Spike Lee is far better known for what he does off the screen than what he puts on it. It's a shame, because Lee is one of the few directors working today whose style permeates every movie he makes. Like Scorcese's work, one need only look at a few shots to immediately peg a Spike Lee Joint. And like the people IN Scorsese's work, Spike Lee appears to relish picking fights. After settling the fight he had over WWII movies with Clint Eastwood, Spike has now set the stage for one with penis-obsessed director-producer Judd Apatow. For what Apatow has done to shame my Johnson, he deserves to get punched out.
You all remember how mad Spike Lee was at Clint Eastwood (and the Coen Brothers, too) at Cannes, right?
Well, as one would expect from Dirty Harry, Eastwood came out with guns blazing in response, in an interview that ran Friday in The Guardian. All of the buzz about Clint's interview is focusing on one line: that Spike should "shut his face." Clint did say that, but the interview contains plenty more controversial tidbits:
Let's see what's going on at Cannes. Spike Lee is mad, Hollywood's not buying anything, pandas are doing kung fu and Tommy Lee Jones is starring in a movie named after a Dolly Parton song. Sounds like a typical day in France to me.
- First up: Spike Lee, one of the few directors working today who, for good and bad, still has his own immediately identifiable style, took the Coens and Dirty Harry to task for their most recent movies. He chides the Coens, his former NYU classmates, for taking death too lightly. "Look, I love the Coen brothers; we all studied at NYU. But they treat life like a joke. Ha ha ha. A joke. It's like, 'Look how they killed that guy! Look how blood squirts out the side of his head!' I see things different than that." Spike, if Javier Bardem wants to be cast in your next film, RUN.
The new movie Date Night, in which Steve Carell and Tina Fey star as a suburban couple haplessly stuck in the middle of some sort of crime spree for an evening's time, is the latest installment in the grand tradition of "up-all-night" movies. To commemorate the occasion, I've pulled together my favorite cult classics of the underappreciated genre and listed them here. Feel free to peruse and then promptly tell me all of the ones I forgot.
As Odie Henderson pointed out recently, Spike Lee seems to have a thing for getting into fights. According to Variety, Lee's Miracle at St. Anna is being derided "as mispresentation of the facts" by Italian veteran organizations after a press screening yesterday in Rome. Lee didn't really start the latest skirmish, but he's not exactly being Mr. Diplomat about things, either. He responded by telling those critical of his film: "I am not apologizing for anything. I think these questions are evidence that there is still a lot about your history during the war that you [Italians] have got to come to grips with." Pretty much the best way to make sure people don't come to grips with something is by telling them to come to grips with something. It's like telling an angry person to calm down. Does that ever work?
The Festival de Cannes announced most of its 2008 lineup this week. In a Moviefile entry last week, I mentioned that Hollywood expected to have a meager showing in the competitive portion of the Festival. One article said that Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York might be the only entry, unless Steven Soderbergh could complete his mondo four-hour Che Guevara biopic under the wire. Soderbergh appears to have accomplished this feat, as Che is listed in the Festival's recently released press kit.