spike lee

“Be Truly Free” A Spike Lee Joint with VEON (short film)

Check out this short by the one and only Spike Lee.  

Be Free.

Be Truly Free – A Spike Lee Joint with VEON from 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks on Vimeo.

Red Bull Music Academy Festival: A Conversation with Spike Lee

Two of my favorites under one roof!  Nelson George will host this discussion with Director Spike Lee on May 2, 2016 in NYC.  Tickets can be purchased here.  This is sure to be a treat.

Tickets: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=6577865&pl=rbma2016&dispatch=loadSelectionData 

Spike Lee receives honorary Oscar Award

I didn’t even know they gave out honorary Oscar Awards but ok…

Although I don’t know what will happen with this Chiraq movie, it’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of Spike Lee and his work.  HE SHOULD GET A REGULAR OSCAR AND THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN TELEVISED but I digress.  Spike was presented with his honorary award by Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes and Samuel L. Jackson.  After their comical presentation, Spike gave an 18 minute speech on…everything.  Love him or hate him, he speaks his mind, creates from the heart and has ALWAYS looked out for his people.  I respect it.  Take a minute to check out the videos and if nothing else, take a Brooklyn trip down Spike Lee’s memory lane.

“You have to bust your ass, roll up your sleeves and attack, attack, attack, attack, every single day…”  Spike Lee.

Spike Lee’s “Chiraq” trailer

Wow.

 

I’m a HUGE Spike Lee fan but I really don’t know what to say about this one and that’s neither a good nor bad thing.  I just don’t know what to say yet, so I’ll keep my initial judgments to myself, support the film and THEN talk about it.

Not really.

According to the film’s website http://chiraqthemovie.com/ the film is a modern day adaptation of the ancient greek play Lysistrata and features an all start cast including Angela Bassett, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson and Nick Canon to name a few…oh and don’t forget almost everyone in Chicago.  I sat thru Spike’s last feature project Da Sweet Blood of Jesus which was a remake of a 70’s horror flick called Ganja and Hess.  I saw the original and appreciate the homage but Spike’s version went over people’s heads.  Hell, if I didn’t see the original it would have went over my head!  To be honest, the last handful of Spike’s features were not my cup of tea.  He’s either trying too hard (Da Sweet Blood…) or not trying hard enough (Red Hook Summer).  Don’t get me wrong, Spike is an AMAZING director.  Everything that has his name on is done with exceptional techniques and qualities that can not be taught, you’re born with that shit.  However he’s not that same hungry director that had something to prove with Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Do The Right Thing or even 25th Hour.  There’s an essence of storytelling, a passion, SOMETHING that in my opinion seems to be missing from his latest features.  But this happens to everyone right?  People get older, perspectives change, more money, more problems etc.  Jay Z is not the same Jay Z that he was on “Reasonable Doubt”.  Lauryn Hill is not the same person that she was on “The Miseducation…”.  I’m most certainly not that same person that opened a mic 8 years ago to talk up songs on my podcast called “The B Side Show”.  Things can and will change but the hope is that creatively an artist can remain the same in a sense that they don’t lose that ability to keep their audience tuned into whatever it was that got their attention in the first place.  Again, I’m a fan of Spike so I have to support it.  I’ll be sure to update you on my thoughts of the film.

My summer reading list

Remember back in grade school when you were assigned books to read over the summer?  I can clearly remember having to turn in 3 book reports during the first week of school and it SUCKED.  Now as an adult I appreciate the idea of keeping young minds active over the summer and have decided to give myself a summer reading list.  I’m going to be realistic because let’s be honest, who has time for LIFE in 2015?  I’m going to make the time and TRY really hard to finish the books on my list.  I’m giving myself until the official end of summer which is September 23rd.  In no particular order here’s my summer reading list (some are books that I’ve already started, others I have not).

A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story by Sister Souljah

Like almost every black female my age, when Sister Souljah dropped The Coldest Winter Ever back in 1999 I thought it was the best book that I’d ever read.  I finished it in two days and yearned for more.  Unfortunately, fans waited until 2008 for what was believed to be a sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever but turned out to be a prequel highlighting Winter’s main love interest Midnight, not her.  I actually have Midnight: A Gangster Love Story sitting on my bookshelf…I can’t get into it.  However, last year Souljah released the sequel, A Deeper Love…, and although it is the story of her little sister Porsche I have to say it’s pretty damn good!  Not The Coldest Winter Ever good, but I really got into it on my recent trip to Phoenix and am pleasantly surprised.  I’m mid way and so far Winter’s character…I won’t spoil it lol, but I will finish this book by the end of the summer.

Selfish, Shallow and Self Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids

I blogged about this book a few weeks ago.

Spike Lee: That’s my Story and I’m Sticking To It

It’s no secret that I’m a Spike fan, so there is no excuse why it’s taken me a few years to finish this book lol.  It’s not that it’s not good, I guess I just have to be in the mood to read it and when I am, I read a bit and put it away.  This summer, I’m finishing it.

I Put A Spell On You: The Autobiography of Nina Simone

After seeing that fabulous documentary I must read her words.  The real goal for myself is to read the book before the infamous movie comes out featuring my wife in my head Zoe Saldana but I’d like to have it in my possession and read by the end of the summer.

There’s also an African American Studies text book that I’d like to finish but I might give myself until the end of the year to finish it 😉

What books are you reading this summer?