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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.
How about you don't commit crimes? Ever think of that one???
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;…
I should really read the dictionary sometime.
I am absolutely not the target audience for this movie, and although it is by far Spike Lee’s masterpiece it only further proves Spike Lee’s own prejudice. At least here he’s found the perfect conduit, where that very real and honest opinion can be channeled through a character / man that, at least over the course of this film, comes to feel the exact same way.
Avoiding the politics of the movie itself, Denzel Washington gives the performance of a lifetime. American Gangster suddenly feels incredibly flat in comparison. They’re essentially the same movie, as an egocentric small time crook finds himself in deep with some local gangsters and, in jail, learns what…
I'm a fan of the 'Had, Took, Lead Astray, Bamboozled' speech from the Denzel podcast so I wanted catchup on this.
It's a great, totally full story of a whole life like is rarely done on screen, in a 64oz steak (200min+).
So ambitious and effective.
How about you don't commit crimes? Ever think of that one???
Images soar: the smokey noirish beginning to the beautiful use of black and white throughout, to the gorgeous technicolor-like images, this film is GORGEOUS. Spike Lee, as always, knows how to shoot tension, as that expertly edited climax, and the documentary-like scenes at the end. A bit too indulgent and overlong but so much ambition, I can't help but admire it. Actors make such awesome impressions, especially Washington and Bassett. A-
For my money, The Autobiography of Malcolm X is the quintessential American biography of the 20th Century, and Spike Lee's Malcolm X is the quintessential biopic of the last decade of the 20th Century. To be honest, when I had first heard the indie provocateur was helming this adaptation - just two years after reading the source material for myself - I felt a bit of trepidation. (And I felt a bit of trepidation revisiting this at home 23+ years after seeing it on the big screen.) But without sacrificing his own voice or passion, Lee goes big - for epic three-act opera, for legacy. And aside from a little drag in the second act, it all pays off -…
Long, for a 'school night' but so damn worth it - as somehow, its greater than the sum of it's parts.
35mm - NFT 1
Standard setting biopic that goes to the trouble of exploring a complicated man who lived an interesting life. It wasn't one situation or trauma that this film sets out to examine but a series that haunted Malcolm to the end. He wasn't a saint but he was, by his own words, a man.
I used to think Do The Right Thing was Spike Lee's most masterful joint. I was wrong. Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Clockers, Malcolm X all had touches, degrees of brilliance and Spike Lee technique. The man has a gift for setting the viewer down in a unique, fully-formed world, one which runs against our imaginations and forces us to question ourselves constantly.
A film that is essentially broken into two parts, before and after prison, which makes sense considering how much Malcolm changed during his stay there. The first hour focusing on the mistakes and poor decisions of his early life seem perfunctory but you come to learn this is the path he had to take in order to become the man and leader he was. As important that was in shaping his life, the second half is still on another level.
Washington really transforms into Malcolm in this portion and has a drive and understanding of himself and people that gives it a forward momentum. You really are able to dig into what made him tick and how he was able…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Frank Ocean’s list of his 100 favorite films, as published in “Boys Don’t Cry” on the release of his album,…