A Look Back At The Oscars Nominees : A Movie For The Times Is BlackKklansman
Courtesy of Focus Features
Spike Lee does it again with his latest piece of filmmaking. With BlackKklansman I was on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. The films tone was perfect, the performances were spectacular in every way. Not to mention the resounding message that was sent from Lee as a warning to us and the times of the modern day. The cinematography was superb it had this feeling of old school blacksploitation films while also making it feel like something along the lines of the modern day buddy cop like 21 Jump Street.
BlacKkKlansman is a 2018 American biographical crime film directed by Spike Lee and written by Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Lee, based on the 2014 memoir Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth. The film stars John David Washington as Stallworth, along with Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, and Topher Grace. Set in 1970s Colorado Springs, the plot follows the first African-American detective in the city's police department as he sets out to infiltrate and expose the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
There were times in the film where interactions between characters like Ron Stallworth (Washington) and Phillip “Flip” Zimmerman, that not only made laugh but also brought this genuine levity and theme of good cops wanting to do good work. Juxtaposed with the brilliance of the KKK and the way they were approached in this film. Not only as a joke, but as a legit threat along with David Duke’s (Grace) guidance. Scenes like when Zimmerman is almost found out by a member of the KKK. Or when Ron and his girlfriend are harassed by the police, not to mention the powerful scene of when we get members of the KKK shooting at what looks to be like targets of African Americans when Stallworth sees the target he notices the exaggerated features of the lips and noses. Scenes like these brought not only stakes but the seriousness that made you pay attention to what the film was trying to say. Even in the opening credits with Alec Baldwins opening monologue. I also want to shout out the editing for moment during the scene in which both KKK and Black Power Movements meetings feel so similar in the way it was shot not to mention that score that kicks in the background when they start chanting their respective chants. This movie was just a joy to watch however I’d like to take time to discuss the end.
Aside from the obvious themes of Race this movie finds a way to connect to the times of today. The ending shows While Patrice and Stallworth discuss their future, they are interrupted by a knock on the door. Through the window, they see a flaming cross on a hillside surrounded by Klan members as footage from the Charlottesville car attack was used in the film's ending sequence. The film ends with footage from the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and President Trump's statement afterwards, followed by a shot of an upside-down American Flag fading into black and white. It's obvious to see why this film earned Spike Lee his first best directing nomination. It’s a movie that was needed to help show us that we need to change and if we don’t soon catastrophes will continue to happen.