HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  BlacKkKlansman There's No Place Like America Today
Year: 2018
Director: Spike Lee
Stars: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, Robert John Burke, Ryan Eggold, Jasper Pääkkönen, Paul Walter Hauser, Ashlie Atkinson, Frederick Weller, Michael Buscemi, Corey Hawkins, Harry Belafonte, Alec Baldwin, Isiah Whitlock Jr
Genre: Drama, Thriller, BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1972 and the Colorado Springs police department is about to do something very important: it is about to recruit its first African-American police officer. The man in question is Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who by his own account was brought up well by a military father and wishes to make a difference in law enforcement, especially when the police are not too popular among the black community. Maybe he believes he can change all that, though he is under no illusions, and finds racism at work from some of his colleagues which merely steels his resolve to improve things. But the way he goes about it is a case that few could believe actually happened...

Ron Stallworth is a real man, though this adaptation of his book about the Ku Klux Klan in the United States was embellished in the telling, which gave some observers a reason to feel dissatisfied with the work: for instance, the case took place in 1979 and not seven years earlier, and had been changed to fit in more with its director's feelings about the battle against racism in his homeland. That director was Spike Lee, who at this point had not really enjoyed much of a hit for a while, yet with BlacKkKlansman he truly struck a chord and was rewarded with one of his biggest successes, plus a reaction that in many quarters regarded it as his best film - not bad this far into a career.

If you wanted a historical document of Stallworth's endeavours, the book was there for you to read, but if you wanted a film that conjured up the sensation of the tension in America in the seventies, Lee was your man. In a curious way it was a nostalgic work, with digressions for the characters to observe the times they were living in – was Richard Roundtree better than Ron O'Neal because the former had played a heroic detective and the latter a pimp, was one of the cultural questions that arose. But more importantly, it was nostalgic in a paradoxically sobering fashion: you are supposed to look back on the good old days, and that is because your contemporary times are the bad new days.

So when Lee adopted a warm reminiscence of when the African-Americans he knew, was a part of, were standing up to The Man and really making a difference, so much so that it appeared genuine progress was occurring, it was impossible not to feel betrayed when in the era this was released there were so many backward steps being made. Like many in 2018, Lee blamed President Trump, and there were pointed references to his prejudices guiding too many of America's citizens, but while a news clip of the Leader of the Free World was used at the end where he condemned himself out of his own mouth and sided with the racists, we were aware he would be nothing if he did not have supporters, and the buffoons we watched Stallworth infiltrating were rightly to be wary of when if their numbers grew, Trump was the result.

Not that the bigots were going to see BlacKkKlansman, and there was always the danger of preaching to the choir, then perhaps more worryingly the technique Lee and his co-screenwriters implemented to have the villains speak in the most horrendous terms might have given a voice to those who thoroughly agreed with the racists and could take that language as an inspiration. It didn't matter that the bad guys were thoroughly humiliated at the end, we had already heard their poison and with those words out there it may have been difficult to put that genie back in the bottle. On the other hand, the film was deliberately setting out to shock, and if you had a decent bone in your body you would be repulsed by the characters who set out to use violence and hate speech to embolden themselves. But that said, there was always the worry someone, somewhere was getting off on hearing dialogue no other film in its right mind would include if they wanted to keep anything like a mainstream audience.

Birth of a Nation was invoked, a supposedly groundbreaking silent movie that re-established the Klan, to make clear it was not so long ago that racist attitudes not only were part and parcel of life in America, but had real consequences when so many deaths resulted, and there was enough awareness here of the power of the media that you were confident these filmmakers knew what they were doing: this was meant to be troubling, and it was. More subtly, once Ray has inveigled his way into the local KKK chapter over the phone, with Jewish colleague (Adam Driver – a composite character, as Ray's student activist girlfriend Laura Harrier is) his stand-in for personal appearances, Lee constantly bettered the progressiveness of the black power movement (e.g. women were integral to its leadership) over the backward hate-crime perpetrators (women are used and abused). With its focus on crackling dialogue emphasising talk was far from cheap when it had effects beyond a private conversation polite society would prefer not to hear, call it an alarm call to the complacent: the tide of progress can go out as well as in. Music by Terence Blanchard, along with well-chosen oldies.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2329 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Spike Lee  (1957 - )

Talented, prolific American director who has courted more controversy than most with his out-spoken views and influenced an entire generation of black film-makers. Lee made his impressive debut with the acerbic sex comedy She's Gotta Have It in 1986, while many consider his study of New York race relations Do the Right Thing to be one of the best films of the 80s.

Lee's films tend to mix edgy comedy and biting social drama, and range from the superb (Malcolm X, Clockers, Summer of Sam) to the less impressive (Mo Better Blues, Girl 6), but are always blessed with passion and intelligence. Lee has acted in many of his films and has also directed a wide range of music videos, commercials and documentaries. Inside Man saw a largely successful try at the thriller genre, Oldboy was a misguided remake, but he welcomed some of his best reactions of his career to true crime story BlacKkKlansman.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: