The Best Film About Race in Years
July 12, 2013
The dramatization of the true story of a young, unarmed, black man killed by the police is—remarkably—potent, not saccharine.
The new Bryant is as meta as ever—more a concept than a human being.
In Obama’s Old Neighborhood, the Excitement is Muted
September 07, 2012
Four years ago, Chicago's South Side was thrilled. At last night's watch party at the beloved Valois cafeteria, the vibe was very different.
Duplicitous Agents, Hollywood’s Problems, and Paul Krugman’s European Trip: Today’s TNR Reader
July 19, 2012
Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! What’s wrong with Hollywood? Could Malcolm X even get made today? Spike Lee has some answers. NYMag | 24 min 6,037 words) Morocco has corruption, a crooked royal family, and economic problems. Why hasn't the Arab Spring shaken the place up? NYRB | 11 min (2,715 words) Mavis Gallant's books have much to teach the modern reader.
The Movie Review: ‘If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise’
August 23, 2010
Spike Lee's wonderful 2006 documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, wasn’t just about Hurricane Katrina. Rather, it explored the social inequities that the hurricane laid bare, and the incompetence, confusion, greed, and stupidity that made a terrible situation worse. His latest effort, If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise, which premieres on August 23and 24, casts a cold eye on the opportunism that followed in the wake of Katrina, finishing with a devastating hour about the BP oil spill and the political and economic forces that allowed it to happen.
Please “Treme,” I Beg You--Get Over Yourself
May 07, 2010
On Wednesday, TNR senior editor Ruth Franklin explored the way authenticity is played with in David Simon’s new HBO show, “Treme.” Here, John McWhorter offers his own, markedly different opinion on the subject. People can get irritating about their authenticity.
Taking out My Eraser
March 05, 2010
The Root has an interesting list of people they say black history could do without. It got me thinking about who I would include on a top-ten list of that kind. I’m going to take a different tack than they did. My interest is not in people it’s just fun to dump on, but in people who have had a decisive impact on black lives and thought in general—and so no Dennis Rodman or Wesley Snipes. I am also thinking about true uniqueness, i.e.
April 15, 2009
On the basketball courts of New York City, there may be no truer measure of a player's stature than his nickname. If a player is considered good, then his moniker will be something straightforward: "Pee Wee" if he is short; "Lefty" if he shoots with that hand. But if a player is viewed as great, then his talent can actually inspire poetry. He will be called "Half-Man Half-Amazing" for his superhuman dunks or "Skip to My Lou" for the way he hopscotches down the court as he dribbles past hapless opponents.
Mccain's Unlikely Muse
October 22, 2008
Spike Lee, a big Obama supporter, has confessed he hasn't tried to make any television commercials for his candidate because he "might be a liability." But McCain's new "I Am Joe the Plumber" spot certainly seems to have taken some inspiration from Spike (go to the 7:10 mark): --Jason Zengerle
Spike Vs. Clint, Continued!
June 08, 2008
The best feud in Hollywood has just gotten uglier. It all started when Spike Lee complained that Clint Eastwood's 2006 World War II dramas--Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima--did not show any black soldiers. Eastwood responded by saying that the people who raised the flag over Iwo Jima (the subject of Flags) were all white, and added that Lee had complained about Eastwood directing the Charlie Parker biopic Bird back in 1988: "He was complaining when I did Bird. Why would a white guy be doing that? I was the only guy who made it, that's why. He could have gone ahead and made it.