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Bamboozled (2000) More at IMDbPro »

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Bamboozled -- A frustrated African American TV writer proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, but to his chagrin it becomes a hit.


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Spike Lee (written by)
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Release Date:
23 February 2001 (Spain) See more »
Starring the great negroe actors
A frustrated African American TV writer proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, but to his chagrin it becomes a hit. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
1 win & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A fireball of a movie See more (182 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Damon Wayans ... Pierre Delacroix

Savion Glover ... Manray / Mantan

Jada Pinkett Smith ... Sloan Hopkins (as Jada Pinkett-Smith)

Tommy Davidson ... Womack / Sleep'n Eat

Michael Rapaport ... Thomas Dunwitty
Thomas Jefferson Byrd ... Honeycutt

Paul Mooney ... Junebug

Sarah Jones ... Dot

Gillian Iliana Waters ... Verna
Susan Batson ... Orchid Dothan

Mos Def ... Mau Mau: Big Blak Afrika (Julius Hopkins)
M.C. Serch ... Mau Mau: 1 / 16th Blak (as MC Serch)
Gano Grills ... Mau Mau: Double Blak
Canibus ... Mau Mau: Mo Blak
DJ Scratch ... Mau Mau: Jo Blak

Charli Baltimore ... Mau Mau: Smooth Blak

Craig muMs Grant ... Mau Mau: Hard Blak (as Mums)
Dormeshia Sumbry ... Pickaninny: Topsy (as Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards)
Tyheesha Collins ... Pickaninny: Aunt Jemima
Cartier Williams ... Pickaninny: Lil'nigger Jim
Jason Bernard ... Pickaninny: Jungle Bunny
Baakari Wilder ... Pickaninny: Sambo
Sekou Torbet ... Pickaninny: Rastus

Ahmir-Khalib Thompson ... Alabama Porch Monkeys: Levi - Musical Director (as Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson)

Tariq Trotter ... Alabama Porch Monkey
James 'Kamal' Gray ... Alabama Porch Monkey
Leonard 'Hub' Hubbard ... Alabama Porch Monkey
Kyle 'Scratch' Jones ... Alabama Porch Monkey
Christopher Wynkoop ... Massa Charlie

Jani Blom ... Jukka Laks

Dina Pearlman ... Myrna Goldfarb
Imhotep Gary Byrd ... Himself

Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. ... Himself

Al Sharpton ... Himself (as Rev. Al Sharpton)

Matthew Modine ... Himself

Mira Sorvino ... Herself

Arthur J. Nascarella ... Police Chief (as Arthur Nascarella)
Liza Jessie Peterson ... Ruth (Casting Director)

Don Ezzard Peavy II ... Auditioning Dancer
Tony Arnaud ... Auditioning 'Digeroo-Doo Player'

Tuffy Questell ... Auditioning 'Singer'

David Wain ... Bunning
Ron Lawrence ... Mau Maus' Engineer
Al Palagonia ... Bobby
Mildred Clinton ... Louise
Ephraim Benton ... Tre
Tanesha Marie Gary ... Stacy
Shannon Walker Williams ... Young Black Woman
Matthew Cole Weiss ... Young White Man

Coati Mundi ... Papo

Caridad 'La Bruja' De La Luz ... Cuca (as La Bruja)
Rodney 'Bear' Jackson ... Stage Security Guard
Rafael Osorio ... Stage Security Guard
Anna Hsieh ... Joan

Kris Park ... Fish

Cheryl Lynn Bowers ... Mona

Julie Dretzin ... Beth
Steven McElroy ... Seth

Stephen Kunken ... David
Katie MacNichol ... Anna
Joshua Weinstein ... Kirk

A.D. Miles ... Aaron
Daniel Milder ... Peter
Jason Winther ... Jeff
Ed Onipede Blunt ... CNS Security Guard (as Ed Blunt)
Renton Kirk ... CNS Security Guard

