Dark, biting satire of the television industry, focusing on an Ivy-League educated black writer at a major network. Frustrated that his ideas for a "Cosby Show"-esque take on the black family has been rejected by network brass, he devises an outlandish scheme: reviving the minstrel show. The hook: instead of white actors in black face, the show stars black actors in even blacker face. The show becomes an instant smash, but with the success also comes repercussions for all involved. Written by
N. Cognito <nobody@noplace>
I was lucky enough to see the Philadelphia premiere of this movie at the U. of Penn, with Spike Lee in attendance, and I left the theatre feeling almost speechless. I've seen most of Lee's films and have mixed emotions and reviews of each of them; however, this film is truly a MASTERPIECE of filmmaking. Without giving away the many-layered plot, which must be experienced to be appreciated, the subject is a touchy one --- controversial and poignant, embarrassing and humiliating, enlightening and insightful. Mainstream white audiences ( of which I am a part ) may find the subject to be uncomfortable --- obviously one of Lee's goals here --- and all audiences will find certain parts of the movie to be terrifying. Besides the storyline, the acting is wonderful across the board, and Daman Wayans deserves an Academy Award for his over-the-top role. Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" should go down in history as one of the most important films about race vs. social status and the misconceptions and stereotypes that surround them, as well as being a magnificent movie about popular culture and the almighty dollar. It is alternatingly hysterical, contemplative, witty and violent, and I left the theatre in tears, totally speechless. Unfortunately, this will probably be a short-lived film in your local cineplex, but hopefully it will gain enough serious attention to win the accolades it deserves, as well as open some closed eyes and minds.
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