School Daze ★★★★½

Spike Lee's second feature film has that same quality as SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT where it feels like Lee's sensibility mapped onto a pre-established genre (first a rom-com, now a college film). I like this one a lot more though. Seems to have a much better, more mature handle on the characters here, as well as a slightly more fanciful, frenetic tone. The musicality throughout this whole thing is insanely delightful; from the actual musical numbers (so well put together! How was this his second film?), to the chorus-like performance of the Gamma-Phi pledges, and even this odd effect when Lawrence Fishburne tries to get his girlfriend back, and the college building sort of looks like a theatrical set (I think it's the blue lighting?). In particular, the film is super intelligent in how it explores the development of Fishburne's character's political consciousness.