Kim Director ... Starlet

Conni Freestone ... Starlet (as Connie Freestone)
Rayietta Hill ... Hottie
John Wallace ... Dawg
Arthur Thomas ... Dawg

Lisa Ferreira ... Da Bomb Girl

Kiki Haynes ... Da Bomb Girl
Judah Jacobs ... Da Bomb Girl
Light Eyes ... Da Bomb Girl
Chyna ... Da Bomb Girl

Luz Whitney ... Da Bomb Girl

Danny Hoch ... Timmi Hillnigger
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shawna Bermender ... Performer (uncredited)
Ruby Campbell ... Marie (uncredited)
Marcia Clark ... Herself - Behind O.J. Simpson (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bill Clinton ... Himself (uncredited)

Tracy Coogan ... Baywatch Girl (uncredited)
Ross Haines ... Newsroom Supervisor (uncredited)

Mario Macaluso ... Comedy Writer (uncredited)

Tracy Morgan ... TV Personality (uncredited)

Jessica Prince ... Task Force 2 Leader (uncredited)

Chris Rock ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

George Siegmann ... Silas Lynch (archive footage) (uncredited)

O.J. Simpson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Joseph Lyle Taylor ... Task Force Leader (uncredited)
Stelianie Tekmitchov ... Beach Force 2 Babe (uncredited)
Bert Williams ... (archive footage) (uncredited)

Leah Yananton ... Studio PA (uncredited)

Directed by
Spike Lee 
Writing credits
Spike Lee (written by)

