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Anon on Spike Lee vs. Scorsese & Tarantino
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iSteve commenter Anon (a.k.a., Titles in Caps, etc etc) summarizes Spike Lee, whose latest movie, the celebrated but fairly terrible BlacKkKlansman, I reviewed in Taki’s this week. Spike is one of those 1980s figures like Oliver Stone who remain of interest to guys of a certain age, like me and Anon.

I’ll give one compliment to Spike Lee. He tried to be an artist. Maybe not a good one, but he tried.

He often said the only working American director he really looks up to is Martin Scorsese. Not a bad as Scorsese has been far and away the best American director since the 1970s.In style, Depalma could be just as formidable — CARLITO’S WAY, what a masterwork –, and Spielberg is second to none as showman with fireworks. But as artist, Scorsese had the best run. And even his failures are not total disasters (like some by Altman and Depalma).

So, I can appreciate Spike trying to be like Scorsese. But then, trying to be isn’t the same as being. Many tried to be like Kubrick but came nowhere close.

Lee’s problems.

1. Lack of humility. Scorsese has been a bundle of energy and must have had self-confidence to have done what he did. But he was also a man of profound humility and curiosity, great appreciation for the masters who came before him. In contrast, Lee was infected by that black megalomania, as if all the blings belong to him.

Even after Scorsese made masterpieces like RAGING BULL and GOODFELLAS, he didn’t go around saying he deserves this award, that award. He’s been very gracious to his peers.

Scorsese was pretty heavy into cocaine in the later 1970s. But he got off it and it didn’t seem to ruin either his health or his character. Cocaine seems to be a drug that seeks out character flaws and exacerbate them. But, contra Fitzgerald, Scorsese went on to enjoy a pretty spectacular second act in American life. In truth, and a third act after the Scorsese’s megalomania got out of hand with Gangs of New York, but he geared back and made more audience friendly movies.



My vague impression is that Spike is a fairly clean liver, but one who doesn’t like to preach about it to other blacks. He got criticized, not unreasonably, for leaving out drugs from his portrayal of black life in 1989′s Do the Right Thing. But when he finally turned to addressing crack in Samuel L. Jackson’s breakout role as a crack addict in 1991′s Jungle Fever, he delivered a doozy. Of course, a lot of that was Samuel L. Jackson, one of the all time great supporting character actors, finally getting a showcase role.

But Lee? Total jerk. Bitching about not winning at Cannes. Whining, bitching, and harping like a baby throwing tantrums. Lee’s basic nastiness of character prevented him from learning and developing as an artist. 

I suspect so. It’s an interesting empirical question whether being a jerk hurts a career in the arts in the long run on average. It can help at the beginning of a career – within a half dozen years of his first movie, Spike was one of more famous people in America, even without a particularly popular movie. But then … his movies stopped getting better.

Every time he made a movie, he’d act like he was making an Event that everyone should pay attention to. At least Ali was a big personality, and his megalomania was fun and endearing. With kermit-faced Lee, it was like suffering Yoko Ono.

2. Preachiness + Tribalism. Moral and spiritual meanings are found in Scorsese films, but they are not preachy. Also, just because Scorsese is Italian-Americans and feels rapport with the community doesn’t make him go easy on his own people. In contrast, Lee’s films are like the works of Stanley Kramer that were heavy with the Message. Lee made movies around issues and topics than around characters and meanings. So, DO THE RIGHT THING is about Race Relations. JUNGLE FEVER is about race and sex. MO BETTER BLUES is about, well, ‘a black guy is entitled to make the best movie on jazz.’ (It doesn’t work that way.) MALCOLM X is a Black Nationalism 101. Black Spartacus. It’s like reading a magazine article on some subject or other.

Unlike Scorsese who presents tribalism as a feature of life, Lee practices tribalism as an film-maker, and this undermines even his preachiness. In DO THE RIGHT THING, the message is clear. It doesn’t matter how much Sal tries to be a nice guy. It doesn’t matter how much Raheem is a damn fool. In the end, Lee sides with blacks because he’s black.

Now, such tribalism is part of life, but an artist is supposed to dig deeper than ‘my side right or wrong’. Also, it undermines the preachy morality because Lee himself is unwilling to rise above tribalism. Why preach to us about justice when Lee’s ultimate consciousness is ‘blacks must stick together?’

3. Dishonesty. Whatever Scorsese’s real-life politics or views may be, he was honest as an artist. Sure, there were some things he couldn’t do. He couldn’t make the pimps black in TAXI DRIVER. And the Jews in WOLF OF WALL STREET had to be made more ‘white’. But there’s a sense of life with all the delirium, chaos, corruption, and venality. MEAN STREETS is raw and honest about what goes on in the underbelly of Little Italy. Sidney Lumet was comparable to Scorsese with DOG DAY AFTERNOON and PRINCE OF THE CITY, but he got progressively worse and formulaic later on.

Lee would like us to believe that he is a truth-seeker and teller-like-it-is, but there’s something essentially phony and rigged about his stories. Contrary to DTRT’s presentation of race relations, the ONLY group that caused real problems for everyone in NY were blacks. While every group may have gripes against others, it wasn’t very serious. Even Jews and Muslims pretty much get along just fine in NY except on issues of foreign policy. Whatever Mexicans and Chinese say about one another behind closed doors, they don’t cause each other trouble. The problem is blacks vs everyone else. If Lee were truly honest, he would reveal why blacks cause so much trouble. They are tougher, meaner, more aggressive, and look down on other races. But he won’t go there and just run the same old BS with black fist salutes.

4. Lack of nuance or subtlety. Now, one can be an artist without refined sensibility or much wit. But some of Lee’s stylistic antics are just plain dumb. When the kid in CROOKLYN goes to visit the suburbs, Lee goes for squeeze-frame. It’s about the most hare-brained way of conveying alienation. Spielberg with ET in the suburbs had a subtler touch than Lee with the black girl.
Another lack of subtlety is the out-and-out Negrolatry. It’s one thing to have a profound feeling for one’s people. It’s quite another to turn them into sacred objects. In CROOKLYN, the little girl is more than girl. She is black angel-goddess of the Nile. It goes beyond mere sentimentality. It’s a form of idolatry, like the use of APPALACHIAN SPRING for HE GOT GAME.
In AMERICAN HISTORY X (by Tony Kaye), the idolatry was used ironically — white anxiety wrapped in exaggerated cult of the ubermensch until the hero finally rediscovers his humanity — but Lee is too busy turning black faces and black bodies into sacred objects. Lee might have been happier as a painter or graphic art (in advertising).


Spike’s Nike ads with Michael Jordan caused a sensation three decades ago. Spike is a wealthy man and I would imagine (although I don’t know) that the majority of his earnings have come from the advertising rather than movie business.

When characters are turned into sacred relics, they are rendered boring and predictable (which is why I don’t like some of Robert Redford’s movies with its saintlike characters or holy-schmoly preachy messages; he avoided it in THE CONSPIRATOR, a good movie, but it bombed).

5. Envy. Even though Scorsese may have wished he had the box office successes of his peers, he chose his own path and stuck to it without complaint. In contrast, Lee was consumed with envy for Quentin Tarantino, not least because the latter copped things from Blaxploitation flicks of the 70s. Blaxploitation movies were big for a time in the 70s, but they vanished almost overnight around the mid 70s, and most blacks were embarrassed about most of them, just like everyone dropped disco almost overnight in the early 80s. So, when Lee came into his own, he wanted to be a serious film-maker, not some throwback to trashy 70s blaxploitation. Besides, he graduated from the prestigious NYU film school.

The Lees are Talented Tenth, or higher. Spike is a 4th generation college grad and 3rd generation Morehouse grad. His grandmother gave him $25,000 in the mid-80s to make his first film. I like Spike’s image of himself, like Francis Ford Coppola’s, as the latest paterfamilias of an old and cultured family. Of course, in real life, Spike and his father, having similar personalities, don’t get along.

But then, this kid comes along. He didn’t even go to film school. He looks like a retard and talks really funny. But he makes this movie with cool black hoodlums (copped from 70s blaxploitation films) where people (Samuel Jackson included) say the n-word a million times, and everyone loves it and calls it one of the greatest film since CITIZEN KANE.

Then, Tarantino gets even more explicit about blaxploitation and has another hit with JACKIE BROWN. Now, Lee is beside himself with envy and resentment. Here he was, a serious black director who put aside childish things and made SERIOUS-themed movies like DTRT and MALCOLM X, but this punkass white kid comes along and makes mishmash PoMo movie that blends blaxploitation with French New Wave and TV sitcom. He wins with both critics and audience. 

Also, NO ONE ever said Lee’s movies were cool and hip. 

Spike’s Nike ads with MJ were popular with the frequent flier set. Frequent fliers are a lucrative market, but not the coolest.

Even his jazz movie was admired for its seriousness, its ‘corrective’ as an authentic jazz movie made by a black guy. Lee was a serious guy, and critics were earnest in praising him. It was duty-bound. Good medicine for all. But it turns out that the critics weren’t really liking him and his movies all that much.

DTRT was over-praised but it was understandably why. It came after the Reagan 80s when most blacks in movies were happy sidekicks (like in GHOSTBUSTERS) or goofballs, like Eddie Murphy. So much of the black experience was hardly touched upon by Hollywood. Also, liberal directors were too goody-goody in presenting blacks as angels. Generally, black characters were either too good to be true, like the COSBIES (or BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET or COLOR PEOPLE) or thugs to be shot (like in SUDDEN IMPACT) or taught a lesson (like in ROCKY III). (Oliver Stone depicted blacks more realistically in PLATOON and BORN ON 4TH.)

So, given the record of depiction of blacks in the 80s, DTRT seemed like a necessary corrective about the real reality. And to Lee’s credit, he was willing to show the nasty side of blacks in DTRT.

In a way, Liberals were grateful to Lee for showing some of the ugly side of the black community that white directors were too afraid to show. Even as they endorsed Lee’s overall pro-black message, their subconscious was hoping that, via Lee’s airing of urban black pathologies, there could be a more honest discussion of race. (As it happened, NY got worse in the 90s under Stinkin Dinkins, and if NY got back on its feet, it required the DIRTY HARRY policies of Giuliani and Bloomberg, something NYers under DeBlasio are unwilling to admit.)

Anyway, when push came to shove, Lee chose tribalism, and there were many falsehoods throughout DTRT. Still, it made Lee’s name as a SERIOUS filmmaker, and he thought he would make a bunch of more SERIOUS movies and become admired like Scorsese.

But when Tarantino made PULP FICTION, critics flocked to him and left Lee in the dust. Tarantino made Lee feel like Jeb Bush after Trump got all the love. Lee felt like the Queen in SNOW WHITE.

Pre-PULP-FICTION, critics were respectfully sucking up to Lee even though they weren’t much enjoying his movies. (Similarly, critics always pretended to appreciate the serious movies of John Sayles when they didn’t much care. Sayles made one really good movie, BABY IT’S YOU, and it’s non-political. But stuff like MATEWAN are deadly in their preachiness and iconography of the Noble Worker. No way to make a work of art. Same thing with Beatty’s REDS. Pure ego-trip and syrupy sentimentalism of radicalism. Notice no one cares about MATEWAN or REDS. But then, the New Left lost interest in the working class anyway.)

