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The whole story is based on the 2014 book by Ron Stallworth, of his experiences in the 1970s in Colorado Springs as a fresh police officer, and the first black man to that position in that city. The character is very well played by John David Washington. In real life Stallworth had been an achiever in high school and wanted to make a difference as a police officer.
On a whim he notices an ad which was recruiting members for a new KKK chapter in the Colorado Springs area. Having a phone voice and speaking manner not easily identified as black he successfully applied for membership, and at one point even speaking directly to David Duke in New Orleans.
Ron would not have gotten very far in his ruse without a white man to replace him in live encounters, for this he recruited the help of fellow police officer, Adam Driver as Flip Zimmerman who happened to be Jewish, another ethnic target of the KKK. Together they thwarted some serious KKK mischief planned.
For a very serious subject the movie director Spike Lee injects a fair share of humor, all very appropriate. Near the end the events of the 1970s are intercut with modern events and protests, showing that white supremacy activities are far from over.
In conclusion, it's a fantastic film, with good actors on the top of that, and you learn a lot about discrimination and humanity, but with funny moments as well. It's a hit and a freat piece of film-making. Go see it!!
Good work, Mr Spike Lee.
"BlacKkKlansman" tells the true story of a rookie African American police officer who in the 70's infiltrated in the KKK, but that's certainly not what the movie is about. Lee tackles head-on the contemporary hot topics of racism, the police killing black Americans, and white supremacy to create an overwhelming pamphlet about the American identity - which has been hurled into a state of great confusion after the last presidential election.
Movies don't come much more political as this one. In a way, "BlacKkKlansman" is a companion piece to "The Post" - a movie that similarly discussed the current political climate in a 70's setting - but with loads more of blackness, humour, anger and attitude. It's a better movie, too.
Though not perfect. Form-wise, "BlacKkKlansman" is sometimes paced oddly and feels needlessly long: not overlong, exactly, because you're not going to be bored for a minute. Visually it could have used a little more of the delicious textures typical of those 70's blacksploitations it makes references to.
But Lee is such a virile storyteller, that you can't help but get sucked in it all. And he has SO much to say. "BlacKkKlansman" is at its savage best when putting in perspective the official holier-than-thou image of the white Americans: Harry Belafonte cameos as an eye-witness of the beastly lynching of Jesse Washington in 1916.
Actors in "BlacKkKlansman" are great. John David Washington excels in the lead role. Adam Driver signs what is arguably his best role to date. Ryan Eggold is terrific as the local boss of the KKK, and the Finnish Jasper Pääkkönen impresses as his right hand man. The biggest surprise of all is Topher Grace, who is near-ingenious as David Duke, a well-mannered bag of sleaze in a three-piece.
"BlacKkKlansman" is an incredibly rich and stirring piece of contemporary cinema with enough stuff to fuel a conversation for hours. Or days. You can get a lot less with a price of a movie ticket these days.
Blackkklansman comes to us from Director Spike Lee & Producer Jordan Peele and tells the true story of Ron Stallworth, the first african-american police officer in Colorado Springs infiltrating the Klu Klux Klan.
To achieve this he enlists the help of a fellow officer played by Adam Driver to pose as him in person while Ron handled the phone calls and planning.
This film is biographical in nature but has some fantastic storytelling, looking at the trailers, it looked like a really fun time with some funny humour about the time period and racism. I'm glad to report this isn't just some comedy movie, here we have a rare film that manages to be funny and outlandish at times but at the same time drives home a serious emotional message, Spike Lee should absolutely be commended for this because it was executed flawlessly.
John David Washington gives an interesting quirky performance here and nails it perfectly, Adam Driver turned out to be much more involved in the story than I had anticipated and has some really great moments.
I have never had a cinema experience quite like this, for instance at the tail end of the film, in the space of 10 minutes the entire audience in my screening went from laughing and some perfectly executed comedic dialogue to utter still silence in absolute awe, frozen & horrified by what was appearing on screen, this silence went on for a few moment even after the fade to black and an applause started up.
