Spike Lee Is No Quentin Tarantino

Categories: Luke's Gospel
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Alex Izaguirre
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke reviews the controversy surrounding Django Unchained. (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD)

Screw Spike Lee. Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is a brilliant flick that more accurately depicts the African American experience than any of the 15 movies about black culture Lee's directed in his lifetime. It's why the movie took home a Golden Globe award for best screenplay over the weekend and why it was recently nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Since Django Unchained hit the theaters, Lee has been publicly trashing Tarantino. In announcing his personal boycott of the movie, the Do The Right Thing filmmaker tweeted, "American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western," and "It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them."

Lee needs to get over himself. He's upset because Tarantino makes better movies. The man who put Malcolm X on the big screen is Hollywood's resident house negro; a bougie activist who wants to tell his fellow white auteurs how they can and can't depict African Americans.

He complains that Tarantino uses "nigger" too much (100 times) in Django Unchained, but show me a white man in the 1800s who wasn't dropping n-bombs left and right.

Tarantino is one of Tinseltown's most clever directors. Some of the most brutal scenes in Django Unchained are metaphors for the unfair racial inequality African-Americans still experience today. For instance, Leonardio DiCaprio's plantation owner character Calvin Candie trains some of his male slaves to fight to the death in a sport called "Mandingo Fighting."

When one of the slaves refuses to fight, Candie threatens to feed him to his wild dogs. That scene is analogous to professional boxing where white promoters control black fighters through fear and intimidation.

In another scene, a bunch of slaves are shocked to see Django riding a horse since blacks were never allowed to have one. That's like the cops who stare at and then pull over the dude who is driving a Bentley on South Beach.

While on the horse, Django tells the slaves that he'll treat them worse than any white man ever will. That's the truth about blacks in positions of authority in today's corporate America. They will treat blacks worse than any white boss every could.

Lee could never pull off a movie like this. When he's not being an ass from his court side seats during New York Knicks games, he's making bull crap films that most African Americans cannot relate to.

Spike is upset because Samuel L. Jackson's character in the movie is just like him: a conniving and scheming Uncle Tom.

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65 comments
judgeraye
judgeraye

I don't think Spike is an Uncle Tom, a little off base. He def is a hater who should mind his own business. and Luther, i too could not relate to "Bells of St, Mary's' or whatever Black soldier War Movie he did a while back. And what the fuck is up with  'Bamboozled'?


mbhcu98
mbhcu98

"Bullcrap movies that african americans can't relate to". Really? Maybe just you can't relate Luke. The white man has done it again. He got us fighting amongst ourselves again. Here comes "SUPER LUKE" to the rescue of the white man. Take the whitey tighties off Luke, you aren't teaching anyone anything by doing the exact same thing to Spike that he Did to QT. At least his comments were genuine and not simply a reacting response to something that isn't really news. When I see a movie about the halocaust that uses Jewish derogatory comments in it as much as QT used the N word then I will respect him. When I see that QT you will have arrived in my eyes. Until you do though, you can talk that ish about black people but, let me see your balls in doing the EXACT SAME to Jews. If not, QT took advantage of people he could take advantage of and nothing more. Go make that money talking about the jews like that, then come talk to me. He played it safe and took the easy route. Good movie though but, I see what Spike is speaking of. He needs to do a better job of getting his point across though.

sendmeriffs
sendmeriffs

Luke is out of line to criticize Spike Lee's resume, but Spike Lee is just wrong about Django. 

 First of all, keep in mind that the experience of slavery is a global one, and it doesn't always have to do with racism (for example,many slaves in ancient greece were Greek). And when it does have to do with it, guess what?-America is not the world- it is not usually about white and black people.  So a good artist looks at a particular time and place, but wants people from all over to see what is universal about it. 

And what we see in Django is 2 things: That, as usual- shock value, parody, comedy,  and absurd sh--  are good tools when people just ain't ready to handle the truth of how dumb Hollywood is and how bad southern slavery was. They are ready for corny,  patronizing, inaccurate movies like Lincoln. Django shows once again that you CAN joke about the heaviest, saddest, most serious events-that doesn't have to mean disrespect-that is one of the ways folks shine a light on, or even cope with, stuff that is the hardest to face.(And anyway, it did it by joking about their depiction). Artists show the truth by telling lies.