Anyway, if anything drove Lee crazy, it was the success of Tarantino. Here, I can partly sympathize because apart from RESERVOIR DOGS, I think Tarantino has been an utterly useless director( though I admit PF and IB have flashes of brilliance and lots of inventiveness). Also, Taratino’s influence on cinema has been baleful.

Still, if rap and hip-hop were the music of the 90s, Tarantino was more into the groove of the time than Lee was. In terms of sheer sensibility, I prefer Lee’s seriousness to Tarantino’s hipster glibness. But Tarantino not only understood the Zeitgeist better but played a role (however negative) in changing the culture. For awhile, he was a one-man-redefinition of Independent Cinema, a spell that was finally broken perhaps with MULHOLLAND DR., which became the new gold standard of independent film-making and has influenced several directors since.

But in the 90s, it’s like everyone wanted to be the New Tarantino. I’m sure DJANGO UNCHAINED also pissed off Lee to no end. Again, Tarantino took elements of blaxploitation with spaghetti western and maybe what he saw on Ken Burns and made a smash hit. It was trashy but both critics and audience loved it. In contrast, Lee’s movies were being ignored by both critics and audience. He tried to be Tarantino-ish with remake of OLD BOY, but it didn’t go anywhere.

But Lee finally has his Tarantino Moment. The rise of Trump and Alt Right gave him something he can get easy A’s with. Just make a Hate-Whitey movie, and the critics will love him and shower him with endless accolades. Also, riff on blaxploitation, not least by making a movie that is set in the 70s when blacks had them bigass afros. And cook up some convoluted plot that allows for jokes and hijinks. Thus, he could be preachy as usual but also hip with some jiveass story about some cool black dude who pulls some jazzy shit to fool honkey.

 
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  1. jcd1974 says:

    The pimp character in Taxi Driver, that was ultimately played by Harvey Keitel, was originally (and in the screenplay) to be black. However, the studio thought the image of a black pimp with a white 13 year old prostitute was too incendiary and made Scorcese cast a white actor for the role.

  2. yes, these were incredibly good comments by anon, meant to say as much, except for platform hijinks got the msg lost in the aether…
    .
    seriously, DO YOU have a newsletter i can subscribe to, anon ? ? ?
    great stuff, the type of commentary that makes the rest endurable…

    • Replies: @Lurker
  3. jcd1974 says:

    Whatever Scorsese’s real-life politics or views may be, he was honest as an artist. Sure, there were some things he couldn’t do. He couldn’t make the pimps black in TAXI DRIVER.

    The pimp character was written and originally to be black but the studio thought the image of a black pimp with a white 13 year old prostitute was too incendiary. The studio forced Scorsese to cast a white actor and the role went to Harvey Keitel.

  4. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, I didn’t know that you actually read this guy’s insanely long comments that you approve.

    • LOL: AndrewR
  5. I’m surprised there was no mention of Clockers, which is one of Spike Lee’s better movies, I think.

    Off topic: Kicked off twitter for good today. Not sure how they nabbed me, but they claim it was for evading a previous ban. I’ve actually evaded two previous bans. But I’ve been using a new IP since my last perma ban. At any rate, fuck twitter.

  6. But, contra Fitzgerald…

    Well, you’re not likely to have a second act when you drink yourself to death at 44.

  7. JA says:

    That was an impressive piece of typing.

  8. @Reg Cæsar

    Anyone who recognizes that Reservoir Dogs is far and away Tarantino’s best work is okay by me.

    Well done Anon!

    • Replies: @Anon
  9. Dennis Dale says: • Website

    Corny as it sounds, it’s really just whether or not the artist is a seeker or a preacher. Lee thinks he knows everything worth knowing so all he can do is condescend. Scorsese’s films inquire into their subjects. Thus Lee’s films have no tragic sense and only a shallow sense of humor.

    That said, Malcolm X I think is actually pretty good.

  10. Debate says:

    Steve,

    Didn’t you know Joe Hunt of the Billionaire Boys Club, however vaguely? There’s a new movie about the BBC that’s being dumped because Kevin Spacey plays Ron Levin. The movie, available on demand, stinks though the actors try hard, and it has a really, really weird thematic twist.

    Perhaps you can write about how one of the wildest true crime stories ever has produced one crappy miniseries and one crappy movie.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  11. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    You people sound discerning. But spending your time and dime on ANY of these Hollywood productions feeds a filthy, bloody industry that has created and sustains some of the worst aspects of our country.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  12. Of course, in real life, Spike and his father, having similar personalities, don’t get along.

    A psychological insight from a much whiter corner of pop culture: Dick Cowsill was fired from the family band and browbeaten into enlisting in the Army, which thanked him by sending him to Vietnam.

    Recently, Dick told a trusted documentarian that their father hated himself, and, as Dick was the most like him among the children, was drawn to hate Dick as well. The oldest child, Bill, pegged the dad as bipolar, which would explain a lot, such as his mysteriously abandoning the great opportunities he was able to arrange for his clan.

    I don’t know much about Lee, and nothing about his family. It might be worth looking into whether this or some other weird dynamic might have been at play.

    Oh, and an HBD note– Dick’s fraternal twin Bob was easily the most stable of the group, serving as MC in their heyday, and retiring to become a real-life Dilbert, performing only when he wants to. Opposites attract in the womb?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  13. Cortes says:

    Scorsese has a quality Lee and Tarantino can only dream of and envy: real edge.

  14. Then, Tarantino gets even more explicit about blaxploitation and has another hit with JACKIE BROWN. Now, Lee is beside himself with envy and resentment. Here he was, a serious black director who put aside childish things and made SERIOUS-themed movies like DTRT and MALCOLM X, but this punkass white kid comes along and makes mishmash PoMo movie that blends blaxploitation with French New Wave and TV sitcom. He wins with both critics and audience. 

    This is very good; I think it hits the mark directly.

    When I was an undergrad, back in the mid 80s, my roommate was a good musician, and played a lot of classical albums. He liked brass, so he loved Wynton Marsalis, and played his stuff all the time. Then one day he played another trumpet album (featuring Maurice André), which sounded a lot better to me. I remarked on this to my roommate. He scoffed, since I knew jack-all about music, and since at that time Marsalis was worshipped as the epitome of musical accomplishment. I just said that Marsalis’s music felt dead to me. It was no doubt very technically proficient, but sounded like it was produced by an a musical automaton. My roommate and I agreed to disagree.

    Years later, he mentioned that in the end he agreed that I was right. He’d gone off Marsalis in the intervening years, as perhaps had the musical establishment to some degree.

    Okay, my point: Spike Lee reminds me of Wynton Marsalis.

    In both cases, there’s mastery of the craft, but there’s also a self-consciousness of technical mastery that bars their works from the highest level of artfulness, and ultimately makes them kind of boring. Their common racial background keeps most people from seeing this, or at least scares critics away from mentioning it.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  15. Sean says:

    Rosie Perez said she climbed on aspeaker at to heckle Spike Lee at a night club where he was having women line up so he could judge which had the largest rump. Lee was impressed by her outstanding couple of talents and put her in his film. Tarantino, on the other hand, has a thing for feet, in the case of Ms Thurman, enormously large feet. I liked Summer Of Sam, but Do the Right Thing was his best. Fact is, directors do not get better with age. Lumet was better than Scorsese with Serpico, and PRINCE OF THE CITY is even better, but too tragic in the sense it was too real. Tarantino never makes that mistake.

  16. From The Atlantic, referring to a plot device in BlacKkKlansman:

    What Does It Mean to ‘Sound’ Black?

    To move from speaking standard, which is to say white, English to employing black linguistic patterns or slang successfully is a sonic journey for which there are few, if any, shortcuts. Washington may be able to train his voice to sound “whiter”—push it into a higher register, adopt a more nasal tone, extend his vowels, and drop vernacular—but if Driver, who plays his white counterpart, tried to feign vocal blackness, the result would be jarring. It would feel cartoonish no matter how much gravity he projected.

    Black guy on the left, non-black voice actor prankster on the right. A lot of people sound “cartoonish” in real life:

    • Replies: @PaceLaw
    , @Anonymous
    , @Unzerker
  17. The only Spike Lee movie I ever really enjoyed was Summer of Sam. I guess it’s not surprising, since it’s just about his only film that wasn’t built around either blackity blackness or white’s are the worst, and it’s about a crazy time and mood in NYC that clearly had a powerful impact on him.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    , @Unladen Swallow
  18. anonymous[398] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dennis Dale

    Scorsese should interrogate not inquire.

    • Replies: @Dennis Dale
  19. Hockamaw says:

    Jackie Brown is a really great movie.

    • Agree: Tyrion 2, donut
  20. I like movies as art, more so than storytelling, so for me Korosawa and Fellini are my favorite directors. Spike Lee is one of my least favorites, although he garners praise, that may be PC praise.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    , @TelfoedJohn
    , @Truth
  21. My guess would be that Spike never had the talent to be what he wanted to be.

    But that said, i think his desire to be the “serious” black filmaker got a pretty good psychological blow when he got the reality check on “who’s in charge” and had to grovel. Spike learned that the whole coalition of the fringes is a Jewish operation lock stock and barrell–money, intellectual work, ideology, political operation, policy (always more loot for Washington-WallStreet and rich rent seeking opportunities) and even art. Blacks, for all their electoral mass and the criticality of their experience in “the narrative” are really non-entitites, just a hammer to swing at the white-gentile nail.

    Not knowing the man, my guess is Spike came to understand this–and actually feels it, is depressed by it–while some blacks pets like the TN Coastes guy are just too stupid to get it, and dutifully ramble on like a naive self-involved teenager.

    To be fair to Spike … that’s gotta suck. I know how depressing it is for me–reasonably comfortable in my personal affairs (yes, Steve i’ll get the check in the mail)–to wake up every morning these last dozen years or so and realize the nation my ancestors built has been hijacked. If you were say Gandhi, you woke up every morning knowing these foreigners controlled your nation, but at least you–Indians–were in charge of your own independence movement. Spike wakes up and knows that his people don’t even control their “liberation” movement, but are just pathetic pawns. That’s gotta suck–and suck the wind out of your sails.

    • Replies: @Anon
  22. Tiny Duck says:

    You guys are just dead wrong about People of Color not getting along

    The problem is white men.

    I swear you guys never leave your home and must be like 70 years old

  23. anonymous[398] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar

    Interesting, but I’m still wondering what are the root causes of Twinkie’s problems (grandiosity, paranoia, etc.). Are Oedipal struggles more about Mom or Dad?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Anonymous
  24. @The Last Real Calvinist

    I just said that Marsalis’s music felt dead to me. It was no doubt very technically proficient, but sounded like it was produced by an a musical automaton

    I have the exact same response to guitar gods like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Yngwie Malmsteen – they all sound like Muzak to me!

