Black Klansman

LetterboxD review link

Spike Lee’s BlacKKKlansman felt like a tonal mashup that was trying, throughout its runtime, to bring the tools of satire and irony to bear on a topic too big and fraught for it. What felt like a largely convential satirical story throughout, with some interesting bits about 70s politics, student activism, and the history of race on screen, turned unkempt and forced by the end. The epilogue was powerful, but little of that had to do with Lee’s story telling, almost all of it had to do with the editing and the immediacy of these events in our minds.

In the screening I saw, before the film started, Spike Lee and the cast were beamed in from LA, interviewed by Elvis Mitchell. To open up the session, Mitchell asked Lee his thoughts on why Jordan Peele asked him to direct this film (Peele owned the rights to the story but handed it over to Lee as he became busy with other projects). Lee looked like he had to restrain himself from saying “bitch, I’m SPIKE LEE. There would be no Jordan Peele if not for me!” Which I found hilarious.