Sunday, May 19, 2024

Spike Lee Premiere Causes Ruckus at Sundance


Spike Lee premiered his “Red Hook Summer” at Sundance on Sunday night and things got a little raucus. Maybe because the Giants were playing San Francisco, Variety reviewer Peter DeBruge reported that the Eccles Theater was 2/3 empty. More Tweets from the audience suggest that “Red Hook” is undercooked, with plot holes galore and a “surprise” ending that doesn’t make sense. There are also many references back to Lee’s seminal film, “Do The Right Thing.” At the Q&A following the screening, Lee wore a Giants jersey, jokingly ordered all Boston fans out of the house. He also ranted about Universal Pictures never having made the sequel to his “Inside Man.” On spy emailed me, “Can’t take another minute of the Spike Lee film.” Oh well. By the time “Red Hook” is tinkered with, it will no doubt be fine. But the auteur knows how to get attention. LA Times reporter Steve Zeitchik tweeted that Spike also ranted, “No one in Hollywood knows anything about black people!” And that, says Zeitchik, was in response to a question from Chris Rock in the audience. All in all, the movie is described as “confusing and polarizing.” Which could also mean “great.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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