Spike Lee's Crooklyn
Meet Spike's best ever movie
You all know Spike. He’s the Black American movie Director who shot to fame in 1986, with his breakthrough movie ‘She’s Gotta Have It’.
Well, in between all the amazing stuff he has done that you know about, is tucked away this little gem of a movie, ‘Crooklyn’.
It came out around the same time ‘Home Alone’ was released & it seemed at the time, that this movie was overlooked, in part because of that.
This was also maybe due to the film’s contrasting storylines, as Home Alone was the story of a rich little white boy & his family & Crooklyn is the story of a poor little black girl & her family.
Also the very name Crooklyn at the time, maybe made people who take things on face value (the majority of the cinema going public), think it was some some kinda mad gangster movie..?
Nothing could be further from the truth & if you ever get a chance to see it, take our advice & do. You will be deeply, deeply, touched by it. It’s a stunning piece of work & maybe a contender as the first actual occasion, that a black family life was ever properly represented in cinema.
It’s a simple story, set amid an interracial block of brownstone New York houses, in Brooklyn in the 1970’s. The mad attention to detail, from the music, all the way to even the toys the kids play with, is far out & it totally captures the 70’s vibe, in a way that is gimmick free & smack on the money.
Crooklyn is a total masterpiece & it’s soundtrack is also stupid good & features tons of the rarer tunes played in WHQ on a weekend, including tunes by Cymande & even The Five Stairsteps.
No one sets a scene & tells a story like Spike can & he is at the top of his game here. All the characters are highly developed, totally believable & we doubt you will ever see a better, or more emotive representation of the mad & touching dynamics of real family life.
Check out this original movie trailer to get a feel for the flavour...
We won’t spoil the storyline for you, but we can say it’s just basically about kids, being kids, growing up in relative poverty. All told from a little girl’s perspective, in a large family of brothers.
Along with the cool story & mad details, the other striking things that will blow your mind are the performances. The main adult actors are outstanding, but all the child actors are both hilarious, touching & quite simply out of this world.
To compare any of their performances to that McCauly Whatshisname in Home Alone, would be totally wrong, as he is not even in the same ball park. Everyone has lived through their own personal version of this fab little clip below...
So, as we reckon few of you may have seen this movie already, we recommend it to you with all our heart. Watch it & see for yourself. When you do see it, you'll get what we mean & you’ll wonder how come you missed this classic?
Stories really can be this beautiful, talented black actors can get ignored at times & their outstanding work lay unappreciated, as fashion favours sugary yarns of scripted Hollywood twaddle, with panto kids, panto villains, big budgets & cheesy blonde hair.
We’d like you to know that we had been meaning to write up something about Crooklyn on our website for ages & this page was not written up moments after we had just watched it. However, typing it has reminded us of how amazing this movie is & we are gonna watch it again tomorrow.
Spike & WHQ Club
If you are standing at the upstairs bar in WHQ & look up to your extreme right, there next to the record covers is a photo of Spike Lee watching over the Club.
We had this same photo hung up at the Old Club, back during our first decade as WHQ, from 1993 – 2003 back when we were still on Marlborough Crescent & Spike has overseen all of our many activities in WHQ since day one.
In terms of WHQ Club - we stand on his shoulders. With his positive influence in our lives, all the amazing art he has shared with us & especially this movie, he's always been there.
Without Spike's work to remind us we exist, goodness knows how we would have perceived the world when we were growing up, getting involved in music & raising a family.
Ok then, that’s you connected with Crooklyn, which you can occasionally find streamed on cable channels, probably purchase on DVD from your favourite online retailer, or you can search & pull it as a rental for just £2.50 from you tube.
Even though it will cost you some money - transcend that & please accept this uplifting, remarkable & life affirming movie, as our little gift to you.