The final scene is indicative of the issues at play here. It is a small revelation from one character to another, a surprise, deepening the connection between them, an homage to their past, a tribute. But it's all wrong. The rhythm is too fast, there's no patience, no poetry - my auteurist broken brain for some reason made a connection to Crowe's We Bought a Zoo and the ending of that film, where Crowe takes his time, showing the emotional…
I knew very little about this going in besides some of its production history so everything was more or less a surprise. The full commitment to the political ideal, the everyday struggle of the strike, reinforcing unity through the equality of the women, the breaking down of the stupid barriers which separate us - it is all very inspiring. Perhaps it is a little rough and direct, lacking the poetry that would truly make it soar, but it is effective just the same.
While watching Beale Street I was reminded of the Bordwell analysis of early Hartley that discusses his aesthetic strategies as, to sum up roughly, a streamlining/simplification of 80's Godard. For Jenkins, his starting points appear to be the work of Wong Kar Wai and Claire Denis. But he is still an unique artist and he tries to make these aesthetic influences his own and turn them toward his own purposes. Jenkins' delicacy of touch does him well in the romantic…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
- The charge of Spike Lee films, the vibrancy, is derived from their willingness to insert themselves into culture - they are not rarefied art objects, but rather exist as a space where the discourses of their day, the undercurrents of politics, race, sex, etc., can be addressed. But this is not a simple or a didactic cinema. Lee's camera frequently complicates its subject, the intellectual and emotional distance varies and morphs throughout; we are not fixed on…