    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
  25. Good one! Agree with all except for “Carlito’s Way” – what a joke!

    “Wass fuh brekfuss” hahahahaha

  26. Truth says:

    Lee is a mediocrity who has grown into a punchline, but Tarantino is a literary and beating-heart, Satanist, POS who has made one decent, albeit somewhat overrated movie.

    • Replies: @Corn
    , @Ian M.
  27. Lee’s real problem is that he is a middle-class house negro who, not unreasonably, wants to be a field negro. Sadly for him it doesn’t really work.

    • Replies: @Anon
  28. anonymous[291] • Disclaimer says:

    AnotherDad – please grow a f*king pair of balls, or stop commenting here.

    For the love of God, please stop working out your really weird confusion here. Read some good books written by people who actually tried to understand the world, instead of spouting out in appropriately effeminate rage the way you do.

    You will be happier. Thanks, and you are welcome.

  29. Hodag says:

    Do The Right Thing was a movie of it’s moment – an achievement anyone should be proud of.

    I really liked (perhaps by myself) Summer of Sam.

    So Spike Lee is not Kurasawa. Nobody is. I am not Ben Hogan. But being a top ten movie director of his generation is nothing to sneeze at.

  30. Anon[302] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    Can I just say – AnotherDad has to be one of the clearest and most compelling commenters you have. I can be scanning the comments section quickly and his comments always stop me cold for a full read.

    I travel a lot for work and always come home to my family sadder, just as AnotherDad implies. I was in Minneapolis the other day and saw a Somali man with three women and three children. It looked exactly like a man and his three wives. That left me feeling sick to my stomach and that was even a day before the Minnesota election returns came in.

  31. PaceLaw says:

    How could Anon not mention what I think was Spike Lee’s best and most disturbing movie “Bamboozled”? The movie came out in 2000 and was not well received by the black community or his progressive allies. The movie offers a scathing take on black culture. You almost have to wonder if Thomas Sowell somehow hypnotized Spike Lee and directed the movie himself.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  32. BTW have to agree with Lee on Tarantino–fundamentally empty, throw a bunch of crap up there, cartoon nasty nonsense, but the guy got heaps of praise.

    • Replies: @Anon
  33. Anon[302] • Disclaimer says:

    By the way, the only good Spike Lee movie was Inside Man. The box office agrees.

    • Replies: @Lurker
  34. I think the new Congresswoman-to-be out of Minnesota is a lot more interesting than Spike Lee. She’s an anti-Isreali anti-Semite, but I don’t think a Somali Muslim leftwing Democrat being anti-Isreal anti-Semitic and pro-Palestine is interesting.

    I half-remembered her as the state legislator elected in 2016 that Powerline uncovered as a probable bigamist and immigration fraudster–she never legally married her husband and the father of her children, she did marry a guy who may or may not be her brother for a couple of years before he went back to England.

    https://www.city-journal.org/html/curious-case-ilhan-omar-14724.html

    So I was googling that stuff. And I found other stuff. Right after she got elected, in December 2016, she was in Washington DC and made the newspapers when a cab driver (allegedly) called her “ISIS” and threatened to rip of her hijab. Which sounds like a typical “hate hoax”, but when googling up a link, I noticed that the cab driver was an African immigrant. IF you’ve been on the wrong end of Boko Haram or whatever, maybe a hijab isn’t cute. https://patch.com/minnesota/southwestminneapolis/ilhan-omar-says-african-immigrant-cab-driver-called-her-filthy-isis

    Amateur journalists found a bunch of social media with him calling her his sister and calling a kid born at the end of their “marriage” a niece. Isteve readers can google for themselves the work that alphanewsmn has done, I myself am reluctant to base any conclusions on deleted social media–photoshop exists, fake accounts exist, and crazy people exist.

    When googling “ihlan omar assault”, to find if there was ever any followup on the hijab cab incident, I found numerous accounts of a Democratic party meeting in 2014 that broke down into a near-riot, where the cops showed up and shut the meeting down. Ms Omar was attacked, and went to the hospital with a concussion. Apparently she had been warned by a staffer of the then-biggest Somali Minnesota politician to stay away from the meeting.

    A lot of older Minnesota Somalis didn’t want to hear anything from a Somali woman, Omar and her progressive Somali candidate were challenging the old white female Democrat and her Somali councilman ally. https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2014/02/allegations-threats-bullying-follow-cedar-riverside-caucus-brawl

    Congresswoman-to-be Ihlan Omar is a person that keeps getting in the middle of interesting things.

    • Replies: @Discordiax
  35. PaceLaw says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Thanks for sharing the video. It is hilarious! So both guys aren’t black? Wow! Lol!

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
  36. vinteuil says:

    Whoever’s doing Anon 425, he’s endlessly entertaining.

    I’ve sometimes wondered if he might be Unamused. And I’ve sometimes wondered if he might be Moldbug.

    But I repeat myself.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  37. J1234 says:

    Spike Lee – my general feeling is: who cares? And, no, I’m not saying that because he’s black. I tend not to like modern social consciousness movies. By contrast, socially conscious movies of the 1940′s and ’50′s can often be interesting. The old movies didn’t exist in a culture with a moral landscape dominated by movies, the entertainment industry and, well, social consciousness. This gave them much more contextual complexity.

    I disliked several of the old films, though, for being far too explicit with their sermon (and too crude with it’s presentation.) Typically, the ones that focused on anti-Semitism were the worst, such as Gentleman’s Agreement and Crossfire. And, no, I’m not saying that because I dislike Jews. (I don’t dislike Jews.) The overblown Crossfire received five academy award nominations. Steinbeck and Faulkner adaptations were also lame because they were also too explicit (yes, even Grapes of Wrath, IMO.)

    But movies like The Setup, Act of Violence, On the Waterfront and scores of others could weave social messages into brilliant character studies and settings without overwhelming them. Scorcese once said that he was blown away by On the Waterfront because it was the first movie he’d ever seen that took place in the kind of neighborhood he lived in. OtW had a plainly stated message, too, but being that the message could be construed (by some) as anti-union (on the east coast in the 1950′s, no less) made the context more interesting.

    If I cared enough, I might suggest that the big difference between Scorcese and Spike (besides the obvious natural talent factor) could be Scorcese’s deep appreciation for old movies. He couldn’t have made Raging Bull without it. I get the impression that someone like Spike isn’t honest or strong enough to admit to the value of these old films…mostly because they coincided with Stepin Fetchit’s era. OTOH, he’s been criticized for being non-PC at times, so the opposite could be true.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
    , @Anon
  38. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dennis Dale

    Both Scorcese and Spike Lee are nowhere close to being artists.

    They are just entrepreneurs who took their chances.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Dennis Dale
  39. Dr. X says:

    OT:

    NYT: 34-year-old Gay Jewish Male Grad Student Sues 66-year-old Lesbian Jewish Professor for Sexual Harassment

    …my, this “intersectionality” stuff is getting interesting!!!

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/13/nyregion/sexual-harassment-nyu-female-professor.html

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  40. Simpsons/iSteve/Anon intersectionality?

  41. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    I am sure your family could care less if you “come home sadder”/

    Grow a pair of balls and make the world a better place.

    Read up on leadership, little dude.

  42. Michelle says:

    I couldn’t read this article because it was pure racist bullshit! Why try to compare/contrast Lee to other great directors. Lee is one of the greatest American movie directors of all time. You can accept/enjoy/admire him as a stand alone director. I can’t think of any flaws in any of his films and if there are any, who cares. Lee is a genius. The only reason you are trying to tear him down is because he is Black. Otherwise, why would you care? There are multitudes of terrible/slightly imperfect directors to criticize, so why single out Lee? Because he is Black, that’s why. I don’t like him as a person and I know he has problematic relationships with white people, but I don’t care. His movies are fantastic and I am not ashamed to admit so. This thread starts to descend into comments about Somalis in Minnesota, what the hell? Raycis!!

  43. @Debate

    The Billionaire Boys Club murder involved Harvard-Westlake prep school, which was Notre Dame’s rival in high school debate. I think the BBC guys were a a few years after my time.

  44. @Michelle

    so why single out Lee?

    Because he has a new movie out that critics are raving about, but it’s actually not very good?

    • Replies: @Michelle
  45. Daniel H says:
    @jcd1974

    Keitel was good in that role as the pimp. Truly sleazy character. Quite a turn from his role as Charlie – the flawed yet trying to be a good Catholic young man – in Mean Streets.

  46. @PaceLaw

    You’re welcome. From what I gather, the anonymous prankster (voice of Tyrone) is a white guy. He does a bunch of other great characters on his YouTube channel.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  47. Anonymous[238] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    You people sound discerning. But spending your time and dime on ANY of these Hollywood productions feeds a filthy, bloody industry that has created and sustains some of the worst aspects of our country.

    #truth

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  48. @Hodag

    actually Kurosawa was not all that.

    O Henry is famous but nobody reads his stories very much, right here right now in 2018, or in whatever year this is..

    Kurosawa is now in the 2010s what O Henry was in the 1950s.

    If you are a rich kid with connections and less than 40 years old there is a good chance you will have the energy to make several movies – maybe three, maybe six, maybe a couple dozen – that are better than the best of Kurosawa, who, after all, was just a guy who told stories.

    Millions of people can tell good stories. There are better stories in the future than in the past.

    Trust me.

    • Replies: @Dumbo
  49. @Sean

    Rosie Perez said she climbed on aspeaker at to heckle Spike Lee at a night club where he was having women line up so he could judge which had the largest rump. Lee was impressed by her outstanding couple of talents

    Her vocal chords

  50. theMann says:

    Warning: I am launching a nuclear hand grenade:

    “Even after Scorsese made masterpieces like RAGING BULL and GOODFELLAS, ”

    Oh, really?

    There are over 300 F words in Goodfellas. Buying a ticket to that film was paying money to have some one swear at you for two hours. I actually use that film as a moron test for people seriously lacking in judgement, because anybody who thinks that obscene piece of crap is a good film is, well…..Sigh. I could have stopped reading at that point, but onward with criticism.

    I was a teenager when I walked out of Pink Flamingos, and I learned two things: It is ok to walk out of a film, and some filmmakers are going out of their way to shit all over their audiences, and are laughing at them while they do it. John Waters is one such filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino is another. Tarantino is in fact a walking advertisement for the decline and fall of the West- his films are obscene, lurid, mean spirited, disgusting messes. He is openly contemptuous of his fans (and honestly with good reason), but has become wealthy and famous but churning out garbage. He may have the money to make his crap films, but what on earth is compelling any of you to watch them?

    “But he makes this movie with cool black hoodlums (copped from 70s blaxploitation films) where people (Samuel Jackson included) say the n-word a million times, and everyone loves it and calls it one of the greatest film since CITIZEN KANE.” Ah, no they don’t. Seriously, comparing Tarantino to Orson Welles is like comparing Maya Angelou to Homer.