Produced by
Jon Kilik .... producer
Spike Lee .... producer
Kisha Imani Cameron .... associate producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Terence Blanchard 
Cinematography by
Ellen Kuras 
Film Editing by
Samuel D. Pollard  (as Sam Pollard)
Casting by
Aisha Coley 
Production Design by
Victor Kempster 
Art Direction by
Harry Darrow 
Set Decoration by
Ford Wheeler 
Costume Design by
Ruth E. Carter  (as Ruth Carter)
Makeup Department
Dale Brownell .... hair stylist
Nathan J. Busch II .... key hair stylist (as Nathan Busch)
Patrice Coleman .... background makeup supervisor
Sharyn Cordice .... second makeup artist
Selena Evans-Miller .... additional makeup artist (as Selena Evans Miller)
Neal Martz .... special effects masker
Carol Rasheed .... additional makeup artist
Ellie Winslow .... key makeup artist (as Eleanora Winslow)
Heidi Kulow .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Sharyn Pierson .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Colin Cumberbatch .... post-production supervisor
Jonathan Filley .... unit production manager (as Jonathan D. Filley)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mike Ellis .... first assistant director
Tracey Hinds .... key second assistant director
Paul Hogan .... dga trainee
Michael A. Pinckney .... second second assistant director (as Michael 'Boogie' Pinkney)
Art Department
Martin Bernstein .... construction coordinator
Jeff Butcher .... on-set dresser
James Callahan .... set dresser (as James W. Callahan)
Aimee Cavenecia .... assistant to set decorator
Robert Currie .... property assistant
Michael Curry Sr. .... construction foreman (as Michael Curry)
Paul Dale .... scenic artist
Robert de Mar .... on-set dresser (as Robert A. de Mar)
Alex DiGerlando .... art department intern (as Alex Digerlando)
Christopher Doogan .... scenic artist
Sarah Frank .... computer graphic designer
Ralph Fratianni .... best boy construction grip
James Geyer .... scenic artist (as James E.. Geyer)
Jeffrey L. Glave .... scenic charge (as Jeff Glave)
Donald Grant .... set dresser
Nancy Griffith .... assistant property master
E.J. Grover .... scenic artist (as Jane Grover)
Jay Hendrickx .... camera scenic artist
Gregory Hill .... assistant art director
Chris Holbrook .... scenic shopman
Jimmy Kim .... construction shop production assistant
Bill Kolpin .... set dresser
Jennifer Krause .... scenic artist
Timothy Main .... shop craftsman (as Tim Main)
Jen Martley .... art department coordinator
Shawn P. McKeegan .... art department production assistant
Alvin T. Moore .... additional assistant art director
Jeff Naparstek .... set dresser
Myron Odegaard .... shop electrician
Arne Olsen .... key construction grip
Mark Peltzer .... property master
Catherine Pierson .... buyer
Donald Robinson .... graphic designer
Scott Rosenstock .... lead man
Ann Sherrill .... scenic artist
Mark Simon .... set dresser
Jeff Taisey .... shop craftsman
Joan Winters .... graphic designer
Byron K. Lovelace .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jon Bailey .... assistant engineer: London Orchestra
Kam Chan .... foley editor
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist (as Marko Costanzo)
Stuart Deutsch .... boom operator
Chris Fielder .... assistant sound editor
Tom Fleischman .... sound re-recording mixer
David Flynch .... assistant sound editor (as Dave Flynch)
Rob Harari .... audio consultant
Ruth Hernandez .... apprentice sound editor
Jake Jackson .... assistant engineer: London Orchestra
Frank Kern .... foley supervisor
George A. Lara .... foley recordist
Hal Levinsohn .... group adr editor
Blake Leyh .... sound effects editor
Marissa Littlefield .... supervising adr editor
Kimberly R. McCord-Wilson .... dialogue editor (as Kimberly McCord)
Kelly Neese .... cable
Rolf Pardula .... sound mixer
Glenfield Payne .... sound effects editor
Jen Ralston .... foley editor (as Jennifer Ralston)
Philip Stockton .... supervising sound editor
James Ziegler .... engineer: Dolby
