Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Gabrielle Union Joins Jamie Foxx in a Race to Save His Kidnapped Son, in 'Sleepless Night' Gabrielle Union Joins Jamie Foxx in a Race to Save His Kidnapped Son, in 'Sleepless Night' Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ 'Girlhood' Is Now Streaming on Netflix. We Spoke to the Director About Race, Gender & the Universality of the Story 'Girlhood' Is Now Streaming on Netflix. We Spoke to the Director About Race, Gender & the Universality of the Story First Official Look at Omar Sy in 'Chocolat' (Film Attracts Distributors at Cannes But No USA Pickup Yet) First Official Look at Omar Sy in 'Chocolat' (Film Attracts Distributors at Cannes But No USA Pickup Yet) Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Spike Lee's Initially "X-Rated" Feature Film Debut ("She's Gotta Have It) Now Streaming On Netflix & In HD

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act March 1, 2012 at 10:15AM

It's about damn time! Not that I haven't already seen the film enough, but I'm always shocked when I run into folks - black folks especially - who claim to be black film lovers, or specifically Spike Lee lovers, who tell me that they haven't seen She's Gotta Have It. 
5
she's gotta have it

It's about damn time! Not that I haven't already seen the film enough, but I'm always shocked when I run into folks - black folks especially - who claim to be black film lovers, or specifically Spike Lee lovers, who tell me that they haven't seen She's Gotta Have It

The first question I'm often asked is: is it streaming on Netflix?

Well, now it is. It became available on February 16th, and will disappear on May 1st, so, folks with Netflix accounts you've got about 2 months left to watch the film. It might seem like a long time, but time flies... so throw it onto your queue. 

This was the film that essentially introduced Spike Lee to the world (Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads aside, which won the Student Academy Award and got Spike an agent); a film that celebrated its 25th anniversary last year (2011); and also a film that was initially given an X-rating by the MPAA? Why? The exact quote, according to Spike, was that the MPAA said it was "saturated with sex."

Thus Spike had to re-edit the film three times, and still then it was considered too risque; so he released it first in New York unrated, but was contractually obligated to deliver an R-rated movie, if he wanted to get paid, and eventually did.

What was Spike's response to the whole thing?

"I don't think it's out-and-out racist, but the film portrays blacks outside stereotypical roles, and they don't know what to do with blacks in films. They never have any love interests. Nick Nolte is the one who has a relationship in 48 Hours. And when it comes to black sexuality, they especially don't know how to deal with it. They feel uncomfortable. There are films with more gratuitous sex and violence. 9 1/2 weeks got an "R." And look at Body Double."

How little has changed in 25 years! There's still very much this suppression of *black sexuality* in mainstream cinema, so much that some of our stars (especially our male stars) seem to have even given up, or given in to these tacit "agreements," if we can call them that.

I'd say that since the Blaxploitation period ended, black sexual expression has been noticeably absent from mainstream cinema.

In 1987, when Robert Townsend's Hollywood Shuffle was released (in which his character was involved in a romance with Anne Marie Johnson's), he was quoted as saying:

"This year, I'll be the only black man that kissed a black woman on screen. That's deep."

And with that, I'll leave you with this, how many films developed, financed and released by a Hollywood studio last year had a black man kissing a black woman, or vice-versa, with mutual affection? How about this year, 3 months in?

By the way, if you still haven't read it, I can't recommend enough that you do: Spike Lee's Gotta Have It: Inside Guerrilla Filmmaking; think of it as the godfather of the S&A Filmmaker Diary series in book form.

Say hello to Mars Blackmon and Nola Darling:

This article is related to: New On VOD


Shadow & ActNewsletter