    Normal people go to the movies to have fun. I am not sure where Spike Lee fits into that observation. His films are clearly from the point of view of an overt Black Racist, but his early films had a point of view, were fun to watch, and didn’t make you feel like you wasted 5$ and two hours of your life watching them. A minor talent who never matured, in my opinion. (Interesting that he can make overtly Racist films, but a White filmmaker “portraying Blacks realistically” much less with cinematic exaggeration, would not only never get such a film distributed, he would face a host of hate crime charges.) I think that Lee’s biggest problem is that he never had a sense of humor ,and got more dour as he aged.

    There actually have been some great American filmmakers the last few decades. The Coen brothers for instance, and John Sayles. Lone Star is a better film than everything Lee and Tarantino have made combined, at at least equal to any of Scorsese’s work. And Scorsese’s best work is probably After Hours, although I apparently am the only person alive who even remembers it.

    In any case, I will gift you with the five most overrated films of all time:

    5. Casablanca
    4. The Seventh Seal
    3. Drive
    2. Goodfellas
    1. Every single last film by Quetin Tarantino.

  51. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Eric der Rote

    Both Inside Man and 25th Hour are very enjoyable films.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  52. @theMann

    Great comment.

    Wish I had written it.

  53. @anonymous

    Twinkie’s one of my favorites here, so you’re asking the wrong guy.

  54. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Anonymous

    Raphael’s Transfiguration is a picture, David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive is a moving picture. Both are immensely affecting.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Anon
    , @Ian M.
  55. Dumbo says:
    @middle aged vet . . . .

    If you are a rich kid with connections and less than 40 years old there is a good chance you will have the energy to make several movies – maybe three, maybe six, maybe a couple dozen – that are better than the best of Kurosawa

    Not really. I think you understand little about movies. There are ways to measure quality.

    Anon[425] (Priss?) is probably the best film critic around here, better than our host in fact.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  56. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    I haven’t paid much attention to Michael Dougherty since his hysterical virtue signaling after Charlottesville I, but I recall he often spoke fondly of Spike Lee as a director. Does he still?

  57. @Malcolm X-Lax

    > Kicked off twitter for good today. Not sure how they nabbed me, but they claim it was for evading a previous ban.

    Same here yesterday, same reason given.

  58. @vinteuil

    Pretty sure Anon #425 is the poster formerly known as Priss Factor…

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Clyde
    , @vinteuil
  59. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    Grandiosity and paranoia are character flaws endemic to asians and jews.

    Kinda makes one appreciate latinos a little bit more.

  60. Anonymous[238] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hockamaw

    JB is a stupid, boring movie.

  61. @Tyrion 2

    The 25th Hour was peak Rosario Dawson…she was simply scorching.

    • Agree: Tyrion 2
  62. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    True that. I’m sick to death of people who will blabber on endlessly about the latest tripe from Hollywood. It happens at parties too, and makes going to parties a bit pointless.

    Gore Vidal: “Hollywood movies are the lingua franca of American society.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Ian M.
  63. @Tyrion 2

    David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive is a moving picture.

    I’d rather spend a week in Philadelphia than watch a Lynch movie:

    The David Lynch Quote Collection

    Philadelphia

    “I had my first thrilling thought in Philadelphia.”

    “…when I was there it was a very sick, twisted, violent, fear-ridden, decadent, decaying place.”

    “Philadelphia, more than any filmmaker, influenced me. It’s the sickest, most corrupt, decaying, fear-ridden city imaginable. I was very poor and living in bad areas. I felt like I was constantly in danger. But it was so fantastic at the same time.”

    “It all started for me in Philadelphia because it’s old enough, and it’s got enough things in the air to really work on itself. It’s decaying but it’s fantastically beautiful, filled with violence, hate and filth.”

    “The house I moved into was across the street from the morgue, next door to Pop’s Diner. The area had a great mood – factories, smoke, railroads, diners, the strangest characters, the darkest nights. The people had stories etched in their faces, and I saw vivid images-plastic curtains held together with Band-Aids, rags stuffed in broken windows, walking through the morgue en-route to a hamburger joint.”

    “We lived cheap, but the city was full of fear. A kid was shot to death down the street, and the chalk marks around where he’d lain stayed on the sidewalk for five days. We were robbed twice, had windows shot out and a car stolen.”

    “I lived at 13th and Wood, right kitty-corner from the morgue; That’s real industrial. At 5:00 there’s nobody in that neighborhood. No one lives there. And I really do like that. It’s beautiful , if you see it the right way.”

    “Yes, [Philadelphia is] horrible, but in a very interesting way. There were places there that had been allowed to decay, where there was so much fear and crime that just for a moment there was an opening to another world. It was fear, but it was so strong, and so magical, like a magnet, that your imagination was always sparking in Philadelphia…I just have to think of Philadelphia now, and I get ideas, I hear the wind, and I’m off into the darkness somewhere.”

    http://www.thecityofabsurdity.com/quotecollection/philly.html

  64. Dumbo says:
    @theMann

    Goodfellas is a great film. Gangsters tend to curse, what a shock.

    Drive is overrated, at least I didn’t see anything so special or memorable about it. I don’t think Casablanca or Seventh Seal are overrated (although Bergman made better movies before and after).

    I don’t like Tarantino, but it’s important to understand why Scorsese (in his best films, he made a few bad ones too) is better than Tarantino.

    The problem with Spike Lee is that blacks artists in general almost only talk about being black and about racism. In part this is because they feel this way (in a way similar to many Jewish writers), but in part is also because this is what the system encourages. Blacks are only allowed to do this kind of film, if they do something else, the “system” is not so interested.

    • Replies: @Anon
  65. anonymous[291] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dumbo

    actually I do understand movies.

    feel free to live in your proud world, though.

    movies are real things, made by people with more or less talent, and people can have opinions about them,

    IYI

    to tell the truth, Dumbo, if me and Dante were friends, I could have told him a few ways he could have made the Paradiso and the Inferno better. Maybe you have no way of knowing that, and that is ok.

    but feel free to live in your proud world.

    Scorcese is a mediocre glorified high school drama teacher, Not a single one of his movies touch a human heart, and little Spike Lee is even more mediocre.

    There is a lot of real art out there, but little Spike and Martin Scorcese are not artists. You know that,

    • Replies: @anonymous
  66. Anon[238] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tyrion 2

    What does “affecting” really mean anyways? Why is it important at all?

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  67. Anonymous[238] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dumbo

    Anon[425] (Priss?) is probably the best film critic around here, better than our host in fact.

    Why should we care about any of this crap?

  68. Anonymous[238] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Gore Vidal: “Hollywood movies are the lingua franca of American society.”

    Did Vidal approve?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anon
  69. @Reg Cæsar

    If there’s to be a second act, the curtain has usually risen by the time one’s hit 44. Perhaps having seen no sign of that happening is what led Fitz to drink himself to death?

  70. @Dennis Dale

    The best preachers are seekers.

    • Replies: @Dennis Dale
  71. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    feel free to have the last word: pride is what it is.

    Real art is this: the movies of John Ford if he had been more of a story teller and less of a clown.

    Harvey (that night in Akron).

    Matilda in those last few cantos of the Purgatorio.

    Peguy describing the heartbreak of Eve near where the Garden of Eden used to be, Proust describing the hopes he remembered, when he was young, of getting older and being a man that the women he adored might love, Kristen Lavrandsatter in the mountains above the fjords, Beren and Luthien falling in love with each other, way back when. Sandyhas ….

    Feel free to try and insult me again but please know whom you are insulting. There has never been a single director who would not have been a better director if the humility of understanding everyone they meet, and caring about them, had been something they truly cared about. Wake up! Once you understand that, you will be capable of saying something I find interesting. If you don’t understand that, even your most passionate insults will be as boring as the rants of an autistic rage boy. Please be better than that, Mr Anon! I am on your side, except for the silly Jew-hatred that seems to make you happy, like an ignorant medieval clown who never read a single page of the Bible!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @vinteuil
    , @vinteuil
  72. Simon says:
    @Malcolm X-Lax

    Sorry about Twitter. Enraging.

    And I agree that Clockers is Lee’s best film — or at least it’s the only one I’ve actually liked. I think Anon and Steve are much too kind to Lee, for reasons unknown, and pay his films way too much respectful attention.

  73. @Hockamaw

    The only Tarantino movie made in good faith. He’s a glorified wigger at heart, not that there’s anything wrong with that. He’d settle for a world run by Robert Forster types.

    Since that’s not in the cards, he takes out his seething resentment on the rest of us.

  74. anon[376] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Meh. You’re better than him, but he’s okay.

  75. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @theMann

    Every time Casablanca is on TCM, Twitter lights up with people reminiscing about it and reveling in it. That’s a form of greatness, even if it’s not one of my favorite movies. I don’t think that happens when The Seventh Seal comes on.

    Drive may be overrated, but Albert Brooks’s performance wasn’t. He played the best heavy I’d seen in years.

    Goodfellas was almost immediately surpassed in that genre by Casino.

  76. unit472 says:

    I’m glad “Anon” t00k the time to watch the complete film library of Spike Lee. Why is my question? Lee is nothing more than the equivalent of the ‘Godzilla’ series of Japanese films not Alfred Hitchcock. A predictable take on ‘skin color’ akin to the Japanese obsession with ‘radiation’ in the 1950′s.

    • Replies: @Danindc
  77. J.Ross says: • Website
    @jcd1974

    The first time I saw Taxi Driver my immediate reaction to Keitel’s casting was that it was some error or narcotic inspiration. There were white pimps, and they didn’t dress or act like that. As His Holiness Saint Judge Don Juan relates in his home movies, the flamboyance of the flamboyant black pimp was a deeply black thing. A white pimp would want to not attract police attention. It makes so much sense that Keitel was taking a black man’s role in a hurry.

    • Replies: @donut
  78. J.Ross says: • Website

    That was a really great piece of film writing, anon.
    OT The censorship wave rolls on. Jihad Watch has been kicked off Patreon.

    https://www.jihadwatch.org/2018/08/patreon-and-mastercard-ban-robert-spencer-without-explanation

    • Replies: @donut
  79. Whiskey says: • Website

    Micheal Mann and Peter Weir are under rated. Heat, Last Wave, Year of Living Dangerously, Manhunter, To Live and Diein LA, Thief are all great. Taxi Driver was Scorsese great movie though.

    Lee is basically the Eddie Griffin of movie directors.

  80. wren says:

    An excuse to post a cool 80′s art house movie clip.

    Spike Lee’s brother Cinqué plays the bellhop next to Screamin Jay Hawkins’ front desk man.

    Tom Waits is the radio DJ as Cinqué is asked by Hawkins to check out the sound upstairs, which turns out to be Joe Strummer accidentally shooting Steve Buscemi.

    They are all cool.

  81. It took being denuded with commentary elsewhere on Crazy Rich Asians to realise its scarcity here. Sounds like a film and event which needs yuour discerning eye.

    Further,considering that Asians are pretty much dominating native whites economically it surprises me how little attention they get here.

