Monday To-Do: Spike Lee | Rock Candy

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday To-Do: Spike Lee

Posted By on Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 6:26 AM

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SPIKE LEE
7:30 p.m., Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA. $10.

Update: The UCA box office just confirmed that all tickets to tonight's lecture are sold out.

Rep. Dick Armey famously said "Spike Lee is obviously more stupid than anyone can be by accident." Of course, that's another fundamentally ignorant statement from another fundamentally ignorant Republican. But it's a sentiment shared, if not articulated, by a wide swath of movie-goers who, to reappropriate JFK, take in movies to "enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." With every movie that cowers away from addressing complex, contemporary questions in favor of some pandering, mealy-mouthed Sunday school lesson ("Crash," ugh), the brash tradition of American film erodes just a little more. That's why Spike Lee's provocation is vital, now more than ever.

At his best ("Malcolm X," "The 25th Hour"), he refuses to offer up easy answers about race, religion, politics, gender, addiction, family and so forth. Heck, he's one of a very few working directors who respects his audience enough to let them find their own conclusions in his "joints." And, as anyone who ever saw "Do the Right Thing" will tell you, no two reactions are ever the same. Simply, he's one of the great, singular voices in American filmmaking. Expect Lee to jaw on everything from his beloved Knicks to the Cairo riots to the effects of urban migration at this lecture at UCA's Reynolds Hall, the latest in the college's "Distinguished Lecture" series.

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