 And finally, when another tries to free you, it can do more harm than good. The Dentist was a good guy, but Django ended up a slave again. Then he did it his damn self, and the final act belonged to him. That is a clear message against the white savior complex of Hollywood, Django first tried taking charity, but found out that don't work you got to fight for your people yourself, only then can you get the job done.

thecrimefighter
thecrimefighter

Good points.

I don't watch Tarantino movies and think I am getting a college education. 

It's a revenge flick...leave it at that. 

billibob
billibob

Spike Lee is a mediocre ghetto movies director who uses the race card for fame .When Trayvon was shot he gave out the wrong address over the internet of George Zimmerman .The address he gave was of an innocent elderly couple who were victims of harassment by African american thugs,finally he paid the couple for his mistake .Because he can't make good movies that people want to see he is "hating" on an excelent director using his favorite trick THE RACE CARD. typical Black behavior

WinterNtheDesert
WinterNtheDesert

It's a movie...being discredited by a film maker who stopped making films. The opinions matter a lot less when you're not in the game. However, look at all the shine people are getting because of what he had to say. When's the last time anyone was thinking about Uncle Luke outside of Miami-Dade? Not hating, just saying. They got Dick Gregory, Rev. Farrakhan, and many others weighing in. These are "scary" Black men who are being listened to because this movie is so incendiary, and because Spike came forward to say it is "offensive to his ancestors". What is finny about that is NYers never want anything to do with slavery and are always talking down to those from the South who endured slavery for longer than those from the North as stupid and weak for not rising up. Trust and believe this a conversation Mr. Lee has had. It's the same thing said about Juneteenth...why celebrate being slaves for longer than everybody else...as if slaves had cell phones and internet and should have known better, cause they were being punked.

UncleCracker
UncleCracker

How funny would this movie be if Tarantino had everyone say African American ... That's not real. That's selling out in name of politically correctness and rewriting the past in the name of progress. Silly for Spike to forbid Tarantino from ever creating characters who talk real (how some in clan gonna say African American). 

Remember movie True Romance? That dialog written by Tarantino about the spawning of Sicilians from Moors said to Christopher Walker's character? Spike wants to censor that dialogue.  I am surprised the mob didn't kill Tarantino for writing those lines.  Tarantino put himself on the line to keep that scene real.just as I remember Spike doing in Do the Right Thing, before he started hanging out with the politically correct limousine liberal crowd.

Brass King
Brass King

how many spike films have you seen?

leon_at_spill
leon_at_spill

(from Wikipedia) "The phrase "Uncle Tom" has also become an epithet for a person who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures, particularly a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people; or any person perceived to be a participant in the oppression of their own group."

For example: A black man who publicly (and incorrectly) insults another black man in order to stand up for the white man who feels comfortable saying "nigger" in public and over 100 times in his films.

Just like YOU, Luke. Now do you understand the definition?

leon_at_spill
leon_at_spill

According to all the previous commenters THIS is your smartest article and it's completely ignorant on all fronts. So sad.

...I take that back. Your (editor's) spelling was good.

blamegirls
blamegirls

The real story is who knew Luke was so good with regular words. Yes, Spike may just need some attention. 

jsolar6461
jsolar6461

 Tarentino and Spike Lee make totally different types of movies. They are both intelligent and clever in their own right. Spike is entitled to his opinion and, like it or not, people expect him to share his opinion because there are so few Black directors in Hollywood and because he has made a major contribution to creating a dialogue about race relations in this country through film. I understand his point about slavery not being a western. In fairness to Tarentino, he put a ridiculous twist on the Jewish Holocaust in Inglorious Bastards, that’s what he does. Did anyone ask Spielberg what he thought about that Tarentino movie???

As far as the movie itself, it was well acted and well scripted. It’s a social critique, but it’s also made with entertainment value in mind. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. All of Tarentino’s films have gratuitous violence and he didn’t pull any punches with this one and it would have been ingenuous if he did. Roots was also violent, and so was Beloved and Amistad so should be any film made about this ugly, inhumane, barbaric, gross period in world history.  

aquila3
aquila3

Spike Lee is the real racist & a hypocrite to boot.

