She’s Gotta Have It Screen 4 articles

She’s Gotta Have It


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  • Compared to the gorgeously filmed and scintillating movie, Netflix’s “She’s Gotta Have It” is just a mediocre rehash of the same storytelling. Even with Lee’s directorial skill, there’s something almost mediocre about the reboot; his style has become so iconic — and has been so thoroughly imitated — that his signature style feels less like his muscular vision and instead another attempt to be like Spike Lee.

  • It’s fascinating, in a back-asswards way, because it shows that Lee is as influenced as ever by Jean-Luc Godard . . . I have no idea if I’m enticing you to watch the show or actively driving you away from it, but that’s Spike Lee for you: He does his thing, and you can take it or leave it, and it’s the take-it-or-leave-it attitude that inclines me to take it.

  • Lee's a preacher who can get down with the get down (tellingly, many of his characters embody this very duality), and his simultaneous sense of control and of free-wheeling spontaneity suggests a weary common sense born of experience. It's an experience that the filmmaker hadn't yet attained when he made She's Gotta Have It in 1986. Now, more than 30 years later, his sensibility offers hope for a country riven by ignorance and hatred.

  • It’s pointedly, furiously of its time, including a montage sequence set to Stew’s song “Klown Wit Da Nuclear Code” (whose music video Lee directed). But what it above all feels crowded with, and what distinguishes it as a major work in Lee’s career and of the time, is that it’s a passionately energized grab bag of Lee’s own obsessions and concerns, gravitating around one core: the very nature of black American identity, and its inseparability from American identity as a whole.

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