Just when this thread couldn’t go further off topic. Bruce, since you realized you would generate some undesirable reactions for saying the above, perhaps you would just allow me to ask you a question. What about men who don’t feel like we’ve been “sexually mutilated?” I’m not asking to provoke. I just find the whole anti-male circumcision movement to be bizarre.
You’re entitled to feel however you like about it. Female circumcision has any number of female proponents who insist it is a rite of passage within the context of their culture (disclaimer: I’m very aware that they are not equal in terms of physiological harm).
If I’m not oversharing here, being circumsized probably hurt like hell at the time, but I’m fine now. I understand those who are particularly horrified argue that such pain must cause psychological trauma, but I’ve been messed up far worse by things I actually remember. i’d say female genital mutilation is far worse than circumsision, because, speaking for myself at least, i don’t remember the ordeal, and my penis works just fine.
That it hurts is not the substance of my opposition to it. My opposition is that it is an act of sanctioned violence against a child that is permanent, and the branding of a child’s body for religious reasons without his consent has no place in any supposedly secular, humanistic society.
…and a one-day old baby has the power to offer consent for what?
The debate truly is getting odd and surreal.
Which is why it shouldn’t be ritually performed on one-day old babies.
Should we not cut umbilical cords either without the baby’s say-so? Maybe we shouldn’t provide any care for them at all until they are of an age when they can give consent for it — assuming they’ve somehow learned how to talk by that point.
Spike Lee’s five highest rated films on the IMDb:
Do the Right Thing (1989)
25th Hour (2002)
Malcolm X (1992)
Inside Man (2006)
Using these as a benchmark, would you call the man a great director?
You know what I think. Then again, IMDB might not be the ideal filter for something like this.
“I like the narrative form as a vessel to make a point on or even just to take a look at arguments.”
But suppose the narrative is poorly conceived and constructed with a film that is narrative based (i.e. not a film that intentionally isn’t concerned with a narrative). Would you still feel the same way? I like narratives that provoke thought and questions from the audience, but I want the narratives and characters to stand on their own (if the film is not an art film).
Sometimes I think of making films about certain issues that I really care about. I try to think of a story and characters to present this issue, but really the story and characters are an excuse to express my opinions. I don’t have a story or characters that I really care about or feel like need to be told. I care more about my opinions. I don’t think that approach will lead to good narrative-based film. Sometimes I get the sense that Lee takes this kind of approach.
“Do the Right Thing (1989)
25th Hour (2002)
Malcolm X (1992)
Inside Man (2006)
Using these as a benchmark, would you call the man a great director?"
Yes that is some truly varied and exceptional work.
“That it hurts is not the substance of my opposition to it. My opposition is that it is an act of sanctioned violence against a child that is permanent, and the branding of a child’s body for religious reasons without his consent has no place in any supposedly secular, humanistic society.”
But surely you’ve encountered the arguments that it has not only religious purpose but medical and hygienic purposes. It’s also as much a cultural as a religious rite. Plus, at the risk of opening up this topic to issues even farther removed than Spike Lee, I’ve never been convinced that so much is lost by the process. “Act of sanctioned violence” seems too extreme rhetoric. Is ear-piercing an act of sanctioned violence?
But surely you’ve encountered the arguments that it has not only religious purpose but medical and hygienic purposes.
At least one prominent study has suggested that female circumcision helps prevent the spread of AIDS. Would you be willing to condone that practice if done for medical purposes?
It’s also as much a cultural as a religious rite. Plus, at the risk of opening up this topic to issues even farther removed than Spike Lee, I’ve never been convinced that so much is lost by the process.
Amputate whatever you want on your own body, it means nothing to me. That you don’t feel much is lost is absolutely no justification for the act to be performed on a child who hasn’t consented to it.
“Act of sanctioned violence” seems too extreme rhetoric. Is ear-piercing an act of sanctioned violence?
Ear piercings are not routinely performed on infants, to my knowledge are never performed on children without their consent, and heal of their own accord if the piercing is removed from the ear.
c’mon bruce this is a spike lee thread please ponder yr penis issues somewhere else.
Haha! Really! This has got to be one of the most ridiculous debates I’ve ever heard on this forum. Not saying one view is right and the other wrong. Just that I can’t believe we’re having foreskin issues. How much further off-track can we get?
Well, Bruce does seem to think that Spike Lee is a dick so there’s an easy transition there. :)
Much as I think the experience of racism and being circumcised is an extremely unfortunate comparison, it is a pretty interesting discussion though.
