Frank Ocean’s list of his 100 favorite films, as published in “Boys Don’t Cry” on the release of his album,…
The biopic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader.
When the white girl at the college asks Malcolm X what she can do to help his people, he responds with a blunt "Nothing." Though Malcolm X would later come around on this idea, the context of that girl's question stands out. She precedes it by asserting that she's not a bad person despite what her ancestors did, and... it's not that simple. If your parents killed someone and stole their wealth, I would not argue that you stand trial for their crimes, but I would argue that the wealth they stole should be returned. That girl (and myself) have both benefited from the white supremacist world we live in, and though we are not guilty of enslaving people or…
If the montage at the end of this film doesn't make you well up, you may just be dead inside.
Yes, it's manipulative. Yes, it's largely working with the traditional conceits of a biopic. Yes, it has an agenda.
I could not give less of a shit.
This is transcendent cinema. This is one of our greatest directors, and one of our greatest actors, telling a truly epic tale. It's grandiose. It's full of emotion and heart. It's utterly captivating throughout. It feels like eight movies in one, and yet never feels disjointed.
I honestly am lacking some of the words. It's just great. Watch it. I know it's over 200 minutes long, but it shoots by, trust me. It's worth it. Lord knows it's worth it.
Film #27 of Project 90
”No, we've never seen democracy! All we've seen is hypocrisy! We don't see any American Dream. We've experienced only the American Nightmare!”
Malcolm X is all about its central character, although it is portraying some iconic moments of civil rights movement but at the center of that movement is a man whose revolutionary character change is the main focus of the film. In this epic depiction of the life of one of the most influential and of course controversial figures of contemporary America, director Spike Lee portrays a restless soul who is searching for ultimate peace and harmony, a man who never lived a quiet life, from his early gangster days as Malcolm “Red” Little…
When discussing Malcolm X people talk about Denzel Washington's performance, the scope of the film, and the importance of the subject matter. All those things are there and are great, but I was not at all aware how weird this movie is. The first third, in Malcolm's (or Red as he calls himself) "gangster" days, is almost cartoonish in its costuming, colors, theatrical acting and sets. It draws on the nightmarish/dreamlike quality of a film like Night of the Hunter and the raw spontaneity of Black musicals like Stormy Weather. I'm sure those who are more film literate than me could uncover a litany of influences and references.
The film also uses discontinuous editing at times, drawing attention to a…
Director: Spike Lee (Third Film)
Growing up, I don't think I really heard much about Malcolm X - the subject of this biopic. Rather the attention every Black History Month (an obtuse month in my opinion) would likely be focused on Martin Luthor King, or Nelson Mandela or one of those depicted as saintly characters. In regards to those two anyway, I never really heard anything other than the positives they contributed to society in general but also for civil rights/anti-apartheid movements.
What I never knew about these characters was in-fact that they weren't so saintly. The latter in particular; of course he was a great man in hindsight but like Malcolm X, he produced both great deeds;…
This is what Spike can achieve when he is focused. This is what happens when he is absolutely so passionate about telling a story that he doesn't allow himself to become sidetracked with too many issues. It helps of course that he has an actor truly hitting his stride in Denzel Washington. This displays a director bringing together all of his varied work tools to create a piece of work that will stand the test of time.
As with many of his early films the energy behind this biopic could be sourced from within the hip-hop community at the time. With artists such as Brand Nubian, Paris, KRS-One and Public Enemy…
A film that could have been a masterpiece and perhaps the most mature take a filmmaker has ever gotten to making a film about racism in this country but Spike decides to get pretentious as fuck and fuck it up yet again. But it still works overall.
One of Spike Lee's very best films and of the 90s. Definitely towers over a lot of the other films in the biography sub-genre, most of which are boring and sloppily made. Denzel should have won that oscar.
I usually hate Spike Lee but with Malcolm X, bigger was better.
Spike Lee's politics make this biopic an obvious choice of material for the outspoken firebrand filmmaker. But what you get much further than skin deep. Much of Lee's signature flair is toned down here in favour of documenting the activist's life.
And boy does he. Over 3 hours Lee covers almost the entirety of Malcolm Little's life. From criminal to convict to activist, the film takes its time showing the man behind the icon and this is Lee's smartest move. It's easy to make a film of Malcolm X's life a sermon, it creates a power and monument but it would isolate the audience. This biopic is warts and all but for the right reasons...it humanises Malcolm.
The first hour…
I had very little knowledge of Malcolm X before seeing this film, and really appreciated this incredible cinematic portrayal of his life. Denzel Washington is absolutely unforgettable in the title role, giving a knockout performance. The whole movie was a powerful experience!
Biopic of Malcolm X
The first hour is a real slog to get through and it becomes more formulaic than I would have liked; although Denzel is more effortless than I thought possible.
Amazing and powerful film. I was 14 and watched this with my dad. I left transformed.
Been meaning to see this one since high school.
101 essential films for Social Justice Warriors. A continually updating list.