This film had me thinking about what I had seen for a long, long time afterward and I am still thinking about it almost every second.
Blackkklansman really shows the Klan for what they really are, and highlights the good work of an amazing african-american police officer. The supporting cast does a great job here, Topher Grace as David Duke was an insanely good performance and I can imagine how hard it would be to embody that particular character and Laura Harrier plays off of Washington beautifully.
In addition there is a great cameo at the beginning of this film, be on the look out!
Blackkklansman is easily in my top 10 for 2018 so far and I urge you all to go see it in cinemas, small warning though, there are some quite confronting images in this film, they are hard to watch but I think that it should be watched as that is the intention here. Blackkklansman is out in cinemas August 17th.
There's no real conflicting values going on. As soon as Ron's love interest starts to question him, he just gives his view and they walk off. And then after the explosion, they're happy again. What. At the initial rally with the black activist it seemed like a genuine internal moral conflict would start to brew, with the way the scene was paced and the great acting from Corey Hawkins. But nope, nothing was jeopardized; nothing happened. Every single time something seems to go wrong everyone just walks it off. The lack of character development was just plain annoying.
The pacing was just awful as well. When the car with the klansmen was driving to the house near the end, there was no change in music, or even camera angles. They give you this enormous build-up with the whole meeting with David Duke and the seemingly botched plan, but it only ends up with an explosion that solves the whole problem. No sense of suspense or intensity at all, even though there was a bloody bomb involved. The scene was saved when the police mistook Ron for a rapist, but again, the scene was too slow and there was no atmosphere. What I thought was the climax with the old man's story once again didn't end with anything. I feel like this film was just taking the piss out of my expectations and robbing me of any enjoyment.
And yeah, I did expect a stylish, fast-paced Tarantino-esque flick. But that's not even the issue. Everything is SO in-your-face, there's no interpretation left to the viewer, no hidden message or symbolism. The dialogue just straight up tells the audience what's going on. No sense of mystery, suspense or viewer involvement.
And then the last part with the current footage was just milking it. Maybe it's because I don't live in the US. but it was just such an awkward watch, especially the flag bit. I'm surprised that was really the only violent part of the film.
I think more people are too concerned with the message (which is of course legitimate and current), that they forget about actually being entertained. Before you accuse me of being racist, I myself am coloured and I ENJOY watching these types of films. This was just poor. There are much better movies out there.
But seriously can I put bad review and not be labeled as racist? FIRST! I did like acting power from most of the cast (really good job), it was filmed in appealing style, and it had its funny moments.
So why 5 stars?
1. Biggest reason is how this movie was adverted. I went to cinema with absolute different vibe and expectations and because of that I could not enjoy movie right after 15-20 min when I felt it isn't what it tried to sell me. 2. Movie did not bring anything new to the table. It has solid (really good) acting, but it seemed like I'm watching cut-scenes from different movies and put together. 3. It has bad mix between comedy and serious parts. Maybe jokes are too rare or to plain, but it makes you struggle to understand what was directors intentions? 4. End scenes (this is kinda spoiler, so will not say what was in it) felt really biased and ruined last bits of movie, because it felt too much out of place. It made me feel like all what trailers wanted is me to spend my money and see end scenes of directors views.
I don't mind more political movies, but I felt tricked and movie itself wasn't that good.
I don't want to spoil movie, so I would have more to say, but then it goes in discussion of certain scenes.
1. It should have been even more brutal and honest with how far the KKK goes and has throughout their history. In the movie I got the feeling like 99% of what the people in the "Organisation" are saying is "just talk", when they have a history of taking action in horrific ways. (Not saying that it completely lacks on that part or that their words are harmless.) They did far more than cross burning.
2. It is a must see released right on time. It is a subject that needs to be deeply dug into, over and over again, until all the dirt of the past and present is showed in the light for what it truly is.
