Sunday, May 10, 2009

May I point you...

... to a hellified discussion that jumped off today on the cinema blog Shadow and Act?

It began with Sergio Mims’s provocative piece titled “Spike’s Career Crisis.” (And you know how it gets when black film freaks start rolling on the subject of Spike Lee.)

58 comments:

Bay Radical said...

Ha! Couldn't help yourself!

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I know, right? It's a sickness.

Invisible Woman said...

Out of retirement already for lil' ole us? Flattery doesn't begin to describe...

Sergio is one to mix it up, yes? lol

Kellybelle said...

OMG--I had a full body spasm of joy when I saw you posted!

Thrasher said...

Of course Spike can continue to be creative and deliver ..I have no reservations about Spike's genius..

Once a genius always a genius..

Satyrblade said...

*sighs* Yeah, I was incredibly disappointed with Miracle, too. Not because it was "too angry," though - heck, I felt the cafe scene and the propaganda poster scene were among the best in the film. On the contrary, I found the worst element of the film to be its script. (Well, that and the heavy-handed "sleeping man profile" bit, the falling coffee cup and the two final scenes, which were all astoundingly bad coming from a director of Spike's vision and experience.)

I'm not surprised to read that McBride had never written a screenplay before. The film's messy storytelling was a clear indication that he had no idea what he was doing. Miracle was plotted like a novel, not a movie. Its characters wandered in and out of the story with no direction, the film lacked a clear protagonist, the timing was off-kilter throughout, and many of the lines seemed like something that looked good on paper but sounded false coming out of a human being's mouth. Worse, the story itself lacked logic: why was a Postal worker carrying a WWII relic pistol to work - loaded! - for 30 years? Why did he recognize someone he hadn't seen in decades, and then shoot him without a moment's hesitation, in the middle of a crowded room? When the final mystery is unraveled - kinda - it makes even less sense. And what the **** was going on with that "magic Negro" - an unwittingly racist stereotype that Spike, of all people, should have spotted a mile away?

A writer/ director of Spike's caliber should have seen and addressed the vast problems with the script before he started shooting. His blindness to them, in my opinion, outweighed any feuds he may have had with Eastwood. Woody Allen and Mel Gibson can (sort of) get away with acting psycho because their movies consistently deliver. Spike's output, as we've seen, is far more erratic. If he can just get his committment to great filmmaking as strong as his committment to being a social critic - that is, if he goes back to letting great films make his statements for him - I still have faith in Spike's success.

Until then... man, St. Anna's was a major step in the wrong direction!

- Satyr

Dollar Bill said...

I knew daily visits shoud remain part of my ritual.

Thrasher said...

Nonsense to the stream of thought which is obessed with the quality of film making over the more significant issues of story telling, theme, education, politics, communication..

It means remind of the purist types who have this strange notion that they alone are the arbiters of what matters..I run into this myopic posturing when folks try to sale me that those artists who appeal to large volumes and masses of folks are not as artistic and creative as those artists who appeal to the elites/purist markets ( and less folks)

In fact I would argue the ability to connect a theme a construct with the majority is truly more genius that the ability to connect with a minor audience..Convincing millions of folks to feel ya is more compelling that being in the flow with a few..

Now I realize this runs counter to the inflated artistic ethos of the so-called progressive flow but does it really?????

phx said...

You guys were just trying to get rid of me, huh?

that dude said...

Ah, now all is right with the world. Well, Rush is still alive...but still, good to have you back UBM.

yeah, that was a honest ass whipping of Mr. Lee. He's always been more like his father than folks realize. the rigid jazzman who refuses to do anything to make himself commercially palatable. As if anything that pleases the audience can't be good.

Thrasher said...

I found the Spike article yet another envious drive by hit piece..

I do understand we live in a nation that has a legacy and tradition of contempt for Black genius in a number of venues..

I also understand how this contamination and underdeveloped thinking has inflicted plenty of Black folks who engaged in the same contempt for Black genius in a surrogate fashion..

In other words I am tired of cheap shots at Black icons by nobodies ...

Undercover Black Man said...

As if anything that pleases the audience can't be good.

He should take a lesson from Scorsese.

