Friday, 20 January 2012

Spike Lee, Red Hook Summer

So Spike Lee has a new film awaiting a release date and a distribution deal (just like the old days of hustling' his wares to the studios for Lee's like The Inside Man really didn't happen huh?)  called Red Hook Summer.

Spike Lee talks Red Hook and the future of film

I always have time for anything Spike Lee has to say. In my eyes he is mostly right...about everything... This is a good read that address the lack of black directors such as Steve McQueen and Dee Rees (an ex student of his), how he contributes to film and views the industry in general and more importantly how Viand the coffee shop and breakfast joint opposite Barney's is the most orgasmic morning experience you can have (ok so those were clearly not his exact words but I know what he was saying'! Me and Spike are tight, like two sides of one large and at times frustrating brain...this has been proved by the more than slightly tenuous link of breakfast that burns between us)

Here's me in Viand last year stuffing my gob with pancakes and maple syrup and bacon goodness with my girls...good times :)


The Marilyn Factor's NY Tales

   I'm just glad to read about Spike living well! Getting calls from the President to hold a fundraiser in his cool house on the Upper East Side (oh you know it's cool! Just because I haven't seen it doesn't mean I don't know!! It'll be like a bigger version of Bleek's in Mo Better Blues, steeped in American history, i.e: jazz. It'll be a red brick and it will have humungous windows that stay open in summer and by which Spike likes to sit sometimes to watch passers by whilst bumpin' some Kanye in the background or to berate some marketing trustafarian on the phone Anyway, I can't wait to see his latest offering in what feels like forever, the documentaries on cable were wonderful as always but I need some old-skool tell it like it is and Do the Right Thing Spike Lee back in my life.

Steve McQueen in a discussion on a lack of minority and female directors

  Here is Steve McQueen going hard at the industry and repeating shameful...a lot! (I find myself saying "shame!" at pretty much everything now I have seen the new film of the same name but hey) in relation to the lack of representation of black and latino figures in American films. The silence his comments leave is deafening. Interestingly McQueen casts the lovely and relatively new face Nicole Behari in Shame as a love interest for Michael Fassbender's sex addicted character. She is new to mainstream audiences and her casting feels natural and doesn't provoke questions of plausibility/race issues. This observation begs the question why can't we see more of it? More mixing up groups of friends, more mixed relationships, more lead roles for ethnic minorities without race being agonised over. The more we see it surely the more everyone will become accustomed to it onscreen as they are in real life (if they don't live in a very small town in Texas perhaps) I mean come on that little bi-racial kid with the big lung power from The X Factor USA was adopted by two white was the big dude in that Sandra Bullock film that should have been called "Black People that Make White People in Small Town America Feel Good: The Movie" IT HAPPENS! and Steve McQueen is right when he questions how American directors, particularly those basing their films on city life,  can ignore multiculturalism. Woody Allen did it for years and I let it slide because I love me some Woody Allen and that is a fact (and in many ways I feel that Spike Lee is influenced by him and robustly responds to the aspects of New York life he doesn't attempt/avoids in his films) but everyone else needs some McQueen style interrogation over this.  I see Allen as zooming in on a microcosm of New York intellectuals and the inane neuroticism of their everyday lives and how relevant that is to everyone lucky enough to not be struggling on an everyday basis. I like to think he knew the people he portrayed were ironically close minded, snobby, and paranoid, and would not necessarily have had non white friends in their clique of like minded nit pickers/cripplingly well read people who have almost sociopathic tendencies and no way of surviving an actual hardship.

   I can't wait to see more from McQueen: as much as I love Spike and Woody it is time to witness a new generation of film makers being allowed to make race not an issue rather than a glaring absence or an unavoidable constant. Then we can experience life via film in a more real sense of the modern world's reality which oscillates between all three states of being.

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