Dizzie
Dizzie

Most “Spike Lee joints” are the same type of pretentious pseudo-intellectual babble...  Spike - the nineties called and they’ve got your relevance, son!

heritic4life
heritic4life

Forget you ever read this infantile dribble. Check out my 3 blogs on the subject and tons more at www.thepeoplesmic.blogspot.com 

Ked Killjoy
Ked Killjoy

Spike lee is wrong by saying that the movie is againt black people and it doesnt show the black race right. If the movie was anything like that Jamie Foxx would have turned down the deal. Samuel L Jackson would have turned it down. Both guys make great movies in their own kind of way.

shrillcosby
shrillcosby

Spike Lee an Uncle Tom? The one who made Bamboozled and Do the Right Thing? The one who started his own studio to avoid Hollywood's editorial oversight? Really? The Spike Lee who made 4 Little Girls and the Huey P. Newton Story? You're saying that his criticism of Quentin Tarantino is tantamount to selling out black people for money? 

Come on. Say he's wrong, say he's arrogant, say he's out of touch, say he hasn't made a good feature in 10 years. But calling him an Uncle Tom? At best, that's ignorant. At worst, you're burning another black man so that you can get some page clicks. I think we've got a name for that.

Taylor Cox
Taylor Cox

You people are straight up brain-washed by white america if you think Spike Lee only makes 1 genre of films JUST BECAUSE THERE ARE BLACK ACTORS/ACTRESSES IN THEM! Quentin Tarantino's always been a racist prick w/ a complex. Growing up he always wanted to get with a hot black girl but never could & he was probably getting punk'd by black guys. Every movie he's ever made has some big "bad-ass" black guy getting raped, his balls cut off, or whatever other horribly emasculating thing he can think of.

Teddy Harrell Jr
Teddy Harrell Jr

Tarantino is wonderful filmmaker. I have enjoyed Spike's films over the years. I wish that Spike would stick to what does best and create the films that reflects his voice on this world that he lives in and what effects him and all of us as a people. I believe that is what he was conveying early on. Some of the comments above that expresses that Spike is not a filmmaker of merit is their opinion. I don't agree with that. I do believe that Spike creates a unneedy distraction that seems to be driven to cast attention to himself. I respect Luther Campbell's views on the film Django, but do not agree with his shun of Spikes work as a filmmaker. My problem with Spike's earlier work was his casting of himself in his own films which seemed like a take on Woody Allen. I have not seen it Django yet, but look forward to it.

Chanelle Artiles
Chanelle Artiles

I don't always agree with Uncle Luke and sometimes find his rants to be one sided and baseless but this article is on point. Quentin Tarantino is a talented producer with a wide range of films. Spike lee sticks to one genre and can't handle someone else creating a film regarding blacks, especially someone who isn't black. Smh.

Alison Kalivis
Alison Kalivis

Im so digging this article!! Very scathing criticsm of Spike Lee but deservingly so! He need so to get over himself & give respect when it's due.

Adri Rodriguez
Adri Rodriguez

I love Luke! Spike Lee needs to stick to his ridiculous court side outfits n lame basketball team! MIAMIHEAT&UNCLELUKE

Brass King
Brass King

Spike Lee introduced the biggest line up of african american actors ever!!! he offered opportunities and wrote roles when there were none to a people who were NOT being included in films in roles that were not UPSTANDING! His career started way before Malcolm X and DO THE RIGHT THING is a cornerstone of new era of film making. No points away from QT....good film maker, however, only a fool would over look SPIKE'S contribution to CULTURE

Xaviant Haze
Xaviant Haze

for once luke actually says something smart

Lon Allen
Lon Allen

Of course I know who he is. He's a movie writer/producer that hasn't been relevant in over 20 years.

mbhcu98
mbhcu98

@thecrimefighter When I see a "revenge flick" about jews and the halocaust, then I will leave it at that. Hollywood can't even make a movie with derogatory names about jews but, nigg*r is fair game. How the hell do you make Schindler's List with not one "kyke" in it? lol. That's just funny but, a white dude can come and use nigg*r like water and the only people getting talked about is Spike and his followers.

thecrimefighter
thecrimefighter

@billibob 

Try not to generalize. You say 'typical' but the guy who wrote this very article is black.

