This Spike Lee film examines the life of an aspiring actress in New York. She is upset by the treatment of women in the movie industry during one of her screen tests with 'QT'. Out of work ... See full summary »
Zack Homer takes over managing the barbershop after Joe is killed for trying to rip off his "investor", Mr. Lovejoy. All Zack wants to do is run a traditional barbershop giving traditional ... See full summary »
Spike Lee was kicked off the campuses of Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark Atlanta University during filming because the colleges' Boards of Directors had concerns on how black colleges were being portrayed in the film. Lee had to finish filming at the neighboring Morris Brown College. See more »
During the "I Don't Wanna Be Alone Tonite" number, the black gloves that the Gamma Rays wear go from above the elbow to below the elbow and back again in between shots. See more »
Now I bet you niggers do think y'all white. College don't mean shit. Y'all niggers, and you gonna be niggers forever... just like us. Niggers.
You're not niggers.
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I had not seen Spike Lee's School Daze in 13 years, the first weekend of its release. This movie has a very special meaning to African Americans like me who were college students in the 80s. The school setting acts as a microcosm of black life as a whole. The social issues it tackles are all too familiar to black life: light skin vs. dark skin, college kids vs. the surrounding economically disadvantage community, and the social responsibility of African Americans to Africans across the entire black diaspora among others.
Watching it in 1988 I thought the dance sequences were too long, but in 2001 I now see their worth. The DVD is visually beautiful, while being gritty in spots where it should thanks to the beautiful work of the great Ernest Dickerson. This was a huge leap for Spike as a director, coming from a $175,000 budget for She's Got To Have It to School Daze.
This film does a great job of giving us some of the inner workings of Black Greek letter organizations. It also shows what abuse people will go through to belong. I was actually living School Daze when I saw it in 1988, so I come from that perspective. It was thrilling to figuratively see myself on that screen in 1988.
If you are looking for Academy Award winning performances, then this isn't the film for you, although there are some really fine actors in the film. If you haven't ever lived this existence, it is really hard to appreciate School Daze. I have a great appreciation for Spike, the era, and the story Spike has written and brought to the screen.
Most folks don't get the ending "Wake Up" scene, but it absolutely belongs. The entire movie and most of Spike's works are wake up calls to America, but specifically to the black community.
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