Jesse Ehredt .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Matt Sietz .... sound assistant (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Steven Kirshoff .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Bilyana Boyadjieva .... animator/digital effects artist: Mechanism Digital
Gabriel Gornell .... digital effects producer: Mechanism Digital (as Gabriel Peterson)
Lucien Harriot .... digital effects supervisor: Mechanism Digital
Mark Palkoski .... animator/digital effects artist: Mechanism Digital
Joel Sevilla .... animator: Mechanism Digital
Joe Zito .... Henry artist: Moving Images at the Color Wheel
Matt McDonald .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Gray Miller .... digital artist (uncredited)
Roy Farfel .... stunts
Manny Siverio .... stunt coordinator
Manny Siverio .... stunts
Martin Ewens .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Eliot Sash .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Dave Anderson .... additional electrician (as David Anderson)
Robert M. Andres .... key grip
Tony Arnaud .... grip
James R. Belletier .... first assistant camera: "a" camera (as James Belletier)
Terrence Laron Burke .... grip
Mel Cannon .... grip
John Coumarbatch .... camera production assistant
Lamont Crawford .... dolly grip
Kerwin DeVonish .... second assistant camera: "a" camera (as Kerwin Devonish)
Kris Enos .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Corin Gutteridge .... theatrical lighting consultant
Christopher Hall .... camera operator: "b" camera (as Christopher S. Hall)
James Harris .... set electrician (as James E. Harris)
Hardwick Johnson .... lighting and grip equipment: Camera Services Center
David Lee .... still photographer
Keith Matthis .... additional assistant camera
Malcolm Murray .... best boy electric
Chris Norr .... camera operator: "a" camera (as Christopher Norr)
Michael Papadapolous .... generator operator (as Mike Papadopoulous)
Michael Papadapolous .... rigging electrician (as Mike Papadopoulous)
Ricardo Sarmiento .... additional camera operator
Chris Skutch .... best boy grip
Addy Smith .... camera intern
Darrin Smith .... set electrician
Phillip Todd .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as Phillip A. Todd)
John Velez .... gaffer (as John G. Velez)
Leah Yananton .... camera intern
Animation Department
Anna Bartoletti .... assistant character stylist (uncredited)
Casting Department
Michael Alvarez .... extras casting associate
Sundi Lofty .... extras casting intern
Anna Park .... casting associate (as Anna Sang Park)
Tuffy Questell .... extras casting
Traci Runcie .... extras casting associate
Jaime Wilson .... extras casting intern
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Yolanda Carter .... costume assistant
Yvens DeThelismond .... assistant costume designer (as Yvens de Thelismond)
Careen Fowles .... assistant costumer
Milady Hartmann .... assistant costumer
Danielle Hollowell .... assistant costume designer
Darlene Jackson .... wardrobe supervisor
Suzanne Kelly .... wardrobe supervisor
Emilio Sosa .... assistant costume designer
Whitney Kyles .... costume design assistant (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Barry Alexander Brown .... additional editor (as Barry 'Cutmaster' Brown)
Raffaello Brown .... post-production intern
Janelle Connor .... post-production assistant
Geeta Gandbhir .... first assistant editor
Leticia Giffoni .... editing room assistant (as Tish Giffoni)
Paul Leonardo Jr. .... assistant post-production supervisor
Tim Masick .... video color timer: Moving Images at the Color Wheel
Mato .... film color timer
Melissa Wegman .... Bond Co. Post Superviser
Shilpa Mankikar .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
James Anderson .... music mixer: New York Jazz Ensemble
James Anderson .... music recordist: New York Jazz Ensemble
John Anderson .... musician: oboe, London Orchestra
Vaughn Armon .... musician: violin, London Orchestra (as Vaughan Armon)