  82. @jcd1974

    For the longest time, black characters simply didn’t make much of an appearance in Scorsese’s movies. Goodfellas has one, but is on screen for less than three minutes tops, with hardly any dialogue. Perhaps because in Scorsese’s NY, (and he has made many, many films based in NY from various time periods) blacks simply don’t or didn’t much exist.

    • Replies: @Lurker
  83. @Dave Pinsen

    Goodfellas is way better. Sharon Stone isn’t much as an actress, which hasn’t much helped its legacy. By the way, what ever happened to Sharon Stone?

    • Replies: @Pericles
  84. Kylie says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    I have a feeling you’d like Ozu’s Late Spring. Have you seen it?

    • Replies: @Dumbo
  85. Mr. Blank says:

    A key to understanding the impact of Quentin Tarantino is to note the precise moment when “Pulp Fiction” arrived on the scene. It came along after roughly a decade of increasingly slick, soulless by-the-numbers big-budget blockbusters (not, I might add, unlike the current profusion of Marvel Comics films). In retrospect, “Pulp Fiction” doesn’t seem that extraordinary, but compared to what audiences at the time were accustomed to, it was revolutionary — a movie which is not a Mel Brooks-style parody, yet still comments on and critiques “normal” movies, while compulsively referencing classic cinema! Amazing!

    As Anon notes, Spike Lee’s channeling of Scorsese’s reference-heavy filmmaking kind of anticipated Tarantino — but Lee lacked both Scorsese’s level of wit and artistry and Tarantino’s crowd-friendly pop culture autism. Consequently, Lee’s best work falls into a very narrow spectrum of what John Derbyshire would call blackety-black movies: School Daze, Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, Get On The Bus. Inside Man is also pretty good, but it has a very generic feel.

    None of Lee’s other films, despite their charms, feel very vital. And none of them feel as important as Scorsese, or as exciting as Tarantino briefly seemed. It must be incredibly frustrating for him as an artist.

    • Replies: @Mr. Blank
    , @Ian M.
  86. njguy73 says:
    @Hockamaw

    And the only Tarantino film that’s adapted from someone else’s source material.

  87. njguy73 says:

    contra Fitzgerald, Scorsese went on to enjoy a pretty spectacular second act in American life.

    Steve, that’s not what Scotty meant. He didn’t mean people can’t make comebacks. He meant that Americans tell themselves myths of how their lives go from the first act (establishing the problem) to the third act (resolving the problem) without the messy second act (dealing with the problem.)

    You’ll like this link. There’s golf in it.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/04/why-tiger-woods-isnt-getting-a-second-act/38522/

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  88. Anonymous[163] • Disclaimer says:

    Priss factor (as himself) still posts comments on Unz.com — just not on iSteve…

    Think posting as yourself around the rest of the site and posting here anon is breaking Ron’s rules.

    • Replies: @res
  89. Mr. Blank says:
    @Mr. Blank

    For younger readers who can’t quite grasp the impact of “Pulp Fiction,” here’s a quick thumbnail summary: It was like seeing a “Deadpool” movie in a world full of Marvel Comics movies where Deadpool didn’t exist and had never existed.

    That’s basically how it was with Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.” None of it was new to audiences well-versed in cinema history, but for average moviegoers, it was a weird and nifty new experience, an ingeniously clever riff on what they were used to. That’s why Tarantino became such a big deal: He took something strange and avant-garde and turned it into a mass-market commodity.

  90. Pericles says:
    @Michelle

    Raycis!!

    Tinny Duck, look out. There’s a new guy in town.

    • Replies: @Lurker
  91. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    He said it derisively, as he said most things.

  92. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    The Fetishization of Ruin.

    • Agree: Kylie
  93. Pericles says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Another childless Hollywood casualty.

  94. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Whiskey

    Heat is easily one of the most rewatchable movies made in the last quarter century. One of my favorites, and peak Mann.

    Even off-peak Michael Mann is pretty good: I’ll watch, Miami Vice, Black Hat, or that one with Tom Cruise as the hit man if they come on TV late at night.

  95. Clyde says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    Yes the notorious super fast typist Priss is anon 425 — You can’t keep a good man down.

  96. backup says:
    @Tiny Duck

    I like having Tiny Duck around here. He is a perfect example of how the other side lures us into defensiveness.

    Tiny, war between PoC is a constant factor:

    The problem is white men.

    I understand that you think I will defend the opposite position, and that you think that would be that white men aren’t the problem. But that is not the issue. The issue is that white men are the solution. That is why only white men could stop white men such as Hitler or Stalin. Even the much derided colonialism was a step up in most cases.

    See?

  97. Clyde says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Heat is easily one of the most rewatchable movies made in the last quarter century. One of my favorites, and peak Mann.
    Even off-peak Michael Mann is pretty good: I’ll watch, Miami Vice, Black Hat, or that one with Tom Cruise as the hit man if they come on TV late at night.

    Last of the Mohicans was amazing as was Heat. The Miami Vice move was very good, though when it first came out I had a low opinion of it. Watch old Miami Vice and it is so amateurish with snatching on lookers to appear on screen. The music was very good and I still listen to it. There are some very good remixes on you tube of original Vice tunes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4xh5He2S1w

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  98. donut says:
    @J.Ross

    White pimps :

    I couldn’t resist .

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @PaceLaw
  99. donut says:
    @J.Ross

    Mastercard ordered Patreon to kick him off .

  100. Danindc says:
    @jcd1974

    Good call by the studio. Nobody would have liked to see that.

  101. Danindc says:
    @Mr. Blank

    Deadpool is annoyingly unfunny though. A terrible movie.

  102. Danindc says:
    @unit472

    Yes, exactly. Anon is a good writer with insight but I lost respect for him for having wasted hours watching those terrible Spike Lee movies. Learn to play guitar or something. Crooklyn????

  103. Anon[383] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    Jackie Brown, surely. Tarantino should have done more adaptations.

  104. Danindc says:
    @Michelle

    You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  105. Danindc says:
    @Michelle

    You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously. Go. Somewhere. Else.

    • Replies: @Michelle
  106. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Anon

    Those are huge and complex questions, though I’m surpised anyone has to ask them.

    Doesn’t everybody (interesting) instinctively get this stuff? Apologies for the implication but you’re questioning by implication the existence of art, love and (somehow) a whole lot more!

    Anyway, the best I can give is a link. Schopenhauer on music is a good starting point. I’d say Mulholland Drive is music+++.

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/schopenhauer-aesthetics/

    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
  107. Crooklyn is my favorite of Lee’s movies- my guess is that having his sister and brother write it with him gave it a subtler touch than the rest of his films, tho I’m pretty sure it was a commercial failure. I also thought Inside Man was a decent genre movie that didn’t try to be a Spike Lee movie.

    Lee and Ta Nehisi Coates had somewhat similar upbringings- sons of artistic/intellectual dads and teacher moms. But TNC’s parents didn’t stick together- his dad’s many kids were with multiple women, while Lee and his four siblings did indeed grow up all together in a big Brooklyn brownstone, at least until his mom’s death, as Crooklyn portrays. In a way, the Coates/Lee contrast is probably characteristic of their respective generations, when in the late 70s and 80s even most middle class blacks stopped staying and getting married.

    I wrote something about Crooklyn and gentrification last year.

    https://spottedtoad.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/thank-god-for-mom-and-dad-for-sticking-two-together-cause-i-dont-know-how/

  108. Bugg says:
    @Malcolm X-Lax

    Lee was stuck with great source material. Richard Price is a tremendous and prolific writer, but usually portrays the cops as decent people. And since it’s a coalition clash between clueless white hipster gentrifiers and violent inner city project dwellers with the cops as the good guys, don’t expect “Lush Life” to be made into a movie any time soon.

  109. “Sidney Lumet was comparable to Scorsese with DOG DAY AFTERNOON and PRINCE OF THE CITY, but he got progressively worse and formulaic later on.“

    Lumet was originally supposed to direct “Scarface”. In fact, it was his idea to move the setting from the original’s Italian Chicago to Cuban Miami. But then he decided he wanted to make the film more political, and blame Miami’s drug violence on Reagan’s policies. The film’s producer Marty Bregman (who was also Al Pacino’s manager), told Lumet to go pound sand and replaced him with De Palma.

  110. May I point out that Kubrick, Scorsese, Spike Lee are from NYC (and Chris Rock). Spike Lee in an interview said that his edge was that he was from Brooklyn. Growing up there I know what he means. For a nickel for the subway, for some, one’s adolescent years see-saw between the banality of one’s neighborhood and the great city. That’s a gift that keeps on giving.

    About Kubrick. Stanley denied that he had ever gone to college but it turns out, that’s not exactly true. At Brooklyn College there was the students’ lounge on one end of the cafeteria and the classical students lounge on the other end where the chess players hung out. Stanley Kubrick hung out in the classical lounge where there were some fairly strong chess players 2 of whom remember losing to him. Kubrick was a chess nut and is quoted making disparaging remarks about Fred Duval, a Haitian 25 cent a game chess hustler in Washington Square Park. Kubrick was apparently taking film classes at Brooklyn College whether officially enrolled or clandestinely.

  111. Corn says:
    @Truth

    No argument here. I’ve always thought Tarantino was an overrated weirdo

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  112. @Reg Cæsar

    Well, that certainly explains a lot about the ambiance in Eraserhead (1977).

  113. Corn says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    “or that one with Tom Cruise as the hit man”

    Collateral. I remember watching it and thinking it was a good movie, but you don’t see it rerun on cable much anymore. Sort of been forgotten.

    • Replies: @Neoconned
  114. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    Please be better than that, Mr Anon! I am on your side, except for the silly Jew-hatred that seems to make you happy,

    Are you Jewish?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  115. Hunsdon says:
    @Whiskey

    It must be a sign of the Apocalypse, because I find myself in agreement with whiskey.

  116. Anonymous[212] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    In my experience whites whose peer group growing up was centered in a black neighborhood *do* sound substantially black (except for Kenneth the page on 30 Rock), not to mention there are professional vocal artists who are white mimicking black characters & celebrities every day so there must be a technique, if not a “shortcut.” To say that most whites at random can’t speak black without effort isn’t much of an observation, but she could be referring to bio-subtleties of timbre or pitch instead of the structure of the dialect– maybe that’s the catch, but I’d like to know how well a black listener can distinguish fellow blacks from impersonators or just black-sounding whites in a legit controlled study. I don’t think it’s some special ability, in other words. Of course black people are fond of doing “white voice” for yuks, which typically sounds exaggerated and satirical instead of authentic.

    In light of the Trump situation it’s interesting how much accents drive our cultural partisanship… The dual nature of the Southern accent — medium-status for a NAM up to endearingly hip and high-status for gays, yet low-status for every honky cracker foo’ since about 1870– is particularly revealing of the regnant prejudices

  117. Anonymous[212] • Disclaimer says:
    @PaceLaw

    “Get On the Bus” also met a cool reception in certain quarters, namely black yuppies who live in Baldwin Hills or Anne Arundel County and write op-eds mau-mauing the Democrats for political patronage.

