In February, filmmaker and Brooklyn booster Spike Lee (Crooklyn, Red Hook Summer) bemoaned the gentrification of NYC’s most populous borough when he likened Ft. Greene Park on a weekend to the “motherf***ing Westminster dog show”.
Mr. Lee’s hyperbole aside, it is undeniable that Brooklyn has changed markedly since the days of Do The Right Thing when highly-educated, affluent whites would have no sooner moved here than the dark side of the moon. Now they come in droves, in the process displacing many long-time residents (most of them black).
In Prospect-Lefferts Garden – where we spotted this exceptional Impala – the pace of gentrification has been relatively slow, but recent visits to the traditionally African-American and West Indian neighborhood suggest it is quickening. Construction projects are under way along the Flatbush Avenue corridor, hip cafes, bars and gourmet groceries are thriving, and younger, whiter faces can be seen exiting the subway at the Prospect Park Station every day.
…throughout his films, the voice vies with the image as the source of authentic experience, and “Red Hook Summer,” which pits a young man of the image against an old man of the voice, is, among other things, a search for a way to make images that are not just the literal but the spiritual truth, that combine the methodical accuracy of the recording device with the holy inspiration of the living voice, that unifies body and soul, flesh and spirit, life and death—that can figure as bard and as prophet while avoiding the breezy lies of false prophecy.
It’s one hell of a tall order, and Lee rises thrillingly to his own audacious challenge.
The latest in Spike Lee’s ‘Chronicles of Brooklyn’ anthology which included the 1986 'She’s Gotta Have It,’ right through to the 1998 film 'He Got Game,' follows Flik Royale (played by Jules Brown), a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who ends up having to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse (Clarke Peters), in the housing projects of Red Hook.
The self-financed film which stars a largely unknown cast and took only 18 days to record appears to stay true to Lee’s signature form of filming and like many other of his films, carries a message that signifies that the world is a lot bigger, and perhaps a lot better, than we’d ever imagined.
A release date is yet to be set, but judging from the trailer, it is well worth keeping a close eye on.
Spike Lee spent the summer shooting ‘Red Hook Summer,’ a spiritual cousin to Lee’s directorial breakthrough 'Do the Right Thing.’ The actor/director/Knicks fan will reportedly reprise his role of Mookie from 'Thing’ for 'Summer,’ which focuses on a young Atlanta teen who comes to Brooklyn for – you guessed it – the summer. Now, via Twitter, Lee has revealed when 'Red Hook Summer’ will arrive in theaters.
We never went to the studios with this film, I told you!” he shouted. “We said, ‘Were gonna do this motherfucking film ourselves and show it at Sundance…. This whole thing was planned out.” Of the studios, he added, “They know nothing about black people. And they gonna give me notes about what a young black boy and girl gonna do in Red Hook? Fuck no! We had to do it ourselves!
The latest in Spike Lee’s Chronicles of Brooklyn anthology–which also includes “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986), “Do The Right Thing” (1989), “Crooklyn” (1994), “Clockers” (1995), and “He Got Game” (1998)–RED HOOK SUMMER tells the story of Flik Royale (Jules Brown), a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has come to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse (Clarke Peters), in the housing projects of Red Hook.