Spike Lee Is No Quentin Tarantino
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke reviews the controversy surrounding Django Unchained. (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD)
Screw Spike Lee. Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is a brilliant flick that more accurately depicts the African American experience than any of the 15 movies about black culture Lee's directed in his lifetime. It's why the movie took home a Golden Globe award for best screenplay over the weekend and why it was recently nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Since Django Unchained hit the theaters, Lee has been publicly trashing Tarantino. In announcing his personal boycott of the movie, the Do The Right Thing filmmaker tweeted, "American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western," and "It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them."
Lee needs to get over himself. He's upset because Tarantino makes better movies. The man who put Malcolm X on the big screen is Hollywood's resident house negro; a bougie activist who wants to tell his fellow white auteurs how they can and can't depict African Americans.
He complains that Tarantino uses "nigger" too much (100 times) in Django Unchained, but show me a white man in the 1800s who wasn't dropping n-bombs left and right.
Tarantino is one of Tinseltown's most clever directors. Some of the most brutal scenes in Django Unchained are metaphors for the unfair racial inequality African-Americans still experience today. For instance, Leonardio DiCaprio's plantation owner character Calvin Candie trains some of his male slaves to fight to the death in a sport called "Mandingo Fighting."
When one of the slaves refuses to fight, Candie threatens to feed him to his wild dogs. That scene is analogous to professional boxing where white promoters control black fighters through fear and intimidation.
In another scene, a bunch of slaves are shocked to see Django riding a horse since blacks were never allowed to have one. That's like the cops who stare at and then pull over the dude who is driving a Bentley on South Beach.
While on the horse, Django tells the slaves that he'll treat them worse than any white man ever will. That's the truth about blacks in positions of authority in today's corporate America. They will treat blacks worse than any white boss every could.
Lee could never pull off a movie like this. When he's not being an ass from his court side seats during New York Knicks games, he's making bull crap films that most African Americans cannot relate to.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.