Kenny Barron .... musician: piano, New York Jazz Ensemble
Bill Benham .... musician: viola, London Orchestra
Simon Benson .... musician: double bass, London Orchestra
Terence Blanchard .... conductor: score
Terence Blanchard .... musician: trumpet, New York Jazz Ensemble
Rachel Bolt .... musician: viola, London Orchestra
Tom Bowes .... musician: violin, London Orchestra
John Bradbury .... musician: violin, London Orchestra
Linda Cohen .... music coordinator: New York Jazz Ensemble
David Daniels .... musician: cello, London Orchestra
Julian Farrell .... musician: bass clarinet, London Orchestra
Andrew Findon .... musician: alto flute, London Orchestra (as Andy Findon)
Simon Fischer .... musician: violin, London Orchestra
Aaron Fletcher .... musician: alto saxophone, New York Jazz Ensemble
Geoff Foster .... music mixer: London Orchestra
Geoff Foster .... music recordist: London Orchestra
Vic Fraser .... music librarian: London Orchestra
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestral contractor
Eric Harland .... musician: drums, New York Jazz Ensemble
Gary Kettel .... musician: percussion, London Orchestra
Patrick Kiernan .... musician: violin, London Orchestra
Boguslav Kostecki .... musician: violin, London Orchestra
Alison LaCourse .... music assistant: New York Jazz Ensemble
Deler Lale .... musician: viola, London Orchestra
Chris Laurence .... musician: double bass, London Orchestra (as Chris Lawrence)
Tony Lewis .... musician: cello, London Orchestra
Martin Loveday .... musician: cello, London Orchestra
Rita Manning .... musician: violin, London Orchestra
Jeffrey Mironov .... musician: guitar, New York Jazz Ensemble
Perry Montague Mason .... musician: violin, London Orchestra (as Perry Montague-Mason)
Paul Morgan .... musician: double bass, London Orchestra
Kate Musker .... musician: viola, London Orchestra
Everton Nelson .... musician: violin, London Orchestra
Derek Nievergelt .... musician: bass, New York Jazz Ensemble
John Parricelli .... musician: guitar, London Orchestra
John Pigneguy .... musician: horn, London Orchestra
Anthony Pleeth .... musician: cello, London Orchestra
Frank Ricotti .... musician: percussion, London Orchestra
Nick Rodwell .... musician: clarinet, London Orchestra
Roger Rosenberg .... musician: bass clarinet, New York Jazz Ensemble
Frank Schaefer .... musician: cello, London Orchestra
Mary Scully .... musician: double bass, London Orchestra
Jackie Shave .... musician: violin, London Orchestra
Edward Simon .... musician: piano, London Orchestra
Alex Steyermark .... music supervisor
Michael Thompson .... musician: horn, London Orchestra (as Mike Thompson)
Chris Tombling .... musician: violin, London Orchestra
Richard Watkins .... musician: horn, London Orchestra
Jay Weigel .... music preparation: London Orchestra
Bruce White .... musician: viola, London Orchestra
Katie Wilkinson .... musician: viola, London Orchestra
Brice Winston .... musician: tenor saxophone, New York Jazz Ensemble
Dave Woodcock .... musician: violin, London Orchestra
Gavyn Wright .... musician: violin, London Orchestra
Gavyn Wright .... orchestra leader
Bruce White .... viola (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Tom Heilig .... transportation captain
Vic Nowak .... transportation co-captain
Other crew
Leon Adair Jr. .... parking coordinator (as Leon Adair)
Alan Aguilar .... chef: Coast to Coast Catering
Yasmina B. Alaoui .... key production office assistant
Michael Anthony .... assistant location manager
James Baldwin .... quotation "No Name in the Street" used by kind permission of
Kija Brooks .... set production assistant
Shari L. Carpenter .... script supervisor (as Shari Carpenter)
Gary Cergol .... product placement
Michael Ray Charles .... paintings "Bamboozled" and "Mandini's Great Escape" used by kind permission of
Michael Ray Charles .... visual consultant
Betty Chin .... production coordinator
Jack Condon .... production office assistant
Maria Clara Costa .... set production assistant