And can you believe... 20th anniversary of "Do the Right Thing"? Has there been an American movie since that has better captured a cultural moment-in-time? That thing scratched America right where it itched.

that dude said...

Thrasher -

Critizing Spike is not hateration any more than critizing Puffy or Tyler Perry...all driven men who have achieved a great deal, but make suspect art.

I can't call any of Spike's films masterpieces, although almost all of them have great moments in them. In fact, that's what drives me crazy about his work...his lack of discipline that always undermines his gigantic talent. He's smart, he's inventive, great eye and ear, but not only is he NOT growing as an artist or craftsman, he's so far from his best work you wonder how it can turn around.

It appears that he's created a work environment where he doesn't have the checks and balances that push even the greatest artists to do their best work. Waiting for a great movie from Spike is like waiting on a great album from Prince. That run is over.

Thrasher said...

Undercover,

When did you become a human spellchecker?? My genius is about my content and presence .. I never concerned myself with trival issues like form, spelling, syntax, grammar, etc all usual nonsense of the chatter class when they do not measure up and need to go native on shallow stuff like spelling..

Is that where you are undercover? Focused on my spelling?/ Come on needgro after 2000 posts you are better than that right??

In any event I am moving on and I will keep my promise with the landlords of the site..This is a great spot..I will try to keep my posts above the fray..

Thrasher said...

That Dude,

Nonsense I disagree with your evaluation in part because your analysis is tired paradigm based upon a narrow focus on what consititutes a master, a icon, a genius..

You like others who have no idea on how to measure or evaluate genius. You engaged in a shallow metric to evaluate people like Prince, Spike ( with comments like yours about thier future body of work)

Your entire notion that he cannot produce again or he does not have anything left in the tank is based upon what? The yardstick and litmus test of what others used to evaluate genius and merit?

Allow me to suggest to you genius and iconic presence is not a segment or episode or a stage of genius..It is the essence of the artist, creator, being, legend, icon the total value, the whole movie not a short or a snapshot..

The genius of people like Spike and others is thier essence to not only create immortal footprints but to always be in the moment..

Spike has always been there and at all times his genius exhibits and fills the void...

One other note and it is based upon a cultural truth in our nation Black folks as a result of the pathology of white supremacy have always been uncomfortible with the reality that genius abounds in our reality, our venues in our worlds..many of us for a number of reasons cannot accept or validate this truth about genius we always thinks it is others( white folks) instead of it being US...

I do not have that cultural blindspot..I see it everyday in my mirror and in the eyes of many who share a cultural dna with me..

Expand your mind..Your ass will follow...

Undercover Black Man said...

When did you become a human spellchecker?? My genius is about my content and presence .. I never concerned myself with trival issues like form, spelling, syntax, grammar, etc. ...

Spoken like an absolute fucking moron.

That's like a sorry-ass singer saying, "My genius is about my vibe. I don't concern myself with trivial shit like hitting notes, staying in pitch, etc. ..."

Youngblood, you might be carried away with your own magnificence... but you ain't impressing anybody else. Not in spots where intelligent people gather.

Undercover Black Man said...

Waiting for a great movie from Spike is like waiting on a great album from Prince. That run is over.

Pow.

But dude... you wouldn't call "Do the Right Thing" a masterpiece?

Thrasher said...

"That's like a sorry-ass singer saying, "My genius is about my vibe. I don't concern myself with trivial shit like hitting notes, staying in pitch, etc. ..."

Undercover that statement of yours is written like a petty slug who writes like a stenographer in a chat forum..

..BTW Wes Mongomery could not read music nor could Robert Johnson but shit how would you know that hanging around intelligent people like you claim you do..

Just continue to be my human spellchecker focusing on commas, spelling and other trival shit ..WOW maybe you should have dismissed yourself about a 1000 posts ago...Fucking human spellchecker in a chat forum....lol,lol,lol,

Oh yeah one other note, run a spellcheck for me on this post.....lol,lol,lol

Thrasher said...

"do your thing youngblood"

Youngblood??..

