Director Studies Archives - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
21Nov/180

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

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Confident and determined, Ron Stallworth is ready to prove his mettle as the first black officer of the Colorado Springs police department. His opportunity comes when a casual inquiry into an advertisement from the Ku Klux Klan pulls him into a web of connections he didn't imagine. Spike Lee directs BlacKkKlansman, with the screenplay written by Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Willmott, and stars John David Washington, Adam Driver, and Laura Harrier.

Why should we trust anything we see in Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman? The narrative comes from a memoir penned by Ron Stallworth, revealed decades after the events of both film and memoir, and is poised to comment directly on our slide into white fascism. Spike addresses any suspicion with a pair of parallel stories told by Jerome Turner (Harry Belafonte) and pseudoscience peddled by the vile David Duke (an excellent Topher Grace). On the side of Mr. Turner we listen and watch a crowd of black humans coming into themselves over oral tradition, settling on twin philosophies of never again and power to all people. Duke begs credibility in the form of a Nobel Peace Prize winner's eugenic research that conclusively proves white humans are better than black.

The oral tradition is backed by historical fact and bolstered through community uplift. Spike's closing scenes, which shocked me even with advance warning to emotionally guard myself, reinforce that oral tradition as the warning constantly echoed but rarely heeded. Black stories have warned us of the evil behind phrenology and eugenics which roll right into today's incel community embrace of skull size as a determination of what your standing will be in life.

What is it going to take to get us to listen?

17Aug/160

Denis Villeneuve Podcast: Sicario (2015)

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Sicario

Courtney Small of Cinema Axis joins Andrew in this final (for now) discussion about the movies of Denis Villeneuve with 2015's tremendous examination of sexism, race, and hegemonic white American power in Sicario.

Both the introduction and outro on the podcast come from composer Jóhann Jóhannsson for Sicario ("The Beast") and Prisoners ("Through Falling Snow").

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3Aug/160

Denis Villeneuve Podcast: Enemy (2014)

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Enemy

Courtney Small of Cinema Axis joins Andrew for a conversation about the surreal, and spider-laden, examination of sex, education, and power in Denis Villeneuve's Enemy (previously reviewed by both Andrew and Courtney.)

Both the introduction and outro on the podcast come from composer Jóhann Jóhannsson for Sicario ("The Beast") and Prisoners ("Through Falling Snow").

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13Jul/160

Denis Villeneuve Podcast: Prisoners (2013)

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Prisoners

Courtney Small of Cinema Axis joins Andrew for a conversation on the moral complexity and gorgeous photography of Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners.

Both the introduction and outro on the podcast come from composer Jóhann Jóhannsson for Sicario ("The Beast") and Prisoners ("Through Falling Snow").

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6Jul/160

Denis Villeneuve Podcast: Incendies (2010)

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Incendies

Courtney Small of Cinema Axis dons the "Dr. Phil" cap once again to help Andrew make sense of the emotional complexity in the multi-generational family drama Incendies.

Both the introduction and outro on the podcast come from composer Jóhann Jóhannsson for Sicario ("The Beast") and Prisoners ("Through Falling Snow").

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