Red Hook Summer
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: Clarke Peters, Jules Brown, Toni Lysaith, Nate Parker, Thomas Jefferson Byrd
Running time: 2 hrs, 1 min
“Rotten Tomatoes” Critics Grade: 63% Positive
Let’s be clear, I’ve never been a fan of everything Spike Lee says (particularly with regard to other Black celebrities and his often, unsolicited criticism towards them) but I have generally, always loved his work. His newest project, Red Hook Summer only strengthens that stance. It’s a not-so-typical coming of age story set in a small church in the community of Red Hook, Brooklyn between a preacher, his grandson, his flock and an amazingly well-acted cast of memorable characters.
It tackles subject matter I never thought I’d see in a Spike Lee joint, and it does so head-on. It’s equal parts stunning, emotional, vibrant and moving. I LOVE his gorgeous use of color, his insane attention to detail, cinematography and even, music and sound design. There’s literally, almost too much to take in during a single viewing. It’s a fantastic, nuanced, passionate, technically brilliant, return to his smaller, more intimate storytelling that he’s best at.This a CLASSIC Spike Lee film.
Opening in limited release, catch it wherever and whenever you can. You may be conflicted about the material but you won’t be disappointed in the movie.
My grade: A