Thanks for the compliment..I am 56 it feels good knowing my flow appeals to the younger set..BTW You could never be my tour guide with your instincts about folks..It must a condition of hanging around all those intelligent folks one suffers the lost of his own skill set...lol,lol,lol

Undercover Black Man said...

^ At least you like to laugh.

Thrasher said...

Yeah you are amusing me as well.. Keep it up..You may need to invite your intelligent friends to help ya..lol,lol,lol

BTW check my spelling...

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Superbly written.

Thrasher said...

Can we stick a fork in ya???..You were done about 1500 posts ago...I dismissed you when you posted that bullshit ( look at me I making cutting chatter and news) piece about brothers not being dosed by our goverment with a STD...

Your proofs sucked and given the depravity of our government towards Black Americans and the ethnic cleansing by our government of Native Americans your ease and apologistic act of dismissing our goverment from not only refusing treatment but no doubt also dosing up those brothers was enough for me to discount you..


But shit you issue absolutes in that post like you were a fucking mad scientist( It never happended..The government never injected them..etc)..Must be that intelligent cluster theory of yours..lol,lol,lol

Not much has changed now you have sunk to being a human spellchecker in a chat forum....

Makes you wanna hollar...

bklyn6 said...

"Done"? How 'bout medium-rare. LOL

that dude said...

UBM, I think Spike's masterpiece is 4 LITTLE GIRLS, followed by his short doc on Mike Tyson.

DO THE RIGHT THING, MALCOLM X and HE GOT GAME are all near great films to me. All very important films that are nearly perfect, but just fall short of the highest catagory to me.

james said...

So Thrasher...(nice butch name btw) .. you cap on UBM for his blog posts when yours are a soft regurgitated wannabe buddha shite? Two things all your BLOG posts have in common, no one reads them and no one comments on em'..

Heres my personal favorite:
MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2009

God Bless America...
I know our nation has the capacity to be a wonderful place. I will do what I can to make our nation live up to its ideals......
POSTED BY THRASHER AT 5:52 PM 0 COMMENTS

or


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 2009

Memories
Remember .....Remember......Remember.......
POSTED BY THRASHER AT 6:43 PM 0 COMMENTS

or
THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2009

Now is the Moment..
Why wait..Go for it..Be Bold


MAKE A DIFFERENCE....


I DO...............................
POSTED BY THRASHER AT 5:59 PM 0 COMMENTS


Yer Black STUART SMALLEY thing is tired..!

Undercover Black Man said...

"Done"? How 'bout medium-rare.

Har-har...

Thrasher said...

James,

WHO appointed you Undercover's bodyguard...Are you his mistress..lol,lol,lol

Sorry about that..BTW my musings are on a blog not a website..

Come on James threaten me with some nasty witty posts...lol,lol,lol

BTW I like bring dead tired sites back to life...

Thrasher said...

david,

You are not an intellectual coward..Please forward this to your boys..

Tambay,

Again I have already expressed my views with you about my comments..Please do not lecture to me or threaten me .

You are out of order and it is obvious you lack the maturity to handle dissent and alternative opinons..

You can kiss my ass.. oops I am sorry meant you can kiss my Black ass..You should be on your bended knees thanking me for breathing some life into your sorry ass site..

I do whatever I want 24/7..I can log on here and post anything fucking time I do desire..I can it is that simple..

Now do me a favor get off your high moralizing ass and get out of the way .. This site needs passion and diverse opinions..Stop being afraid of being bold..

Deal with these truths and stop acting like a pussy ..Get some balls and either step up or get stepped on..

Shit call fucking homeland security if you cannot handle folks with more presence and style than your tired footprints..

Negroes and colored folks acting like elites…

Makes you want to holla and throw up both your hands…

KST said...

@ "Thrasher" is it? I suppose one could say I'm a lurker/google stalker (see The Black Snob site)and insert David for T.J.

Um, I've been just a teensy bit unhappy over the announcement that UCBM has suspended his blog. So, imagine my extreme joy when I check and see he is sorta still around. I'm going to need for you to stop acting like a toddler with a stolen binky.

Thanks in advance.

Undercover Black Man said...

Please forward this to your boys..

Thrash... you were a guest in somebody else's house, and you pissed in the potted plants as soon as you showed up. I can't do nothin' for ya, mayne.

