genius in the era of god’s rottweiler

oh man, i tried to resist linking to it, cause i know i’m always going on about nick sylvester’s endless streams of hilarity, but i keep reloading the page to re-read the line about “fucking a bag of gay eucharist.” And that closing kicker, mais oui!
Nick is like, the andres serrano of the village voice blogspot. Colonel Ratzinger, married to the old ways, is currently devising a pox.
Nice counterpoint to our maniacally anti-choice president, the shit going down in haiti, the impending alito confirmation, exorcisms in mexico, et cetera ad nauseum.
Tonite, after I finish work-meetings, revisions to my Soul and Emailing You Back, night six in the house Spike Lee Commemorative Viewfest 2006 shall commence. It began on MLK day, w/the excellent biopic Malcolm X, and has since included Crooklyn (cried), 25th hour (WHOA–cried–more on that later), Jungle Fever (didn’t cry, but that movie, so immediate, with its open dialogue and laser-eye hones the eff in. and not just on the problems and possible [often cynical] motivations for this particlar romance, btwn a black man and an italian woman, their lust underpinned by racial curiosity–but also on affirmative action, workplace sex, familial misogyny, traditional gender friction, themes of crack, class and God–the film IS the early ’90s, in all its itchy fitfulness–also might be his broadest, most fleshed out work of sociology and yet it’s so excellent because he keeps no distance between said themes and Lee) (I have seen this before but i didn’t pick up on it cause it came out when i was like, you know, 12 or some shit.) (I was a child prodigy, indeed, but my mind was not yet that mature).
This viewfest shall include all of ’em, all the Spike Lee films, ‘cept maybe Do the Right Thing, which i could probably recite to you now by heart, so fierce was my youth (?) idolization of Rosie “Fly Girl Choreographer” Perez, and School Daze, which I don’t think I’ve actually seen, ever, but is presently rented or stolen from every videodega within walking distance from my block, so it must be good.
This is all part of my continuing marriage to Brooklyn. Brooklyn, the city I adore. Where I know it’s not fake, not a marriage of convenience or codependence, because BKLYN doesn’t give you a honeymoon. Brooklyn catapults you into year 27 of your union the moment your lips meet. The vows were over long before you ever made your first trip to the bodega.
Speaking of which: what i’m really in love with is that hand-painted bodega sign, the one in all of Spike Lee’s movies, the yellow one with the palm trees and the block letters. If you live here and you’ve seen more than one Spike Lee “joint” you know what I mean. I keep thinking it’s the exact same bodega by my apartment, but it’s not, there are a million that look just like it, banana yellow, palm trees,lettering in a brown and orange gradient. SODA SNACKS CIGARETTES NEWSPAPERS. Or DELI, maybe, or PRODUCTOS LATINOS. If anyone knows the story behind that bodega sign, the one in the movie, where it’s located (fort greene for sure, but where? is it the one on fulton near the A?), and why there are so many exactly like it all over South BKLYN (who painted them?) pls email, I am fixated on it, surely there’s a story behind it and I want to know it. I like that they’re so common, a kind of provincial franchise, a distinction particular to our borough, hopefully to the southerly part of our borough. FT GREENE CLINTON HILL GOWANUS PARK SLOPE BOERUM HILL. They don’t have those special bodegas up in Queens, I bet.
Tonight is She hate me–which i’ve never seen but is supposed to be as incoherent and meandering as the preceding paragraphs. I rented it from the video store in the building where Sasha grew up, the selfsame video store. Mom and pop, you can tell they haven’t changed the carpet since then. I don’t think they’ve alphabetized their shelves, either, since Sasha lived there.
Zero organization. Brooklyn charm.
I know this blogggpost is incoherent and meandering, and rambling and not crafted, I’m rushing to finish to watch the movie and also, fully typing without my glasses, even though i’m legally blind. JSHEP CHARM!

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6 Responses to genius in the era of god’s rottweiler

  1. babylon says:

    I really dislike a lot of Spike’s joints (his “pointed” dialogue often feels so forced it makes me want to kill myself, plus I hear he’s a lousy tipper) but when he gets it right he can make damn near perfect films like DTRT and Crooklyn. Anyway, don’t skip “Girl 6,” it’s a mess and has some of that silly magical realism he can be into, but it’s fun and with its female protaganist and feminist(?) themes, somewhat of a departure for Spike.

  2. jshep says:

    cool–i love the magical realism, really DO NOT always love spike’s relation to women, which at times feels unsympathetic.
    Jungle Fever has a few of those pointed moments, but I feel like, even though he’s fairly heavy handed about them, the parts btwn snipes and sciorra are pretty sub-interesting, and the interracial love story is ALMOST secondary–their connection, and his (cynical) motivations are the least belivable (tho he gives sciorra a lot of tenderness per her motiviations in the breakup scene, when we see she probably loved him, but also because she admired him because of privileges/worldliness he gleaned from class standing. But the love part’s an effective vessel to the other issues, so he can address them subtly–and they were all issues the media was just starting to deal with in the ’90s–also forgot police profiling, brutality…
    good bell hooks review of crooklyn :

  3. jshep says:

    god, did that make any fucking sense? i need to take my ritalin.

  4. ritchey says:

    fancy lady, I agree that Girl 6 is totally good. However, I literally thought the 25th hour was one of the top 5 worst movies I have ever seen in my life. I would really love an essay from you about it, so that I might gain insight into something I possibly misunderstood? OR SO WE CAN HAVE A FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Steve Schroeder says:

    i love spike lee.
    he is sometimes a bit cheap, but in ways that we need him to be. whatever that means.
    she hate me is weird. pretty weird.
    i do have a deep possibly unexplainable love for girl 6, and he got game.
    school daze is pretty rad. do not sleep on clockers, bamboozled, summer of sam. all are interesting. i do need to see bamboozled again, though.
    i did not much enjoy mo better blues.

  6. Will Dukes says:

    spike’s early movies were the cinematic equivalent of a native tongue’s posse jam; the sine qua non of black boho neuroses.
    made folks feel ok about being black, eccentric, and solidly middle class.
    mo’ better is, like, my entire worldview.
    check your e-mail in a sec, i’ve got a favor to ask you.

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