Friday, September 07, 2018

Spike Lee: 'BlacKkKlansman' (2018)

When all the smoke clears from our current Trump era, Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman (2018) will endure as a cultural document, a permanent indictment of White Power racism and other forms of atrocious stupidity. At some point, Trump will be long gone and the world will be looking back aghast and in amazement. In the meantime, this film is well-worth seeing on the big screen for maximum impact here and now.
With BlacKkKlansman, there's a lot to respond to, but for the time being, here are only a few observations. One is digging the way Lee shows consciousness raising in the 1970s. During a Black Power meeting featuring Kwame Ture (aka Stokeley Carmichael, played by Corey Hawkins), we see "floating faces" absorbing Ture's incisive analysis of race relations and power imbalances. In its sequel, Stallworth (John David Washington) and Dumas (Laura Harrier) advance in the direction of a burning cross, pistols drawn, ready for direct action as needed. (I've seen the latter technique referred to as a "People Mover" shot).
Also, we see a range of White Power behavior, institutional (as Ture termed it) within the Colorado Springs Police Department and personal; we also see a range of intensity of commitment and engagement in both the White Power and Black Power movements. Within the KKK, there's a local men's club figurehead, a clown, and a terrifying psycho (played by Ryan Eggold, Paul Walter Hauser and Jasper Pääkkönen, respectively). Somewhere in between these three at the national level is David Duke (Topher Grace). There are other characters to consider, too, such as the one played by Adam Driver (Flip Zimmerman). Dig it! 

Today's Rune: Possessions. 

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