Therefore, it's NOT a typical viewpoint of blacks. Proof is in the article that you just read and apparently agree on;)

mbhcu98
mbhcu98

@WinterNtheDesert Are you "in the game"? Sooooooooo, your opinion matters....... why? Just make your comment and leave the bs home. Besides the garbage, your post was actually a good one.

mbhcu98
mbhcu98

@UncleCracker Was it real in Schindler's list when they did not utter one jewish derogatory name? Jews can't but, we'll make up for it with nig**r though. When QT goes there, then and only then will he have my respect. He aimed at the easy target and hit it. He won't get any respect for going after the easy target though.

mbhcu98
mbhcu98

@Ked Killjoy and you know this how?

kurtz433
kurtz433

@Taylor Cox 


Tarrantino movies that do not have some big "bad-ass" black guy getting raped, his balls cut off, or whatever horribly emasculating thing Tarantino can think of:  


True Romance (screenplay) - Gary Oldman's Drexl does fancy himself to be black, and does get shot in the genitals before being shot in the face multiple times by Christian Slater's Clarence.  Drexl's bodyguard does get shot in the chest helping Drexl fight Clarence, though.


Natural Born Killers (screenplay) - Multiple white males, and one Native American male, murdered. One white woman raped and murdered.


Reservoir Dogs - Multiple white males, and one white female shot.  One black police officer may have been killed with his white partner in a shootout with Steve Buscemi's Mr. Orange.  I'll have to check.  One white male police officer's ear is amputated, with threat of immolation by gasoline.


Four Rooms - "Penthouse - The Man from Hollywood" - Puerto Rican Paul Calderon's finger gets chopped off 


Jackie Brown - Chris Brown is shot in the trunk of Samuel L Jackson's car.  Tiny Lister's character is a hulking, affable, professional partner in a Bond Bailsman business.  He suffers no injury.  Bridgette Fonda and Robert Deniro are shot..  Samuel L. Jackson is shot by Michael Keaton in a sting set up by Pam Grier and Robert Forester.


Kill Bill Volume 1 - Vivica A. Fox is stabbed in the chest by a thrown hunting knife.  Two white rapists are beaten to death.  Approximately 40 Japanese henchmen are stabbed / sliced to death by sword.  One Japanese schoolgirl is clubbed in the skull by the nail from a broken table leg.  The top quarter of Lucy Liu's skull is removed by sword.


Kill Bill Volume 2 - Multiple white and Latino wedding guests are shot to death.  Samuel L Jackson's wedding pianist is shot to death.  Michael Madsen is killed by Black Mamba venom.  Darryl Hannah's eyes are plucked out, one in flashback commited by Gordon Liu, and the other in real time by Uma Thurman.  David Carradine's heart is exploded by Uma Thurman's Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.


Death Proof - Two white females and one black female are killed in vehicular homicide.  Kurt Russel's villian is beaten, then stomped to death.


Inglorious Basterds - Multiple French Jew family members are shot while hiding beneath a living room's floorboards.  Multiple white Nazi soldiers shot.  One white Nazi beaten to death by baseball bat.  One white Nazi shot in the genitals multiple times, then stabbed in the spine.  Two white Nazi soldiers have Swastikas cut into their foreheads by Bowie hunting knife.  One white British SAS agent shot in the genitals multiple times.  One white German spy for the Allies shot in the leg, then later strangled by a white Nazi's hands.  One Jewish American soldier shot. Two Jewish American, Approximately 300 white Nazi heads of state and white French Nazi sympathizers, one French Jewish Female, and one Black French Male exploded by bomb or burnt in resulting Theater fire.  Adolph Hitler shot in the face by at least 30 machine gun rounds.





ebenezer63
ebenezer63

@Taylor Cox You're very insightful, films are many times metaphors for something deeper. They can show the inner ugliness of the director or creator of them.