    • Replies: @PaceLaw
  118. @Tiny Duck

    I swear you guys never leave your home and must be like 70 years old…

    …and living in your 95-year-old mother’s basement. Sitting at the computer in your Depends.

  119. AndrewR says:
    @Malcolm X-Lax

    Twitter is awful. If you don’t give them a real phone number (real as in not a free one you can get from an app), they will lock you out.

  120. Thea says:
    @theMann

    I thought it was just that I was female to hat I found Tarantino films unwatchable. Glad it’s not just me.

  121. Dumbo says:
    @Kylie

    Kurosawa is still much more well known and praised, but Ozu is amazing. I really love him. But he makes more subtle, mild films, I suppose not for everyone. Late Spring and An Autumn Afternoon are just two good ones, but he has many others.

    • Replies: @Kylie
  122. Frank G says:

    That is way too many words and way too much time spent thinking about “Spike Lee.”

  123. Matra says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    The Seventh Seal is subtitled and artsy so right away most English-speakers are uninterested.

    I like Casablanca but I suspect much of its reputation in the US is due to timing – it came out during the German occupation of France right after the Americans joined the European fight. The film is well known in continental Europe – Umberto Eco wrote an essay about it! – but I don’t think it has the same reputation as being one of the greatest films of all time.

  124. Unzerker says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    If you like this stuff, than the African Drug Lord videos are a great watch.
    It’s also just a white guy playing a sub-Saharan African.

  125. MarcB. says:

    Lee is a skilled and talented filmmaker, but his petulance and his arrogance aren’t the only things standing between himself and greatness. His heavy-handedness and adherence to dialectics box him in, preventing him from unleashing the creative freedom required to produce a modern masterpiece.

  126. @Tyrion 2

    Ja, gut.

    Thanks for the link. Been a long time since I read The World As Will and Representation, and this clear restatement of Schopenhauer’s thoughts on aesthetics is very helpful. Ms Shapshay does nice work here; I will read the entire thing when opportunity presents.

  127. @Mr. Blank

    “it was a weird and nifty new experience, an ingeniously clever riff on what they were used to. That’s why Tarantino became such a big deal: He took something strange and avant-garde and turned it into a mass-market commodity.”

    Substitute “Andy Warhol” for “Tarantino” in the pop culture at large, and its the same exact concept. Perhaps in some ways, Andy Warhol anticipated the likes of Tarantino et al by several decades. Especially the part about mass marketing.

  128. @Hodag

    DTRT was the only Lee movie I’ve ever seen, so I can’t make comparisons. That said, I thought it was indeed a good movie for its time.

  129. Ian M. says:

    Lee was consumed with envy for Quentin Tarantino…

    Maybe that’s the problem right there.

  130. @Buffalo Joe

    I remember reading an early interview with Lee where he said (or pretended) that he had never seen any blaxploitation movies, and only watched movies by guys like Fellini and Kurosawa. Arty movies. It’s funny that movies by Tarantino have made him get the Afro wig out for his new movie.

  131. Sandmich says:
    @Malcolm X-Lax

    I heard that Twitter develops “thumbprints” of systems so that they can tell uniques systems apart, even with different address, different users, etc. Karl Denninger had detailed some methods in the past as part of Facebook’s method for building “Shadow Profiles”. There’s ways around it I’m sure (boot a system off a read-only image, stacks of virtual machines, etc.) but it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth for Twitter.

  132. Pat Boyle says:
    @jcd1974

    No one ever seems to point out the racial realities of slavery. Blacks are endlessly kvetching about how they used to be slaves to whites. But white people – mostly Quakers and other Christians – abolished slavery. If chattel slavery is bad – and I think it is – then whites should get some credit.

    Trick question: what US President abolished slavery? Nope not Lincoln. Jack Kennedy.

    But some say that there are more slaves today than there were before the Civil War. Today we don’t have slaves to pick cotton or plow the fields. We have tractors for all that. But we have a lot of sexual slavery. Young Russian women after the fall of the Soviet Union were particularly targeted.

    In America almost all the pimps are black. Many of sex slaves are white. Pimp is another term for slave-master.

    I can’t be the only one to have noticed this.

  133. @theMann

    because anybody who thinks that obscene piece of crap is a good film is …
    some filmmakers are going out of their way to shit all over their audiences
    his films are obscene, lurid, mean spirited, disgusting messes.

    This might have been more convincing without the hypocrisy.

  134. Pat Boyle says:
    @Mr. Blank

    My problem with Tarantino is that he is one sick puppy. All of his recent movies have a plot which is just a clockwork constructed to justify torturing some white guy. He hates whites and he seems to be a sadist.

    His films are disturbing because he himself is disturbed.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  135. Dennis Dale says: • Website
    @anonymous

    Sorry dude, but if you think the guy who made Raging Bull isn’t an artist…what’s the expression? “You keep using that word”?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  136. vinteuil says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    Pretty sure Anon #425 is the poster formerly known as Priss Factor…

    Yes, that goes without saying. Also Dominique Francon Society and any number of other noms d’internet, until The Unz got pissed off and made him stop.

  137. Kylie says:
    @Whiskey

    You mention Peter Weir but don’t mention Picnic at Hanging Rock.

    • Replies: @kimchilover
  138. Ian M. says:
    @Truth

    You really shouldn’t insult Satanists and POS’s like that.

    • Agree: Truth
  139. Kylie says:
    @Dumbo

    Ozu is absolutely ravishing. I love his movies. Buffalo Joe is very family-oriented and I think he’d enjoy Ozu’s quiet, warm explorations of family dynamics.

  140. Ian M. says:
    @J1234

    Here’s Lawrence Auster on Gentleman’s Agreement and Crossfire:

    http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/004985.html

    Agree with you about On the Waterfront. How can you not love a movie where Marlon Brando gets clocked by a priest?

  141. @Tiny Duck

    “You guys are just dead wrong about People of Color not getting along”

    Hahaha, tiny dick, you truly are funny. Hey, do you happen to know if the Hazard Grande eses have firebombed any more black-occupied units in the Ramona Gardens housing project this week?

  142. vinteuil says:
    @Dr. X

    NYT: 34-year-old Gay Jewish Male Grad Student Sues 66-year-old Lesbian Jewish Professor for Sexual Harassment

    That article – just breathtaking stuff. And so ISteve’y that it simply coudn’t be any more ISteve’y – here’s hoping that our host notices and comments.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  143. J. Farmer says:

    I always appreciated Spike Lee’s trashing of the awful Tyler Perry oeuvre, which he aptly labeled “coonery buffoonery.”

  144. Lee comes off as petulant, and he is most of the time, but it’s understandable in some cases.

    1) The reason Spike Lee whined about his loss at Cannes is because Wim Wenders made it his mission to convince the jury not to award DTRT the Palm D’or. If another one of the jury members (in this case, Sally Field) tells you one guy was completely unhinged about your film and torpedoed it, you would be pretty angry too. Sex, Lies and Videotape was not a good film and is almost unwatchable today.

    2) A piece of trite sentimental white liberal garbage called Driving Miss Daisy won a bunch of Academy awards that year and Lee wasn’t even nominated for anything.

    3) Malcolm X is Spike’s best film and the best performance by Denzel Washington by a country mile. The film was snubbed except for Washington’s nomination, and he lost to a therapy win for Al Pacino’s overacting in Scent of Woman. 1992 was an extremely weak year for American film and Malcolm X deserved at least nominations in several categories included Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor for Albert Hall’s fantastic performance as the Louis Farrakhan/John Bembry/Wilfred Little composite character Bates. If I were Spike, I would think there was something rotten at the Academy as well.

  145. vinteuil says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    From what I gather, the anonymous prankster (voice of Tyrone) is a white guy. He does a bunch of other great characters on his YouTube channel.

    His generic black guy is pretty good, and his Asian Indian guy is OK. But his East Asian guy is just dumb. Totally unconvincing.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
  146. vinteuil says:
    @theMann

    I was a teenager when I walked out of Pink Flamingos

    Really? Seriously? As a teenager, you walked out of a movie theatre that was showing Pink Flamingos (1972)?

    • Replies: @theMann
  147. Ian M. says:
    @theMann

    Thank you. I also think Goodfellas is garbage.

  148. vinteuil says:
    @anonymous

    That was kind of interesting.

    But please come up with a moniker.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  149. Neoconned says:
    @Cortes

    That and it’s thinly veiled re make “The Cable Guy” are among the worst films EVER made….

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  150. Dennis Dale says: • Website
    @anonymous

    The distinction had occurred to me.

  151. Dennis Dale says: • Website
    @Sean

    Tarantino’s apparent foot fetish in Kill Bill was an homage to French director Robert Bresson

    • Replies: @Sean
  152. Truth says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    You really like those Fags?

    Joe, I’m really so glad you still love Bills football or it would be time for that SWiPpLe forehead tattoo.

  153. res says:
    @Anonymous

    My understanding is it is acceptable to have a single named handle and post anonymously when you want. I believe this is the definitive statement from Ron about this: http://www.unz.com/announcement/improving-comment-threads/

    Checking a bit through the records, I’ve discovered that quite a number of commenters have made a habit of repeatedly changing their handles to hide their identity, which is NOT acceptable behavior. I repeat: Commenters must pick a SINGLE handle and stick to it, or use Anonymous/Anon whenever they choose.

    Although I find that wording a little vague, I think it is clear the issue is multiple handles, not the occasional use of Anon.

    If anyone knows differently, please post a reference.

  154. vinteuil says:
    @vinteuil

    I mean, here’s a somewhat elderly, supposedly lesbian, professor at NYU, who goes gaga over a gay male grad student, less than half her age, with porn-star looks…

    …and he objects! – and goes public!

    Another story made for the movies that will never be seen, ’cause it doesn’t fit The Narrative.

  155. vinteuil says:
    @anonymous

    “Proust describing the hopes he remembered, when he was young, of getting older and being a man that the women he adored might love”

    Proust was the greatest. But I can’t remember that particular passage. Can you point me toward it?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  156. Lurker says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Goodfellas has one, but is on screen for less than three minutes tops, with hardly any dialogue

    And that was Samuel N-word Jackson. See, it all fits together!

    • Replies: @PaceLaw
  157. @jcd1974

    Think of how many great, and natural, parts Blacks are simply not allowed to play.

    It is akin to telling Blacks they are not allowed to dunk the basketball. And they have to shoot freethrows underhanded.

  158. Lurker says:
    @art guerrilla

    He/she used to leave long comments at iSteve and elsewhere. Sometimes writes as Andrea Ostrov Letania, other times as Andrea Freiboden and others I’m sure.

  159. @Anon

    Agree with you on Dad, he and Buffalo are two of my favorites.

  160. Lurker says:
    @Anon

    Yes, that was good. I watched it right to the end. Had no idea it was a Lee film at the time, no preaching involved. It certainly shows he can be a more than competent director-for-hire.

    There was a degree of Agenda of course. Whitey is the bad guy, black cop is the guy who breaks the case.

  161. @Reg Cæsar

    Really? I just picture him as a guy working on his first Asian Jack Ryan type novel and he is trying out material here.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  162. Lurker says:
    @Pericles

    Michelle might actually be for real though.

