Happy Summer Friday!
At Cannes Film Festival, Black KkKlansman got something between 7 and 10 standing ovations — the industry magazines literally could not agree on how many times the folks at Cannes broke out in applause between the credits and the end of the movie — and they were well-deserved. If you’ve been reading my work for awhile (thank you! you’re the best!) you know that I’m not a gusher. I don’t do a lot of hyperbole, and I certainly don’t do it in the summer when it’s hot like this and I need to conserve my energy.
But I liked Black KkKlansman so much that I took time away from some other writing to share some thoughts about it because I think it’s important to watch and be in conversation about.
I wrote a review from my notes back in June which is featured on Medium, which is also exciting because I’ve been contributing to Medium for awhile and my work hasn’t been featured on the platform before.
If you’re the kind of person who reads reviews before you see a film, let me know what you think — but I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts anyway, if you see it. (You should also read one of my favorite critics, A.O. Scott, who educated me about that opening shot; I obviously blocked out huge swaths of “Gone With The Wind” but learned a great deal about cross-cutting and “Birth of a Nation” in his review.)
But even if reading reviews isn’t a thing you do, you should see Black KkKlansman because it’s Spike Lee at the height of his potential. Because it’s John David Washington stepping out of his father’s shadow (at least in his own mind and maybe for others who don’t yet know him but certainly will, and he has some exciting additional projects outside of Ballers coming up later this fall) and into his power as a humble but exciting talent to watch as a leading man. It’s also rare for the Black community to have this generation of creatives who have parents and mentors who paved a way for them to take on dynamic roles like this which have nuance and substance.