If you wanna dwell at a spot where your "OG" style won't be held against you... check out Denmark Vesey. It's like Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots with words.

that dude said...

Ha! I thought about how Thasher would fit in at Denmark Vesey after his spirited defense of no-nothingism. But I think that clever bunch will end up knocking him around too.

Now that you've quote one of my favorite Flavor Flav jams, can we get back to the subject at hand?

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Cool. I'm ashamed to say, dude, that I haven't given full attention to Spike's documentaries. Not even the Katrina one.

Undercover Black Man said...

So, imagine my extreme joy when I check and see he is sorta still around.

Ain't you sweet? Thanks, KST.

that dude said...

I tried to watch LEVEES, but couldn't make it through it. I would give it another chance though.

But 4 LITTLE GIRLS? Blazin'.

james said...

"James,

WHO appointed you Undercover's bodyguard...Are you his mistress..lol,lol,lol"


Another interweb hero... How refreshing..

Thrasher said...

Undercover,

I may take you up on that tip about the othe web site...I had no idea frank and candid dialouge on so-called artistic sites were subject to such censorship and attack..

I love words and I value all of then even when they are mouthed by those who spit out hate speech..

I simply cannot delete words from my universe from kit to nigger to bitch and cunt not my words of the trade but nonetheless words which have a place in the world...

BTW I did not piss on Tambay's plants I simply open the door and provided them some fresh air...

Thrasher said...

KST,


I never designated you my personal stalker so stop biting on my jockey strap...

I am going to need you to stay out of my flow unless you add some value to it..

If you have obession issues with Undercover please do me a favor and keep me out of it..I hate it when females drool over men other than me..

Thrasher said...

That dude..

Whatever..I dismised you already..

Thrasher said...

James,
You can worship me all you want...BTW I do not sign autographs...

Undercover Black Man said...

But 4 LITTLE GIRLS? Blazin'.

I need to move on that. In terms of his dramatic features, the one I'm tempted to revisit is "Summer of Sam." If nothing else to check out what Adrien Brody was doing.

that dude said...

Yes, SUMMER OF SAM was a very interesting film. Give Spike a good script, and make him stick to it, and interesting things can happen. Just doesn't happen very often.

This is why it's tragedy that cats like yourself don't do more feature work. There aren't a lot of folks with your level of craft that can also write the nuances of black culture. Seriously, it's a problem in comedy, but it's CRISIS in drama.

Anonymous said...

You hope someones kidneys fail? Are you retarded? Do you have any idea what kidney failure entails? Shut the fuck up you lonely, ignorant, coward.

Undercover Black Man said...

This is why it's tragedy that cats like yourself don't do more feature work.

Walon Green, who has had a very successful career in features, told me that for every movie he wrote that got made... he wrote three scripts that never got produced.

Writing movie scripts is a hell of a lot of work for a one-in-four chance of being made.

KST said...

I was thinking the same thing about "Summer of Sam." Adrien Brody's performance in that film was brilliant.

"Four Little Black Girls" - amazing.

“Malcolm X” - I attended a lecture Spike Lee gave while making this film. He was clear about what he wanted to do with this movie and the aspects of Malcolm’s life that he wanted to portray. Loved the movie - hated that so many people chose to view it as historical fact, rather than an artistic interpretation of Malcolm’s life. Sporting anything with an "X" became the fashion statement of the day. I have had several discussions with people about Malcolm only to realize they had never actually read his autobiography, but watched the damn movie!
"When the Levees Broke" isn't your thing - check out "Trouble Water" which was nominated for an Oscar.

Despite what anyone says about Spike – he’s one of the few black filmmakers that have come close to illustrating the black experience the way Oscar Micheaux did.

KST said...

Thrasher: Lord knows I hate to give you anymore attention...

You visited my blog and commented on a post about an experience I had with my child.

You wrote asinine assertions that I am on your “jockey strap” and I’m not adding "value to your flow”.

Unfortunately for you, it would require far too much time and intellectual energy to “add value” to anything you post as, you are spittn’ nonsensical BS. While I admire, UBM’s writing and may one day marry him… Learn to recognize a joke when you read one, silly.