WinterNtheDesert
WinterNtheDesert

@Teddy Harrell Jr Both men cast themselves in many of their own films...I find no fault in that. I think it is amazing that is somehow a negative for either film maker, as opposed to so may other things. That said, I'd agree Spike has an amazing body of work as does Quentin. 


What is sad is that Spike believes he should be the arbiter of all things BLACK in America.

UncleCracker
UncleCracker

@Teddy Harrell Jr Interesting comparison with Woody Allen. Never thought of it like that before but I think you have something there. Do the Right Thing, School Daze. Perhaps a branding strategy on his part or he was just trying to find himself and his place in front and behind the camera.

mbhcu98
mbhcu98

@Chanelle Artiles Your post is ignorant and wrong. I have to ask, is that who you are? Do your homework before posting.

mbhcu98
mbhcu98

@Alison Kalivis Why?

WinterNtheDesert
WinterNtheDesert

@Brass King RareGrooves Selector How many Black actors has Spike Lee had in front of a camera recently. How many in Summer of Sam? Quentin Tarantino has elevated more Black actors in Holywood than Spike has...Spike never hired Samuel L Jackson as more than a junkie...why not? Quentin elevated him to star status? Who has done more for him? When's the last time Spike called him up and offered him a role where he wasn't a thug or junkie? Maybe it's Spike who doesn't see the complexity of the African American experience in America.

mbhcu98
mbhcu98

@Xaviant Haze What was it that he said smart?

mbhcu98
mbhcu98

@Lon Allen Damn, you can't count either.

toddcbritt1
toddcbritt1

@mbhcu98 @thecrimefighter QT did make a Jewish revenge flick.  Remember?  Inglorious Basterds (sp?) ring a bell?  As for why there was no use of "kyke" in Schindler's List: Germans just say "juden" to disrespect Jews.  I agree that QT is egregious in his use of the N word, but he's egregious in nearly every aspect of film making.  That's his shtick.  He's not a great filmaker, but he's not the worst, either.

Bigdic
Bigdic

@mbhcu98 @aquila3 Spike Lee is a N*gger's Nig!.....A tight pussy, new aligator shoes, hair extensions, a smooth ride & gold chain is all they care about & in that order U dickhead.

kurtz433
kurtz433

Oh yeah, sorry:


From Dusk til Dawn - In Tarantino's first half of the film, a white male Texas Ranger and a white male convenience store clerk are shot, and one white woman is murdered off-screen (possibly raped as well).  In Rodriguez's second half, about 200 White /  Latino patrons / performers / staff / musicians at a Mexican strip club are beaten / ripped apart / impaled / exsanguinated / shot once the strippers / staff / house band reveal that they are vampires.  The apparently only black man there, Fred Williamson, is big and "bad-ass," true.  He gets bitten by a vampire, turns, then has his heart ripped out by Romanian / Polish Jew (but Christian in the film ) Harvey Keitel, who finally kills Williamson by stabbing his still-beating heart with a pencil.


mbhcu98
mbhcu98

@WinterNtheDesert You mention ONE black actor QT held up. One!!!! lol. You have made yourself look like someone stupid. Can you count? I know QT helped more than one but, in NO way is it possible, QT has helped out more Black actors than Spike. Just do the math dude. If you can count....

kurtz433
kurtz433

@WinterNtheDesert@kurtz433 

I'm on noone's "side."  I'm simply detail-oriented, in a slightly OCD fashion.

My issue is that Taylor Cox's "Every movie he's ever made has some big "bad-ass" black guy getting raped, his balls cut off, or whatever other horribly emasculating thing he can think of." simply isn't true.


Just One of his movies depicts the rape of "big 'bad-ass' black guy" Ving Rhames."  

Just One One of his movies depicts the Threat of imminent castration (not even carried out) of "big 'bad ass' black guy" Jamie Fox, but it is cancelled because Samuel L Jackson wishes for a protracted suffering in the mines for Foxx, over a relatively quick death bleeding out from Castration.


Two out of Tarantino's entire writing and directing filmography is hardly "Every movie."

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