Glenda Cox .... second assistant accountant
Colin Cumberbatch .... assistant production coordinator
Carolyn De Sousa .... additional script supervisor (as Carolynn Desousa)
Aaron Douglas .... production accountant
Leo Driver .... parking production assistant
Leon Dudevoir .... production executive
Rich Edwards .... set production assistant
Jeff Ellerbe .... set production assistant
Ukeme Emem .... production office intern
John B. Finn .... post-production accountant (as John Finn)
Rod Gailes .... office: 40 Acres
Peggy Glascoe .... assistant accountant
Savion Glover .... choreographer
Rob Harari .... tap instrument designer
Parrish Hurley .... stand-in: Mr. Rapaport
Bryan Iler .... location scout
Rodney 'Bear' Jackson .... key production assistant (as Rodney Jackson)
Willow Jenkins .... set production assistant
Rahsan Jones .... parking production assistant
Thomas Krempke .... tape-to-film transfer
Jason Lampkin .... office: 40 Acres
Cinqué Lee .... video archivist (as Cinque Lee)
Neil Leifer .... photographs: "Muhammad Ali", "HankAaron", "Kareem Abdul Jabbar", "Michael Jordan", "Willie Mays", "Mike Tyson" and "1968 Olympics, Mexico City" used by kind permission of
David Levinthal .... photographs "Blackface", "1999. Arena Editions", "New Mexico" used by kind permission of
Donny I. Levy .... production office intern
Patrick Lindenmaier .... tape-to-film supervisor
Jared Lynton .... stand-in: Mr. Davidson (as Leo Linton)
Francisco Marcial .... assistant parking coordinator (as Marcial Francisco)
LeRoy McCarthy .... location scout (as Leroy McCarthy)
Parrish McLean .... set production assistant
Tjamal Noni .... production office secretary (as Tjamal K. Noni)
Rafael Osorio .... key production assistant
Heather Parish .... accountant: 40 Acres
Manuel Penichet .... research intern
Jimmie Pinckney .... set production assistant
Jerry Pinkney .... photographs "National Geographic Society Image Collection" used by kind permission of
Hakim Quest .... location assistant
Abbi Robinson .... accountant: 40 Acres
Butch Robinson .... electronic press kit
Tom Ross .... location manager
Calvin Ruffin II .... set production assistant
Darren Ryan .... 25 frame playback operator
Asad Sankofa .... stand-in: Mr. Glover
Ruedi Schick .... blow-up
Josh Schneider .... assistant post-production accountant
Philip Schulz .... location scout (as Phil Schultz)
Craig Seti .... dailies advisor
Earl Smith .... liaison: 40 Acres
Michele Soddano .... payroll accountant (as Michele A. Soddano)
Proteus Spann .... stand-in: Mr. Wayans
Maggie Steber .... photographs "SABA" courtesy of
Ryan Viniotis .... location assistant
Elizabeth Wade .... production office intern
Noelia Warnette .... stand-in: Ms. Pinkett-Smith
Bradley Williams .... set production assistant
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer (uncredited)
Ronald C. Briggs Jr. .... inventory services (uncredited)
Ran Francke .... security: Jada Pinkett Smith (uncredited)
Coati Mundi .... adr voice (uncredited)
Jonn Nubian .... technology consultant (uncredited)
Darren Ryan .... 25 frame video operator (uncredited)
Karen Koula Sossiadis .... office assistant (uncredited)
Caroline Wells .... production assistant (uncredited)
Eileen Ahearn .... thanks
Judy Aley .... thanks
Janet Cheatham Bell .... thanks
Michael Ray Charles .... thanks
Mark Daniels .... thanks
Christine Le Goff .... thanks (as Christine Legoff)
Neil Leifer .... thanks
David Levinthal .... thanks
Kedar Massenburg .... thanks
L. Londell McMillan .... thanks (as Londell Mcmillian)
Budd Schulberg .... dedicatee
Bill Stepney .... thanks
William Strickland .... thanks
James Turner .... thanks
Melvin Van Peebles .... thanks
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong language and some violence
135 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Finland:K-15 | France:U | Germany:16 | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:12 | Norway:15 | Spain:13 | UK:15 | USA:TV-MA (TV rating) | USA:R (certificate #37684)

