The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere.
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“Do the Right Thing Turns 25, and BAM Hosts the Block Party” — Michelle Orange at The Village Voice braves the heat and sweltering chaos to look back on Spike Lee’s breakout moment and his work since.
“Review: Spike Lee’s Kickstarter Exploitation B-Movie Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” — After a look into the past, Rodrigo Perez looks into Lee’s future, and grimaces.
“But nothing about Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus is remotely subtle. Lee’s dealbreaking problem is the movie wants to be everything at once, and thus its tenor is disastrously incoherent and inconsistent. Equal parts self-serious drama with religious overtones, overwrought melodrama/romance, silly comedy and horror movie, tone is a serious problem for Lee’s picture; imagine Napoleon playing a drunken game of RISK, that’s how all over the map it is. Lee attempts to further explore ideas of absolution, belief, redemption, and the spiritual longing evinced in Red Hook Summer but as filtered through a decidedly B-movie lens—gratuitous gore, violence and especially nudity—this negotiation of genre and theme never connect in any meaningful way.”
“Eli Wallach, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Star, Dies at 98” — A sad passing, Variety has a remembrance of an outstanding actor who earned the bookends of an EGOT (and an honorary Oscar). The Guardian has a collection of film clips that are well worth sinking into, too. I know Wallach had a lengthy, flourishing career (and that Clint Eastwood once tried to drink his boot water), but for some reason my mind always goes back to his guest starring appearance on Studio 60. He had a style of facial expression that carried a half dozen emotions all at once.
“Yellow Brick Mess: How a Failed Wizard of Oz Movie Became a $100 Million Investor Nightmare” — Jordan Zakarin at The Wrap explains how two producers may have pulled a Producers on investors while delivering a brain-frightening vision of Oz in the uncanny valley.