Ice Cube in 'The Lottery Ticket'

*In a phone interview with Ice Cube, there was no holding back when it came to his latest film, “Lottery Ticket.” As always I like to play the Devil’s Advocate so he was asked right off about reinforcing Black stereotypes.

“Probably so,” Cube retorted, “but the thing about stereotypes is in some ways there’s some truth in them. It’s who we are. We’re more or less having fun with those ideas in this film. This is not like a serious drama. It’s who we are in some ways and we should really stop being ashamed of who we are and start understanding who we are. And, if we don’t like it, we should do something about it and change it.”

Cube continued to explain the virtues of “Lottery Ticket,” which also stars Bow Wow, Brandon T. Jackson and Loretta Devin, Keith David and Terry Crews.

“It’s a cautionary tale but it’s a fun movie meant for having a good time. We touch on grief, materialism, friends and family, and older people who are kind of shut away from the community-Shut-ins like Mr. Washington. He gave up on the community a little bit and a person like Kevin comes through and gives him hope again.  It’s touches on all these subjects without being a sap story.”

Of course The Film Strip asked Cube what he would do if he won the lottery?

“Ahh, so much, you know. We need more places for young people to get off the streets and have constructive things to do. Just have places where kids can go, get involved in activities and learn about life, what the public schools don’t give them. I think that’s needed the most, a place for these kids to escape from the realities of what they’re going through.”

On August 23, Part 1 of Spike Lee’s “If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise” will debut on HBO. The Film Strip caught up with Lee last week and he talked about the BP oil spill, one of the topics covered in the two-part series. Just recently a report ran in the press about the false information put out by so-called experts. But on August 10th in respect to the disappearance of oil, Lee said:

“It’s a bold face lie. This BP thing is the largest oil disaster in the history of the world. Fifteen times what the Exxon Valdez was in Alaska which is twenty years ago. And they’re still cleaning that up.

“Twenty years later they’re still cleaning up that mess in Alaska. So this is twenty times more than that and now it’s all but disappeared. Are they saying that seventy five percent of it on the surface has been recovered? I don’t believe that. What you have to realize is that, you’ve all watched ‘Law & Order’ where people buy experts to testify. BP has been in the process since April 20th of buying up all the experts in the sciences to deal with this. So they’ll be on their payroll and they will testify on their behalf when all this stuff is resolved in the courts and in a lot of ways they’re trying to get around that. A lot of these scientists work at universities and they’re making huge donations to an endowment and to the science departments of these universities and colleges. So, again, it’s about money. I think someone should go to prison for the rest of their lives.”

Although each film is different Lee says, the affect this film had on him is a lasting one.

“I will tell you this before in my ignorance I wasn’t really into this environmental, green thing and now I’m turning off lights like a motherf*#ker. Recycling. We never did that before even at 40 Acres, my office. We’re on it now. I think as African Americans we’ve been slow. I know that there are many other problems but we’ve been slow because we have a lot of other sh*t but this is our planet, too, that we’re going to leave for our kids.

“So we’ve got to help out on this thing and stop driving these big ass cars. This is an effect that the film has had on me especially when you think about the fourth hour of the film, which is all BP. All of us have to think about what we can do to get out off all of our addictions to fossil fuel because it’s not going to last forever. All the stuff that we do has a great impact on our life, on this planet that we live on. This is the only one we’ve got. I have no intention of living on the moon. Hopefully my children don’t have any intentions or their grandchildren either.”

Part 2 of the Spike Lee interview will run next week.