I would like to hear from a male who has been circumsized and wishes he had his foreskin back, that would make the conversation interesting at the very least its a good topic for Maury
Den, I won’t speak for Bruce but I think that’s the case for most anti-circumcision activists. There is always foreskin restoration procedures (as seen in Agnieszka Holland’s Europa Europa).
damn Ari. I have not been reading much of these non Lee posts. I did not know something like that existed.
I will file it with the Holocaust deniers, the Flat Earth Society and the Tarrantino fan club as things I want to know nothing about.
At this point, I’m tempted to offer a Freudian reading of this thread, but I’ll refrain.
“Wayans adopts a strange intellectual persona that is so out of his wheelhouse it almost suggests that the black intellectual is as false as the opposite depiction; he does not ruin the film or its commentary but comes a bit close to harming it. I do not know who could have played the part (James Earl Jones maybe with a big rewrite).”
It’s interesting that barely anyone notes the irony of casting a guy like Damon Wayans in a role like that. He was the living embodient of the ‘black buffoon’ stereotype in films for a while there. The film definitely works on a few levels. It wasn’t great, but it was full of piss and vinegar, and pointed the finger a little more decisively at the black community for once
“She Hate Me tho is a great comment on the black superman and sexual satire in general”
It was a mess though don’t you agree? an interesting mess, but a mess nonetheless. It wasn’t particularly coherent either, and any point he could have been making was drowned out by that personal responsibility nonsense that seems to undermine the complexity of most of his films.
As for Summer Of Sam, i just saw that as another comment on how fear and ignorance of difference can breed a lynch mob mentality under extreme circumstances. In that sense, it definitely fits into his oeuvre quite nicely, and thematic and structural comparisons can be made to D.T.R.T.
At this point, I’m tempted to offer a Freudian reading of this thread, but I’ll refrain
I would love to see that.
Yes, lets stay on topic, folks.
I can’t really offer my two cents on whether he is a great director, as I’ve only seen a handful of his films. I get the impression he can be hit or miss. I really liked both Do the Right Thing and 25th Hour.
Whatever. I’m done with this forum.
I would like to add that yes, Spike Lee is a great director and has made great films. His impact however, is more important than the films in context. This man has done more to open up diversity in this business than any other, starting with his first feature and continuing as a business man.
It’s not a point to debate whether he’s a great director or not, for most of you here will highly regard people with lesser impact in this world as greater, and that’s your point. Cinephiles. But for me Lee’s impact on film is undeniable, and the work speaks for itself. And that is bigger than any discussion about merits or lack that contain, it’s a reality. Man.
Do The Right Thing.
When The Leeves Broke.
Mo Better Blues.
4 Little Girls.
All these represent as good a resume and your contemporaries, both pure craft and storytelling. The message always overlooked when discussing Spike Lee.
Now continue your cookie cutter tour into irrelevance. Dismissal.
Spike Lee is in negotiations to direct the thriller “Nagasaki Deadline” for Alcon Entertainment according to Deadline.
David and Peter Griffiths penned the script which focuses on a troubled FBI agent and his desperate race to thwart two terrorist attacks planned to unfold on American soil – a crime tied to historical events.
Jon Landau, Rae Sanchini, Andrew Kosove, Kira Davis and Broderick Johnson will produce. Shooting will take place on the East Coast next year
I hope he does this. A big project like this can bring him right to the top. I like his recent work, even Passing Strange but like to see him with a big canvas sometimes.
Just watched Malcolm X last night, first time. Liked it very much. Best I’ve seen out of Lee… is he great? Tough. He feels like the black Scorsese in certain ways, but Lee is a lot less shrewd than Scorsese turned out to be. But he’s got balls, and maybe those go as far as talent?
Lee never made anything as awful as shutter island tho
Plus I think he is still capable of suprising us, MS has not been creatively suprising for years
Malcolm X is one of the best biopics ever made imo. Denzel was robbed!!!
Den, what ever happened to Spike Lee’s horror film?
not sure joks, never heard about that.
I know he had tried for years to do Jackie Robinson and could not get funding (Redford has been trying to direct a version lately). That is one I would love to see. Oh course, would love to see a horror film too
^^yeah, i’m pretty sure he would do a better job at horror than Ernest Dickerson! Bones anyone? ;-)
Demon Knight is a guilty pleasure of mine though.
I could see him doing some kind of zombie film that is an allegory on race or something, sometimes I don’t think he can just make something for fun (he is different then Woody Allen, who he is oft compared to, in this way since Woody can do a silly comedy now and again) unless maybe it involves basketball or something but even the Kobe film (along with the Jim Brown documentary) is about him making a record of heroic black figures