    • Replies: @Michelle
  163. Really insightful analysis.

    While my interest in Tarantino has really diminished over the years, it’s hard to describe the impact that his first few movies had on me (I went on to produce one pretty bad movie). Pulp Fiction came out when I was 20 and just getting into film. I was already a huge fan of Reservoir Dogs and had known for months that PF had won the top prize at Cannes. A few weeks before it came out I drove up to Austin to see an advance screening at UT that Tarantino himself was screening. It was a sold out crowd filled with pretty hardcore Austin college film nerds and, well, words can’t really describe the impact it had: we were all SOOOO into it that the entire audience erupted into a standing ovation – NOT just when the movie was over mind you but DURING the movie! It was the scene when Bruce Willis grabs the samurai sword and I’ve never seen that happen since…it was electrifying. If you’re too young to remember when it came out the impact it had on pop culture was kinda jaw-dropping.

    And, yeah, Jackie Brown is a really, really wonderful flick. Easily his best and also one of the finest middle-aged romances in film history.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    , @Anonymous
  164. @Whiskey

    Thief is a GREAT movie. As is to Live and Die in LA.

    One thing those older crime movies bring home is how much of a police surveillance state we now live in.

    Pacino almost kills Heat. He way over acted. DeNiro was awesome as was all the other cast. I absolutely hated the Pacino cop character and so wanted him to be blasted to hell at the end.

  165. @Kylie

    And let’s not forget Master & Commander! So sad that movie utterly tanked and robbed us of sequels.

  166. PaceLaw says:
    @Anonymous

    Wow, I had completely forgotten about ”Get On the Bus!” Thanks for the (sad) reminder! It was quite a forgettable movie though. It was about blacks going the to the Million Man March, right? Definitely a period piece and not meant for the test of time. You are quite correct in the tepid response the movie received.

  167. PaceLaw says:
    @Lurker

    Classic Samuel Jackson (via Dave Chappelle):

  168. @Dave Pinsen

    Albert Brooks once said that Paul Schrader (who wrote Taxi Driver) said that Brooks’ character (Tom) was the only one in the movie that he could not “understand”.

    I also think that Casino is superior to Goodfellas.

  169. @Neoconned

    You are wrong about both films. The creepy loser who doesn’t realize he is a creepy loser can be a great character in the right hands. I think people shit on The Cable Guy when it came out because it was darker than the typical Jim Carrey film.

  170. @Dave Pinsen

    Agree about Michael Mann being underrated. Miami Vice is far and away the coolest TV show ever made.

    Heat is an incredible film,much like Trieste is a beautiful city.

    Heat’s problem is that it came out in 1995 and was lost in all the Braveheart and Apollo 13 hype. Die Hard with a Vengeance and Goldeneye were other notable action films of ’95. Casino also came out that year, as did Se7en.

    Trieste’s problem is that Venice is less than two hours away.

    • Replies: @Neoconned
  171. @Corn

    I actually enjoy the Pulp Fiction alike films more than the original.

    James Spader and Charlize Thereon were great in Three Days in the Valley.

  172. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Clyde

    Yes, Last of the Mohicans was very good, though Mann’s director’s cut was worse.

    One advantage the Miami Vice TV series has over the movie is a much better Tubbs. I think that’s a casting decision Mann lived to regret.

    • Replies: @clyde
    , @J.Ross
  173. vinteuil says:
    @kimchilover

    “…words can’t really describe the impact it had: we were all SOOOO into it that the entire audience erupted into a standing ovation…”

    Just curious – how did the same crowd feel about Trainspotting, a couple of years later?

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  174. J.Ross says: • Website
    @donut

    I see you understand what I am saying.

  175. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Pat Boyle

    His psychology is painfully simple. He hates his absentee dad. He probably doesn’t even really like blacks that much.

  176. clyde says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Philip Michael Thomas was a hilarious self promoter, back in that era of course/ Jamie Foxx did not get much face time in the movie as Tubbs, so hard to evaluate. Colin Farrell had and stole all the great scenes. That movie was so much better than the drek comic book movies that are the “action movies” of today. I saw the second Sicario movie (in a theater actually!) and it was 25% as good as the first one.
    What the world really needs is an outer space horror movie as good as the first Alien movie. No more nice aliens. But monster aliens who rip you shreds and will eat you. Today’s Hollywood is too feminized to produce such a movie.

  177. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Dave Pinsen

    Manhunter probably fails most of its ostensible goals, especially now, but I was blown away by the cinematography. It is a beautiful movie in the best and most complete sense of the word.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  178. @njguy73

    If only the underwear gnomes had been around back then.

  179. @Eric der Rote

    Inside Man which I have seen, and 25th Hour which I haven’t are not entirely black focused from what I have heard (25th hour). Inside Man actually has a white male co-lead ( Clive Owen with Denzel Washington ) who wasn’t portrayed as a drooling ogre, albeit the villain of the movie is played by Christopher Plummer, and Jodie Foster plays a supporting role as the evil white woman role in it to a tee.

  180. theMann says:
    @vinteuil

    Yes, we made a game out getting into films we shouldn’t see – Sweet Sweetback, Last Tango, Clockwork Orange, I spit On Your Grave. It was really amazing how bad those films we “weren’t allowed to see” really were. I know I was at a late night drive in screening of 2000 Maniacs during that time period, fortunately had better things to do than watch the movie. Lived half way between two college towns so it wasn’t hard.

    Fortunately, that time period saw some of my still favorite films- Big Jake, Amarcord, The Sting, Solaris, the Godfather, wow the 70′s had better movies.

    In any case, the ratings system had barely come into being and nobody was enforcing it.

  181. vinteuil says:

    Has there ever been a more pure & complete expression of nihilism than that movie?

  182. @vinteuil

    Has there ever been a more pure & complete expression of nihilism than that movie?

    I have not, and will never choose DIY and wondering who the f— I am on a Sunday morning!

  183. @kimchilover

    And let’s not forget Master & Commander! So sad that movie utterly tanked and robbed us of sequels.

    Agree. It’s a — forgive me — masterly job of historical film-making. And there is so, so much more first-rate material from O’Brian just sitting there waiting.

    • Replies: @res
  184. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dennis Dale

    Dennis Dale – please note I used the present tense.

    By the way, Mindy Patinkin totally rocked on Chicago Hope, but his approach to the Great American Songbook leaves me … what is the word …. I know what it means, but I can’t remember it ….

  185. Neoconned says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    Michael Mann works well when his films are set in Los Angeles….not so much when shof elsewhere….

  186. bjondo says:

    Sorry, don’t give a piss about movies. Mostly a land of lazy, pointless, inflated egos.

  187. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @vinteuil

    Vinteuil – I am one of the closest living relatives of Alexander Graham Bell.

    I do not need a moniker, I like to think that, about 5 years from now, some AI is going to scoop up the things I say – and Vinteuil, you are interesting too – and figure out whether the 2 or 3 hundred times I said something interesting on the internet are worth the false positives of scooping up (using grammatical forensic techniques) 2 or 3 hundred of my comments and a few comments that might or might not be mine.

    Cor ad cor loquitur, chebere !

    Everyone knows that Steve Sailer is interesting on golf course architecture, on the L.A. deejays on morning radio from back in the day, in the 90s (my happiest decade, God bless it), and on other subjects: well, Steve does not mind if people like you and me post here with no intention to be praised (I just want to make people laugh, or to make people think – hey, that Book of Proverbs really is interesting!!!!)

  188. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @vinteuil

    Thanks – I was conflating the scene in the first or second novel where the young Marcel discusses how he imagined a letter of apology from Gilberte, whom he loved (I imagined the letter, the words of love, and how she explained that, although it may have seemed that she did not love the narrator, Marcel, that she really did) with the scene in the last novel where middle-aged Marcel describes how the fantastically sympathetic look of love that an aging duchess gave him reminded him of how happy he would have been to have seen such a look back in the days when he imagined receiving a letter of love from Gilberte — and of course, Proust being the great writer he was, anyone who reads the novel could not help remembering that he had already said that he had imagined what such a letter would look like, and that he knew — absolutely knew – that if he imagined that such a letter would begin with a certain set of words, that there was no probability that, if such a letter would ever exist (such a letter would never exist, in the Proust world, because the young Marcel was, in fact, not loved by the young Gilberte, and only if she loved him would she have sent him such a letter….Godel could not have described the problem better)… that if such a letter would ever exist, in a world where people like me and Marcel simply do not get to rejoice in the joy of being loved by the young women we adore, and being told we are loved ….. that even in such a world, the letter would be differently worded. Our hopes for happiness in the future are what they are, but whatever they are, we cannot imagine, if nobody tells us that we are loved, what exact words we would hear if someone told us that we are loved.

    Well, God loves us all, so this is all just psychology. Gilberte was an old woman in the 1920s, and she may have been one of those very old women who, when I was a child a couple of decades later, I smiled at, giving her a little joy in her heart. I have always liked old people.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  189. PaceLaw says:
    @donut

    Absolutely sublime! Thanks for posting!!!

  190. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    In 1986 (January) I had a vision of the Virgin Mary. She is Jewish, and was not a sinner.

    You are a sinner, though, aren’t you? God wants you to be better than that.

    I am more Christian that the multi-millionaire Billy Graham, God bless his soul, and more Christian than poor Bergoglio, who needs our prayers.

    Pray with me for the salvation of all souls. Thanks.

    You can do it.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @J.Ross
  191. Michelle says:
    @Danindc

    Eff U, fool!! Get a clue!!

  192. Michelle says:
    @Steve Sailer

    You know, Steve I am not going to give you a pass on this. Whether his newest film is good or not has zero to do with Scorsese. A few months ago, some pathetic loser at one of the right-wing websites wrote a column claiming that Amelia Earhart was a bad pilot on account of she was female and had crashed and died. A good number of male commenters, actual pilots, called the author out on his comments. Sometimes, mostly Libertarian, men will start bitching about the fact that women have poor taste in film. Except that, aren’t men and women supposed to be biologically different? Don’t men prefer girly girls? Don’t you want women to be biologically different than men? If your woman prefers, “Chick Flicks” doesn’t that make her a “Chick”?

    Many Libertarian men just hate women. This column reeks of Black hate and jealousy of Lee. You are criticizing one of the greatest American directors of all time, of which there are very few, if any, competitors. Why not compare Scorsese to Bergman? Bergman is way whiter and far more of a genius than Scorsese could ever be.

  193. Michelle says:
    @Lurker

    Yes, I am totally authentic!

  194. @vinteuil

    But his East Asian guy is just dumb. Totally unconvincing.

    What? Buk Lau is great for comedic reasons alone. And the character is convincing enough to actual off-the-boat Asians getting pranked, who themselves sound like ‘racist’ parodies of Asians. Of course, it goes without saying that all this stuff is a bit lowbrow and silly for this sophisticated blog. ;)

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  195. res says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Agreed. Fortunately one can just read the books instead ; )

  196. Anonymous[258] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    Well? Answer the question–are you Jewish?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  197. @Anonymous

    Listen up, Anonymous, Anonymous wants to know!