Movie is great, amazing performances by John David Washington and Adam Driver. Directing is reminiscent of blacksploitation movies of the 70's, which is finally getting its rightful hommage. Script is has hilarious has the premise of the real story is, though the darker tones are never shadowed by the comedy.
The harder part to watch is the final scene which, after spending a whole movie showing us a man trying to take down racism, presents us with current events in the U.S., proving us that we haven't made any progress as a society.
It's scary, funny, poignant and a must-see, one of the best movies of the year.
Spike Lee comes back with his signature style almost immersing us back into the late 70s without ever taking himself too seriously, the characters were well defined and while maybe a hint over the top, provided a great sense of realism with believeable dialogue. The two most protruding ideas(?) between characters in the film was the conflict of Ron pursing the interest for his people as a cop, and Adam Drivers character overburdened with the role of a white supremacist after all his life never being exposed to that mindset. They were very subtle, but a reminder of how urgent and relevant the conflict of civil rights still was after MLKs death.
The ending was the main point I think Lee tried to convey, how the conflict of race and white supremacy is showing signs of lagging progress almost 40 years later. It's here to make you think and reflect about the hardships and literal fighting people still have to endure, and the lives continually being taken because of the ideals white supremacy and ignorance grasp many Americans.
I thought "The Post" (2017) was too obvious in its paralleling a Nixon-era narrative with current events, but "BlacKkKlansman" could've benefited from even that level of understatedness. On one hand, the opening sequence is rather good at connecting all of the threads, with clips from the aforementioned 1915 and 1939 films being projected during the making of Klan propaganda-- the hate speech being delivered by none other than "Saturday Night Live" Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin. But, then, the film continues to make certain no member of the audience is left behind in understanding the message. There's the joke that America would never elect a David Duke type, although that was the only part of this rather satirically-approached picture that received a laugh from the audience I was in. The historical events are pushed back to coincide with Nixon's 1972 Southern strategy. And, finally, there's the epilogue of real footage from the 2017 Charlottesville protests and car attack and President Trump's much-criticized remarks thereafter. It's too much.
The cinematic allusions aren't exactly subtle, either, but I think they're sometimes executed better. Although there's a conversation between the lovers debating their favorite blaxploitation flicks, this film also incorporates the genre into its style, including by actually being a film photographed on film. I especially like the brief disco scene, which is energetically compiled. I haven't seen much blaxploitation fare, but of the ones I've seen, they tend to include musical nightclub interruptions to the plot. They also contain scenes where the characters debate opposing sides of the approaches of African Americans to white-dominated America, whether to fight injustices from outside or to reform from within, especially regarding law enforcement. This one does the same thing, including one man becoming a city's first black cop, who, then, poses as white to expose the Klan and another cop, who's Jewish, "passing" in predominantly-Christian white America and acting anti-Semitic to infiltrate the same Organization. Similarly, they earlier go undercover at a Black Panther speech by Stokely Carmichael.
Unfortunately, Lee's anti-racist polemic can't entirely escape the kind of filmic rhetoric that has underpinned so much of Hollywood cinema all the way back to the racist pomposity of "The Birth of a Nation." Just as in the film, the black student union's "black power" slogan forms a sound bridge with the "white power" chant of the Klan. While surely not hoping for the sort of hooting and hollering of the Klansmen at the racist caricatures of white actors in blackface of the screening of the 1915 film within this film, it may be expected that supporters cheer the message of "BlacKkKlansman" just as audiences once roared for the KKK racing to the rescue in the climax of its predecessor. More interesting and likely more successfully than whether this affects the political and racial issues in America is whether Lee has changed the course from within of the white-dominated movie business. It's the Organization he's been infiltrating for some time now.
