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The Playlist

The Playlist's 10 Most Anticipated Films Of The Venice Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 27, 2012 11:55 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Superhero movies be damned, festival season is underway. Indeed, by the time you read this, this writer will be winging his way to (hopefully) sunny Italy to spend ten days or so resolutely avoiding getting anything like a tan at the 69th Venice Film Festival. The first under the new leadership of Alberto Barbera, it's lived up to his promise of being a less glitzy, more sober take, with no major studio fare to be found, and a line up that emphasizes international auteurs over the American and British filmmakers who dominated line-ups in previous years.

Samuel L. Jackson Joins Spike Lee's 'Oldboy' In Small Role, Bruce Hornsby Will Score

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • August 18, 2012 12:33 PM
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  • 4 Comments
While they recently shared the stage at the 2012 BET Awards, it's hard to believe that Samuel L. Jackson hasn't been in a Spike Lee movie in twenty one years; 1991's "Jungle Fever." But that's all about to change. With four feature-length collaborations under their belts (including "School Daze," "Do The Right Thing" and "Mo Better Blues"), the duo are finally going to make a fifth: Jackson has landed a small, but pivotal role in Lee's upcoming adaptation of the second installment of Park Chan-wook's celebrated vengeance trilogy, "Oldboy." 

First Look: Spike Lee's Michael Jackson Documentary 'Bad 25'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 14, 2012 12:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While he's still hoping to get his "Brooklyn Loves MJ" project off the ground, as he told us last week, Spike Lee's been able to scratch his Michael Jackson itch; hot on the heels of the release of "Red Hook Summer," he'll unveil "Bad 25," a new documentary about the creation of the pop star's seminal record, at the Venice Film Festival (where he'll also get a lifetime achievement award) in a few short weeks. And it was announced this week that Lee will also be bringing the film to the Toronto International Film Festival.

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.
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