  198. Anonymous[258] • Disclaimer says:
    @kimchilover

    words can’t really describe the impact it had: we were all SOOOO into it that the entire audience erupted into a standing ovation – NOT just when the movie was over mind you but DURING the movie!

    Doesn’t mean the film was good. (Notice no one can really say why it is supposedly “good.). This is Rocky Horrir Show nerd-tier stuff.

  199. Anon[258] • Disclaimer says:
    @vinteuil

    Has there ever been a more pure & complete expression of nihilism than that movie?

    Has there ever been a more pure and complete expression of nihilism than watching movies and getting into movies in general? It’s just so stupid.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  200. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @J.Ross

    It was good and very influential.

  201. @Cortes

    Looks like Scorsese’s recycling his sets. That bar looks just like the one where Joe Pesci killed the guy for telling him to get his shine box in Goodfellas.

  202. anonymous[346] • Disclaimer says:
    @The preferred nomenclature is...

    Twinkie writes very badly so he’s got a shot. Look how biting the big one worked for Dan Brown.

  203. @Discordiax

    The people have spoken. Ihlan Omar is NOT interesting,.

  204. Ian M. says:
    @Tyrion 2

    Raphael’s Transfiguration is incredible to see in person. More memorable for me than the Sistine Chapel or The School of Athens.

    • Agree: Tyrion 2
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  205. Ian M. says:
    @Anonymous

    What I find more irritating is people blathering on about the latest fad show, whether it be Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones or whatever.

    These shows might be very good for all I know, but a lot of the discussion at parties seems to center more around status signaling.

  206. Ian M. says:
    @Mr. Blank

    In retrospect, “Pulp Fiction” doesn’t seem that extraordinary, but compared to what audiences at the time were accustomed to, it was revolutionary — a movie which is not a Mel Brooks-style parody, yet still comments on and critiques “normal” movies, while compulsively referencing classic cinema! Amazing!

    It seems that one of the things that characterizes modern society is that a lot of the great art (or what passes for great art, anyway) is very much ‘meta’. Pulp Fiction is great because it is a commentary and critique on cinema, and done in a novel way.

    One sees the same tendency in modern art, especially post-modern art, where art itself becomes the subject matter.

    I’m not sure what exactly this emphasis on ‘meta’ says about our society, but my sense is that it’s not a symptom of something good (for one, it seems to betoken a deep sense of cynicism; it also seems often to be a way of denigrating our traditions).

    (I say this as someone with decidedly middlebrow tastes in movies).

  207. Sean says:
    @Dennis Dale

    If so them all covert upskirt cameramen claiming are doing a tribute to James Joyce.

  208. vinteuil says:
    @anonymous

    Dude, we’ve got to hook up.

    You’re catching, right?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  209. vinteuil says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    sorry, but the more I explore that guy’s channel, the more I think he’s doing some pretty seriously unethical stuff.

  210. @Ian M.

    I never saw it. The most amazing work of art I saw in 6 weeks in Europe was M.’s David. Most of the paintings are fine to see in coffee-table books, but “David” is worth going to see in person.

    Of course, the buildings with great interiors like Chartres and the Pantheon are even better. Best of all are cities, like Florence, which had a wise policy of allowing its museums to be open only a few hours per day because the real work of art is the city as a whole.

  211. J.Ross says: • Website
    @anonymous

    Mary and for that matter Jesus were “Jews” in the same sense that Lenin was a capitalist. That said, answer that other guy with a question.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @anonymous
  212. vinteuil says:

    The most amazing work of art I saw in 6 weeks in Europe was M.’s David.

    Same for me. And the various copies scattered around Florence are no substitute. One must see the original, in the Accademia, even though most of the rest of that place is fairly routine

  213. vinteuil says:
    @Anon

    Has there ever been a more pure and complete expression of nihilism than watching movies and getting into movies in general?

    Yeah, I think so.

  214. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @glbpaleale

    People say DTRT was more real than DMD(Driving Miss Daisy), but in terms of power politics, DMD hit closer to the mark.

    In the end, Obama and Lee were chauffeurs to Jewish Power. Obama, the most powerful black chauffeur in US history. He got to play president but had to steer US policy to whatever Jewish power demanded. Wall Street bailouts, Libya War, new cold war with Russia, globo-homo agenda. And Lee found grace in Hollywood by sucking up to the Tribe once more.

  215. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @AnotherDad

    BTW have to agree with Lee on Tarantino–fundamentally empty, throw a bunch of crap up there, cartoon nasty nonsense, but the guy got heaps of praise.

    But here’s the rub. The fact is blacks love Tarantino more than Lee.

    In the past, if whites ‘stole’ black culture, whites liked it while blacks didn’t much care for it. Like Sting’s take on reggae. And blacks never cared for Elvis.

    But blacks loved PULP FICTION and DJANGO, so much so that they regarded Tarantino as almost an honorary Negro.

    12 YEARS A SLAVE was a serious movies but not one that most blacks really cared about. But they done loved DJANGO.

    I don’t think Lee made a movie beloved by blacks in that manner.

  216. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @J1234

    Spike Lee – my general feeling is: who cares? And, no, I’m not saying that because he’s black. I tend not to like modern social consciousness movies.

    Run-of-the-mill Liberal film critics felt obligated to appreciate Lee.

    But the go-to-black-director of true blue cinephiles has been Charles Burnett.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1990-10-26/features/9003300017_1_gideon-harry-congress-national-film-registry

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989-06-30/entertainment/8902130690_1_film-racial-danny-aiello

    https://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1995/07/when-it-rains/

  217. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @theMann

    I was a teenager when I walked out of Pink Flamingos

    I saw one movie by John Toilet Waters: HAIRSPRAY. It was enough.

  218. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Dumbo

    I don’t like Tarantino, but it’s important to understand why Scorsese (in his best films, he made a few bad ones too) is better than Tarantino.

    Tarantino put Independent Movies on the map in the 90s.

    Robert Redford started Sundance films to highlight small personal movies that Hollywood generally ignores. But it didn’t really have the ‘cool’ factor. Most indie movies were well-meaning and ‘personal’ but a on the meek side.

    So, Hollywood made big brash movies while Sundance favored small meek movies.

    But then, Tarantino really changed the same with RESERVOIR DOGS that was personal and quirky and full of independent spirit but also loud and brash like a Hollywood or Hong Kong commercial movie. People recognized a real talent there, and they eagerly awaited PF. For many critics, it was dream come true, like Pop Art in the 60s. It was indie and personal but fun and dazzling too. Best of both worlds.

    Rosenbaum mentions Kubrick’s full emergence with THE KILLING, and that RD reminded me of that movie. RD is one of the most remarkable debuts in movie history.

    https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/reservoir-dogs/Film?oid=2035159

    But the negative impact of PF was that, in having bridged the gap between independent and commercial movies, a lot of new indie directors decided to also go the Tarantino route and get some love than remain earnest and ‘meek ‘making stuff like GAS FOOD AND LIGHTING or RUBY IN PARADISE that got good reviews and some affection but no real love.
    It’s like the scene in SHATTERED GLASS where a female writer says she wants to write a few pieces like Glass and get some attention too.

    • Replies: @Anon
  219. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    He loved AIRPLANE. Was he kidding? I don’t think so.

  220. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @J.Ross

    OK I will answer.
    I was baptized Catholic in 1960 when I was an infant.
    I pray for people like you every day.
    Solanus Casey is a not too distant relative.
    You have no idea how much better your life would be if I prayed for you.
    But I can’t effectively pray for you if you, in your pride, refuse to accept the graces that even sad people like you receive when they are prayed for.
    Listen, I understand the temptation you feel, in your ignorance, to hate Jews, or to be excited that you think you have figured out the Jewish influence on this or that field of endeavor.
    This is a high class website, you can learn about the Parsis, and the Prussians, and the Romani, and the Fulani – and the WASPs, for that matter – and their self-interested intrigues – but nothing matters to people who get, autistically, over-involved in conspiracy theories. Every group of people is going to do things some other group of people is concerned about.
    So, I ask you – are you willing to join me in praying for the salvation of all?
    In 1986, I had a personal conversation with a person who was named in the Gospels. When I pray for people, their lives are better, because I have been taught by the best.
    Do you really not want me to pray for you, do you really want to just be sarcastic and witty when the right thing to say is – thanks.
    Anonymous asked anonymous that question ….
    I know you can’t truthfully answer, just now because …. well, if you were not a loser, you could truthful answer.
    Stop being a loser, my fellow anonymous !!!

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  221. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @J.Ross

    Grow up. Be a man.

    Stop saying stupid things.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  222. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @vinteuil

    Vinteuil – I speak English. I think that was an insult.

    If you are not Vinteuil – don’t pretend to be someone you are not.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  223. J.Ross says: • Website
    @anonymous

    Solanus Casey is a not too distant relative.
    On iSteve, everything is genetic.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  224. J.Ross says: • Website
    @anonymous

    Marxists understand capitalism to be an intermediate stage leading to communism, and Lenin’s major moment of pragmatism was to tolerate limited capitalism under the short-lived New Economic Program, making him, in a way, the most capitalist Bolshevik. Christians understand Temple Judaism (as Jesus would have practiced in Iudea) to be an intermediate stage leading to Christianity. It’s pretty distinct from modern Talmudic Judaism, which was propounded out of the teachings of the Pharisees and Saducees (whom Jesus didn’t get along with very well), as a response to the destruction of the Temple. It’s a pretty close parallel and it applies to the acceptability in a given camp of the celebrity you say was one of theirs.

  225. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @J.Ross

    Read again,

    You missed the point.

    You idiot, do you not know that you have relatives too, among the saints?

  226. Neoconned says:
    @Corn

    Collateral would come on tv on late night reruns til about 5 yrs ago.

    I love it because it shows both the cultural and geographic diversity of L.A. at night.

    Also great acting from cruise who is usually stale.

  227. Neoconned says:
    @kimchilover

    I went to see MACTFSOTW in theaters and I agree, enjoyed it. I remember it being cold when it came out because I left the cinema and i was wearing a jaxket.

  228. J.Ross says: • Website

    Boots Riley of Sorry To Bother You starts beef with Spike Lee. The meat of the, er, that is, his point is that it’s all very well and good to hate white people, but we should also hate police officers (taps temple). Along the way he says what the media won’t, which is that the central conceit of the movie is bunk.

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/boots-riley-slams-blackkklansman-as-made-up-story-softening-realities-police-brutality-1135797

    ”It’s a made up story in which the false parts of it try to make a cop the protagonist in a fight against racism”.

  229. vinteuil says:
    @anonymous

    I speak English. I think that was an insult.

    Really? Ya think?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  230. @The Wild Geese Howard

    I have the exact same response to guitar gods like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Yngwie Malmsteen – they all sound like Muzak to me!

    That’s a fair criticism. I like some old Satriani, but I totally get what you mean.

  231. anonymous[259] • Disclaimer says:
    @vinteuil

    Acts 3:19

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