Thrasher said...

KST,

Get real..You have a very selective memory..You posted the following on this site at me'

@ "Thrasher" is it? I suppose one could say I'm a lurker/google stalker (see The Black Snob site)and insert David for T.J.

Um, I've been just a teensy bit unhappy over the announcement that UCBM has suspended his blog. So, imagine my extreme joy when I check and see he is sorta still around. I'm going to need for you to stop acting like a toddler with a stolen binky.

Thanks in advance.
"

Now you have audacity to shake your head and roll your eyes cause I got in your grill....You really need to develop a sense of humor..

BTW your post on your site was a "YAWN"

Now run along and go work up a sweat for a brother..You are boring me now..

Thrasher said...

I was hoping Undercover would link or published Tee's post regarding his insights on Spike...

Apparently since Tee's comments are favorable to Spike and he like me thinks Spike is a Black genius Undercover silence is revealing...

One wonders is the envy and jealousy that deep in that industry by Black folks?

What drives this twisted self hate of the community?? I have reasoned that the effects of the pathologoies of white supemacy still wounds and stains and over time and turf..

Our cultural dna handles diease in many ways some of us become jaded, hopeless, angry, reactionary, progressive, backward, envious, underdeveloped, twisted....

Amazing.....

ps;Undercover make sure you do your human spell check thing...lol,lol,lol

that dude said...

Never thought about it that way... but I can still blame the dearth of quality black writing in features on you and folks with that same mind set!

KST said...

Comma splices aside - I meant to write: If "When the Levees Broke..."

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Ah. For a minute, I thought you knew me better than I know myself.

KST said...

Lol. I try...

that dude said...

UBM, this can be the new format of your site. One topic a week, pick the hottest button issue (boy did you call it right about how folks get their dander up about Spike) and let 'er rip.

Thrasher said...

That dude,

Undercover's topic selection had only a little to do with the massive volume of posts MY presence and flow was the reason for the volume of hits not only here but on Tambay's site..

Come on give a brother some love... I got skills and mad juice in a number of venues...lol,lol,lol

that dude said...

I thought you had dismissed me some time back, Thrasher. Which was fine with me since I decided to ignore you after UBM roasted you. Now that I am breaking my own rule and addressing you directly, let me make it clear:

You did not elevate or expand the conversation in any way. You have been an annoyance. You're not funny or smart. UBM was giving you benefit of the doubt when he called you youngblood. Once you revealed your age, it became sad.

You're some dude who can't imagine people understand class, race and other obvious shit and still have a more nuanced view of the world than you do.

If I were you I'd go back to lurking, and when you get the heart to step back into arena, come back in humble under another handle.

Undercover Black Man said...

Once you revealed your age, it became sad.

True.

Thrasher said...

ThatDude,

Yeah sure.. My simple posts reeled you into my talking points and the inflated Undercover into my posts.

I now got you to backtrack and post about me ...Your posts is a true reflection of the tired and stale vibe on this site.. You should take Undercover's advice and stick a fork into your ass..

Undercover should have closed up shop over 1500 posts ago..There is nothing here but a bunch of suspects attending a funeral becuase they have no place to go..

I dominated this site of late becuase in truth there was not much here but a bunch of shallow vessels posturing as if they offered ideas that had verve and substance..Now all that is here is yoyos who want to be Undercover's guardian and bodyguard ( It must be that intelligent cluster fuck theory of Undercover's..lol,lol,lol) when a poster dares to disagree with his underdeveloped commentaries..

Yeah I brought my old ass in here and kicked ass..This place is a tomb( I blame most of the dead air in here on the host)..

Whenever I come in here it will not be on bended knee nor will I ever retreat ... Why should in a site full of zombies and a boring ring master like Undercover..

Shit all of you cheerleaders and Undercover should be kissin my ass for making some noise in here...

Now just salivate and wait for my next post...

DRE said...

UBM, It is good to have you back, sir! Just when you thought you were out.............

4 Little Girls is a powerful piece of work. Probably my favorite of Spike's. In terms of his body of work, you have Do the Right Thing on one end of the spectrum and She Hate Me at the other end.