Chi-Raq

Spike Lee has been in the news a lot lately for #OscarsSoWhite, his love-letter documentary that premiered at Sundance - Michael Jackson:  The Journey From Motown to Off The Wall and  Chi-Raq.  With Chi-Raq, Spike puts a modern spin melting gun violence in America with the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata.” which results in a classic battle of the sexes with women putting a lockdown on that sweet spot.

So incase y'all are not hip to Lysistrata...homegirl persuades the women of the Spartan and Trojan gangs to swear off sex with their men until the fighting ceases.

It wouldn't be a Spike Lee joint without some war council scenes with the women or trash talking scenes with the men.  All of that is enhanced tied together with Samuel L. Jackson's narration and a raw, original score by Nick Cannon who stars alongside the beautiful Teyonnah Parris.

What I adore about Spike is that he always keeps it real and cast actors that are not only at the top of their game, but are physically reflective of the people of color I see when I walk out my front door.  It's written in prose just as the Greek fables are told and your really have to pay attention to catch the ingenious quips in the dialogue.  Trust me it is well worth the journey.

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It was also refreshing to see some old Spike Lee Joint fav's who quite frankly without Spike  casting them in "Do The Right Thing", "Mo Better Blues", "Jungle Fever" and more it may have taken us a little longer to be introduced to their talents (Wesley Snipes, Samuel L. Jackson, Roger Guenveur Smith).

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My favorite scenes involve a full-scale musical version of the women kinda breaking it down for the men about their chastity belts and a eulogy given by Father Mike Corridan (John Cusack).  Cusack is so compelling in this scene and proves once again why he continues to work in this medium on a grand scale.  Jennifer Hudson's moment as grieving  Mom Irene reminds us all that her Oscar win for "Dreamgirls" was not a fluke.  Mama got chops all day long!!!!

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Chi-Raq received four NAACP Image Award nominations and was honored by #AAFCA landing in its TOP TEN and a Best Actress nod for its leading lady Teyonnal Parris is arriving now available for purchase at all Digital HD retailers as well as, select digital platforms such as Amazon, Vudu, Xbox, Playstation, Google Play and MGO. Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD + Digital.

Click below to watch the trailer...

Chi-Raq Trailer

30th Anniversary of She's Gotta Have It

Before "Sex In The City "and their resident sex kitten Samantha there was Nola Darling. 1986 was not ready for a film student from Morehouse and nor his film She's Gotta Have It!  Director/Producer Spike Lee burst onto the film scene with the same controversy he continues to evoke in 2016 with an urban comedy about a chick who has a voracious sexual appetite.

Nola Darling is a beautiful, black woman from Brooklyn who is independent and knows what she wants and what she likes.  Along the way, the three men in her life - Jamie Overstreet, Mars Blackmon and Greer Childs - all provide their point of view on Nola and on their relationship with her, which often times varies from Nola's point of view on the situation.

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The film shot in 12 days and marked the feature film debut of S. Epatha Merkeson, nowadays known for her role on NBC's "Law & Order".

''She's Gotta Have It'' was shot entirely in Brooklyn, and made on a budget smaller than those of some television commercials. The impression of artiness is increased by the use of still shot collages the film being shot in black in white with the exception of one scene.

Spike Lee has made an indelible mark in cinema sharing and exposing life from the perspective of a young black man and their relationships with their parents, women and each other.  It's one of the few time in cinema history that I have gone to the a screening and seen people that look like and reflect the world that I navigated through as a college student at Howard University and as a black woman in life.

This year, She's Gotta Have It is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and Spike Lee is now the recipient of an honorary Oscar for his contribution to cinema.

The films star Tracy Camilla Johns kept the momentum going for a second, and then fizzled out. Johns went on to have a tiny role in Mo Better Blues,was the scandalous girlfriend of G in New Jack City, and had a small role in an early Air Jordan commercial, but after ’91, that was it.

Take a look back at She's Gotta Have It...

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