s “Bad” album.
Lee calls it a “treasure chest of findings.”
“We have footage in this documentary that no one’s ever seen, stuff that Michael shot himself, behind-the-scenes stuff,” he said in an interview Monday. “We had complete access to the vaults of Michael Jackson. … He wrote 60 demos for the `Bad’ record. Only 11 made it. So we got to hear a lot of that stuff, too, so it was just a great experience.”
Read more at blackvoices.com
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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.
What exactly is a “Prostitute Hunter?”
That’s how retired boxing legend turned Broadway actor, Mike Tyson, described himself in a bizarre interview on NBC’s Today Show this morning.
Talking to Ann Curry about his transformation from a controversial ex-athlete to a clean-living vegan and self-proclaimed “wimp”, he said:
“I just threw up the white flag. There was too many prison cells, too many jails, too many lawsuits, too many bankruptcies, too many women, too many venereal diseases, too many everything. I got tired. I really got tired of, you know, like every time a prostitute –- I would head back from a trip — I had to sleep with her. So I just said, ‘I’m going to live a different life.’”
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” he laughed. “I was a prostitute hunter!”
The former heavyweight champ visited Today this morning with Spike Lee to talk about his one-man broadway play: “Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth” which Spike is directing. MSNBC reports that Tyson’s openness shocked Las Vegas crowds during his biographical show there and he promises the play will be just as candid. Tyson says he’ll be talking about his boxing career, rape conviction, drug abuse, coming up in a “sex worker world” (his mom was a prostitute and his dad was a pimp) and how he’s turned his life around.
The storied former boxer told ABC News that the show is part of his effort to move his life in a positive direction.
“This is what me and my wife wanted to do — this is what we decided to do after I gave up using drugs and being a pig and stuff, right, so this is what we decided we were going to [live] on this kind of level. Just keep it moving and doing positive things.”
I’m a little too young to remember “The Iron Man” during his glory days, but I do remember him as the boxer who bit that other boxer’s ear, beat up his ex-wife Robin Givens and went to prison for raping someone. He’s pretty much the last guy I would expect to have a show on Broadway and thus potentially walk the red carpet at the Tony Awards. But, hey, there are definitely worse things he could be doing with his life besides trying to move it in a positive direction.
Here’s hoping he’s done hunting prostitutes for good.
In case you want to watch, here’s the clip from the interview. Thank God Spike was there.
Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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