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You can skip movies 10 times but never go back.
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…
Any movie that's over three hours long and is still paced this well is a fucking winner. And all the players are perfect, from the actors to the subject.
If only I didn't have to watch half of it in a shitty web player, but to whoever decided to split it across two DVDs? Thanks.
Spike Lee's masterpiece. One of the best films of the twentieth century, about one of the most controversial figures of the twentieth century. I remember seeing this as a teenager. At the time, it seemed insane, a single movie over TWO VHS tapes (DVD was just starting, so it wasn't available in that format yet), but even at three and a half hours, I was ENRAPTURED, and I shared that feeling again, watching it today. EVERYTHING in this film is masterful, from the acting to the cinematography, the production and costume design, editing and music selection. This is, quite simply, one of the best films ever made.
On a personal note, watching this in the late fall of 2016, it…
Malcom Little was a Black male who sported processed hair, snorted cocaine, and wore lavishly colorful zoot suites. Not a very religious man ,Little lived a very reckless life on the streets of Harlem until he was sent to jail, and there a new man was born, and a old one died.
Malcolm X was an African-American male (emphasis on the African) who chopped off his processed hair, refused "the white mans poison" and whore simple blue suites, which concealed an all powerful man with an all powerful mind.
The evolution of Malcom X is chronicled in this film, and my god is it robust. It is an explosion of cinema, it's like Spike Lee threw a can paint on…
Denzel Washington: Smashes wine bottle over a guys head
A beautiful film, and Denzel Washington gives a stunning performance. He does not look or sound much like Malcolm X, but he gets the inflections of his speech down perfectly, and is a powerful actor.
One might quibble about some pacing issues, sure. But this is one of the few biopics that really does take its time to establish several periods in a single, fascinating life, rather than reducing them to easily-pigeonholed moments leading up to the inevitable Big Moments in History. And Washington's performance here is one for the ages.
Watching this after the events of yesterday (for future reference, this is the day after the US presidential election in which the KKK supported Donald Trump was elected president), I couldn't help feeling contemplative watching this. Near the climax of the film the great Sam Cooke song "A Change Is Gonna Come" was playing and it just got me thinking. When is that change coming exactly? It seemed like progress was being made, and now the US has stepped 50 years back in time.
Anyway, onto the film itself. Malcolm X is a superb chronicle of the life of the former Malcolm Little featuring a commanding performance by Denzel Washington. Malcolm himself struck me as an impressionable guy that fell…
Wow, this has got to be one of my favorite most powerful openings of a film that went on to make by far my worst, annoying and painfully disappointing ending.
I loved that intro with the flag burning into an X as we hear a compelling speech. It started off sooooo well, I was entertained and intrigued. The first and second arc are overall great story telling and all the while being sooo insightful.
The the third arc happened and all I could see is Spike Lee pushing for his own opinion of the man,wtf? Right after he leaves Mecca, I was bored and rolling my eyes.
This might have the best final reel I've ever seen.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…