*As you probably know by now, Spike Lee was at the Sundance film festival to screen his new movie, “Red Hook Summer,” which is a low-budget, independent film that takes place in a Brooklyn neighborhood.
After the Sunday screening, he introduced the cast and began to field questions. This is where things went sour. As we have all come to know, wherever Spike Lee goes, his sharp edge follows. So when a perfectly reasonable question happened to be asked by a particular celebrity in the audience, Lee took an opportunity to go on a rant on the industry as we reported earlier.
It was comedian Chris Rock who asked Lee, “Would you have blown things up” if the movie had been made at a studio? Lee then proceeded to go on a rambling about, well, everything but the answer. He talked about sports, the lack of Black people in Utah; and then gave his opinions on the studio world – expletives and all. He said the studios know nothing about black people, so how could they tell him what a 13-year-old girl and boy are doing in “Red Hook.”
After apparently realizing where he was, the director ‘regrouped’ – and attempted to ‘lighten up’ saying “my wife is looking at me like I’m crazy,” reports the LA Times:
It didn’t help — or, rather, it made things more surreal — that the voluble Lee had just shown what was by any standard one of his most audacious films in years, a movie that had been shot in ultra-secrecy over just 19 days on a few Brooklyn blocks. For about two-thirds of its running time a gritty and music-heavy street drama about an assortment of neighborhood characters (with religion instead of race as its main Lee preoccupation this time around), the film in its last section takes a turn to the shocking.
Without giving too much away, we’ll just say that a main character is revealed with little warning to have committed a heinous act. A scene involving a sex act and the Bible is involved, and we won’t sugarcoat it — it will be polarizing even to hardened viewers. In the lobby afterward, normally jaded festival-goers were arguing over whether the movie, which does not yet have U.S. distribution, was hateful and/or misanthropic. Even the actors admitted some scenes were hard for them to watch.
But it was also, undeniably, Lee doing what he does best: using low-budget filmmaking and street-friendly storytelling as a means of provocation. Even the cast admitted to how difficult some scenes were to watch; and audiences argued upon leaving as to whether the film was even hateful.
Read/learn MORE at LA Times.
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