Fortunately, the script's focus is still on the plot, and it remains enthralling throughout. Balancing astute contemporary humour with uncompromising speeches where we cling onto every spoken word, witnessing Lee's illustrious perspective on black power through the medium of film. I'm not overtly familiar with his filmography, but there is no denying that his ability to address important issues without conforming to melodrama is nothing short of genius. His precise directing allows the cast to integrate themselves as part of the story. Washington portraying naivety through sarcastic wit and energetic bodily movements enabled him to be a likeable character amongst a sea of societal regression. But, yet again, Driver steals the screen. His acting is effortless and still remains one of the most credible actors working today. His comedic timing, calm demeanour and emotional conviction all amalgamate to create an authentic character portrayal. There is no denying that this is a timely film that is more important than ever given current situations, which are highlighted in the final five minute sequence. Yet, I do have some issues.
Regardless of my political and social views, I find injecting one's opinion into a film so forcibly, considering the basis of the film is the depiction of a true story, to be distasteful. Understandably, Lee utilises the case to compare the similarities of today's society with that of 70s America. But in doing so, the consistent sly remarks against the Trump administration tainted the tone of the film and instead started to become a personal attack. It is a personal statement, I get that. And Lee clearly wanted to share his viewpoint with the rest of the world. It just needed less lambaste in order to maintain the professionalism that was nested throughout the rest of the film. It didn't help that those particular scenes were embedded within the clunky narrative, furthering its own dispensability. However, the unique prowess of BlacKkKlansman should not go unnoticed. Both important and entertaining, Spike Lee is back on top form, and he has something to say.
BlacKkKlansman is a character driven thriller drama depicting the dark times that striked upon American Civil Rights which was steeped by an organization named Ku Klax Klan.
Fortunately, for the makers the taboo subject analyzed in here hits the required note upon the current political situation. The vision of the writers is ahead of its time and with a jagged script like such, they don't flinch on visiting newer territories. Despite of meddling with such a fragile concept, the feature is surprisingly hilarious with tiny notions of the theories and references of cinema and music of 70's that is imputed smoothly.
The usual chain terminology in your typical Police Headquarters is depicted aptly with a light environment among the office employees in order to bridge their bonding with concrete material. The husbandry gags kicks in especially when Driver learns to adapt the dialect and tone of Washington with some tricks and tactics that draws in most of the laughs. Ticking for more than two hours, the screenplay is tightly packed in two halfs. The first one is how Driver spears into their world of habitual controversies and "be part of the gang". While the other half is basically nail-biting "close calls" where Lee's directorial experience and finesse factors in effectively.
The writing is elaborative with bold and inedible substance that aren't minced in words and if anything the emotions iterated by them is pure rage, to a point where audience may easily cringe on the seat to the "whiteness" of reality. Lee's tale is of Mob mentality that he speaks in volume through metaphorical terms foliated in long monologues and speeches that are exhilarating as much as layered. The political narrative is never opinionated since it explores both the side of the coin and tosses in front of the viewer to calculate upon.
The music plays a vital role in Lee's latest project, the background score is appealing with up beating and heart breaking songs that elevates the momentum of the sequence. Washington's character is under sheer pressure at most of the time as it fights on both the aspects of the issues depicted in here but his portrayal is sculpted with such panache that it makes you groove when he hits someone or scores in an argument or even moves his legs in clubs. While his better half on screen, Driver recieves a bit more intense role (he still gets few laughs now and then with his partners) as he plays more on the field than behind the desk.
Jasper Paakkonen gets a stand out moment and is probably Lee's finest Trump card, for he is not only the threat to everyone in the feature but he gets equally wider range as the protagonist does. Harrier, Grace and Burke holds on to their roles tightly and delivers a decent performance. As mentioned earlier, Lee is no short on execution and is probably his best work of his career as he has evolved naturally on delivering a compelling storytelling. The gripping screenplay, debates hidden under ideology and conversations and Washington and Driver's on screen chemistry are the high points of the feature.
BlacKkKlansman is the finest entries on Cannes festival this year and is a competitive contender to the Golden Trophy and not because of its questions raised in here for the current society but the way it is crafted out.