The Playlist

The Films Of Spike Lee: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 10, 2012 4:05 PM
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  • 32 Comments
If this weekend feels special for movie fans, it's not because of the trio of big-name blockbusters hitting theaters, it's because it sees a new dramatic feature -- the first in four years -- from Spike Lee, one of the most talented, idiosyncratic, maddening and controversial American filmmakers of the last thirty years. It's a rarity for a director to be instantly, iconically recognizable, but Lee's one of the exceptions, gaining visibility through starring roles in his early films, a famous appearance in a Nike ad alongside Michael Jordan, and plenty of moments when he's spoken his mind and caused an uproar.

Review: Spike Lee Reconnects With His Artistic Voice With The Emotionally Devastating 'Red Hook Summer'

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • August 9, 2012 6:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It’s hard to say how long it’s been since Spike Lee was as ambitious, and as focused, as he is on “Red Hook Summer.” Telling a story that evokes “Crooklyn” in its depiction of children coming of age, filtered through two subsequent decades of his professional successes and failures, not to mention an era of black cinema dominated by the iconography of filmmakers like Tyler Perry, Lee’s latest film is a return to the incendiary form that made his name in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, as it examines life in a Brooklyn housing project through the eyes of a preteen who’s forced to spend the summer with his ministerial grandfather. Overlong but consequently understated – perhaps more so than in any film he’s ever made - as its didactic and yet discursive tale builds to a devastating emotional crescendo, “Red Hook Summer” is not just Spike Lee’s most authentically “Spike Lee” film in more than a decade, but a remarkable display of a filmmaker reconnecting with his artistic voice.

The Playlist Q&A: Spike Lee Talks 'Red Hook Summer,' Hollywood, Michael Jackson & More

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • August 9, 2012 3:07 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The Republic of Brooklyn and its ongoing chronicles have taken director Spike Lee all over New York's brightest and best borough (its estimated that if Brooklyn was its own city it would be the third largest in the United States). "Do The Right Thing" took place in Bed-Stuyvesant, parts of "Jungle Fever" took place in Bensonhurst, while Harlem-centric "Mo' Better Blues" homebase was Dumbo, "Clockers" was set among the Boerum Hill projects, "He Got Game" landed in Coney Island and "She’s Gotta Have It" was centered in Fort Greene where Lee lived for many years, to name a few.

Exclusive: Spike Lee Explains What Happened To Mookie & Sal After The End Of 'Do The Right Thing'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 9, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Jason Bourne might be back this weekend, but there's one return that we're a little more excited about: Spike Lee, who has a new movie in theaters for the first time since 2008's "Miracle At St. Anna." And while that picture was a sprawling, World War Two epic, his latest, "Red Hook Summer," is a return to the kind of films that he made his name with, a small-scale drama about life on the streets of Brooklyn. And while it has divided critics a little, our own review came out firmly on the positive side of things.

Exclusive: Spike Lee Hoping To Make Adaptation Of Musical ‘Porgy & Bess’; Still Hopes To Make ‘Brooklyn Loves MJ’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • August 8, 2012 2:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments
A little known fact that even hardcore Spike Lee fans may not know: the “Do The Right Thing” filmmaker has been trying to make a film adaptation of George Gershwin's legendary 1935 American folk opera "Porgy And Bess” for over a decade now. Lee came close in the early aughts, but talks with the notoriously fussy Gershwin estate reportedly fell apart at the very last minute after what was allegedly was a lot of back and forth.

Watch: Mookie Returns In First Clip From Spike Lee's 'Red Hook Summer'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 27, 2012 1:31 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Even though he's not a major character in the film, and doesn't really play into the narrative as far as we know, it's probably a good marketing angle to feature Spike Lee's Mookie from "Do The Right Thing" in the first clip from the director's next effort, the indie flick "Red Hook Summer." But more intriguingly, this scene updates us on what's happened to him since he threw a trash can through the window at Sal's Pizzeria.

Watch: Clip From Spike Lee's Documentary About Michael Jackson's "Bad"; Theatrical Release Planned

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 18, 2012 9:44 AM
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  • 9 Comments
While there is still no official title or release date, those details are likely right around the corner as the first clip from Spike Lee's documentary about Michael Jackson's Bad has arrived. And yeah, it looks like it's going to be some fascinating stuff.
More: Spike Lee

Take Another Look At Spike Lee's 'Red Hook Summer' With 10 New Images

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 5, 2012 12:25 PM
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  • 0 Comments
You've likely already been feeling the intense heat the summer is bringing already, and if you're looking for a cool place to escape in August, you might want to hit up your local arthouse where you'll still be able to feel the season's sweaty and sticky vibe, but in air conditioned comfort. Spike Lee returns with "Red Hook Summer," his first non-doc feature since 2008's "Miracle At St. Anna's," and a handful of new images are here to give you a further look at what he'll be bringing.

5 Things You May Not Know About 'Do The Right Thing'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 2, 2012 8:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments
On a weekend where record temperatures were being recorded in New York City, and elsewhere in the U.S., it's appropriate that two of the best films in theaters, "Magic Mike" and "Take This Waltz," both revolve around long, hot summers. And it's doubly appropriate that Saturday also marked the anniversary of perhaps the definitive heatwave movie: Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing." Of course, Lee's masterpiece isn't just a look at Brooklyn over a boiling hot summer day, it's also one of the greatest American films in the history of the medium, one whose critical reputation has only grown since Kim Basinger's protestation on stage at the Oscars the following year that it was the best film of 1989, and yet hadn't been nominated (although Danny Aiello got a nod, as did Lee's screenplay).

Rafe Spall To Star In 'Son Of The South' Produced By Spike Lee

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • June 28, 2012 6:25 PM
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  • 4 Comments
It’s probably fair to say by now that Rafe Spall is a bit of a rising star. The son of Timothy Spall excelled in early roles in Edgar Wright’s “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” while in the last twelve months he’s done his very best to steal the show through lightly comic roles in “One Day,” “Anonymous” and “Prometheus.” After being cast as a romantic lead in Dan Mazer’s newlywed comedy "I Give It A Year" opposite Rose Byrne and Anna Faris earlier this year, it appeared that the range of roles Spall was attracting was beginning to significantly broaden. That trend seems to be continuing with Spall set to lead the Spike Lee produced indie drama “Son Of The South.”

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