Did You Know?

The two award ceremony scenes are parodies of two real award recipients whom Spike Lee has publicly criticized: the first, where DelaCroix is fumbling around and yelling "Show me the money!", is a jab at Cuba Gooding Jr.'s enthusiastic victory speech for winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor; the second scene, in which DelaCroix becomes a teary-eyed brown-noser to Matthew Modine, is a shot at Ving Rhames' Golden Globe victory in which he gave teary-eyed kudos to Jack Lemmon.See more »
Pierre Delacroix:The mission was accomplished. All of these people left the room thinking they would have real input. I was writing this pilot alone. Myself. Me. Moi.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Cinema Snob Movie (2012) (V)See more »
CharliSee more »


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40 out of 54 people found the following review useful.
A fireball of a movie, 11 November 2001
Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN

I am absolutely embarrassed right now that I have never watched a Spike Lee film before. I have always wanted to see Do the Right Thing, which is generally considered his best film, and I even rented it once, but never got around to watching it. When Bamboozled opened last year, it sounded very interesting, but after the critics dismissed it as a failed attempt at satire, I decided to catch it later on, perhaps after I saw Do the Right Thing. Then I saw it was going to be played on television, so I found the time and sat down to watch. What I saw was something absolutely amazing.

And that's not to say that Bamboozled doesn't have its flaws. I would personally deem it a flawed masterpiece, a very flawed masterpiece. The critics were right: Lee's satire is misplaced. He's far too hotheaded an artist to have realized this immediately, but he should have when the New York Times refused to run the movie's add, which depicted a sambo character eating a watermelon, because they feared protests. Bamboozled asks us to suspend our disbelief - a disbelief which Spike Lee may not have had himself - and accept that a TV network would produce the New Millennium Minstrel Show and that the public, a la Mel Brooks' The Producers, would eat it up. Lee's argument in the press is that this was already happening. His targets were rap videos and a show on the WB network that only produced something like 6 episodes (the show was about Abe Lincoln's black servant who single-handedly ran the country; Lincoln was the buffoon). The reason that the New York Times didn't run Lee's add is the exact same reason Lee wrote the film in the first place: African American political activists, including Lee, often have very knee-jerk reactions to such things. The show about Lincoln, which Lee argued was set during the "holocaust" of his people, actually showed the white people to be the buffoons and the blacks to be their manipulators. He missed the point (which could very well have been due to the fact that the show sucked anyhow). Add to this the fact that, besides clips of Good Times and The Jeffersons, both of which, I ought to add (in my own opinion), Lee is taking out of context (he would have been much better off to feature Diff'rent Strokes, which is somewhat offensive), all of the clips he uses to demonstrate the abuse of his race must have been downright difficult to dig out of film archives. None of these cartoons or movies that are shown, nor most of the sambo toys, have been seen for some thirty years or more, most probably not since before Spike Lee was born. We all know they exist, and, as Sloan (Jada Pinkett Smith) says in the film, we oughtn't to forget whether we're black or white, but it doesn't work as satire to show these things. They aren't at all harmful now, not until you drag them up again. Then they're only offensive when knees start jerking.

None of this matters, in fact. Not to me, anyway. In my opinion, film today has become far too complacent. Bamboozled is an enormous jolt to our current, apathetic world. The fight may be misdirected and wholly fabricated by a paranoid man, but Spike Lee is indeed a masterful director. In fact, I would very favorably compare this film to Jean-Luc Godard's Le Week-End, which was also somewhat misdirected in its satire. Both of these films are excellent. Bamboozled moves with a speed and passion almost completely foreign to the world of filmmaking today. It's angry, it's brazen, and it makes your heart pound with fear, sadness, and intensity. It also raises more difficult issues than any film I've seen in a very long time. It manages to do this while remaining funny, too, although I was always wondering whether Spike Lee would slap me for laughing at this stuff. I especially loved the Tommi Hilnigger Jeans commercial. But even the New Millennium Minstrel Show is presented in a humorous way. A lesser artist, I believe, would have made it more clearly offensive. As it stands, it's difficult not to laugh at Mantan and Sleep-N-Eat (probably the most jaw-droppingly funny and ballsy name I've ever heard) as they perform. Tommy Davidson and Crispin Glover put enough energy in these stage performances to electrocute you. Their performances are awesome - often the dialogue they do have is cliched, but in many small moments their faces clearly express, and subtly, too, how their lives are crumbling. I would also like to compliment Jada Pinkett Smith, who turns in the film's finest performance. I have a feeling she's just going to get better and better, if someone would give her another decent role. Michael Rapaport, although perhaps a little too cartoony, is still very funny. Damon Wayans has the most difficult part. I'll bet money that he and Lee KNEW that the critics would immediately jump on Wayans' fake white accent. I can't imagine they thought it was all that funny or believable. However, I'm not sure why they did it. It does detract a little from the film, though not as much as many critics claimed it does. Personally, I would have either had that accent fade as the film went on. It sounds especially bad when it comes back at the end, after all those powerful (if pointless) scenes of African Americans in the cinema. Although, as that very phony voice is brought back, we recall the way the film began...

Other aspects of the filmmaking are excellent as well. I have already praised Lee's direction. It is quickly paced and he really knows how to move his camera. The editing is fantastic. A powerful rhythm is established right away and never abandoned. In fact, the film pulls a daring change from satire to melodrama about halfway through, another aspect of the film that people complained on end about. It is all done with gusto, especially in the editing. The cinematography - wow! This and Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark show how worthwhile digital video is. Lee and his DP use it to an amazing degree! When characters are moving fast, which happens most often when Mantan is tap-dancing, a blur is left on the screen for a split second. Late in the film, when Mantan is trying to free himself from the show, Lee causes these blurs to remain onscreen for a prolonged period of time. The effect is simply powerful. One major complaint I have is the score. It's often manipulative. I think it would have been better to have had a minimalist score, which would have made the film seem even more immediate.

Like I said, there are many major and legitimate complaints against Bamboozled, but critics and audiences forgot what's going for it: it is EXCELLENT CINEMA. 9/10.

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