Spike Lee and Denzel Washington Chop It Up

The beauty of two creative black men, artistes extraordinaires, who by the grace of the art gods have crossed each other’s paths and have worked together successfully.

They recognized each other’s talents, joined forces and created a small, yet powerful legacy of black film that feed our ebony  spirits.

These artistic collaborations between Spike and Denzel will stand the test of time.  I watched these films 20 years ago, and they spoke to me.  I can look at these films today and they still speak to me.  I can watch them 20 years from now and they will still speak to me.  That’s the mark of filmmaking at its best.

In the first clip, Spike and Denzel reminisce about the work, the fun, the danger, the spirituality of making Malcolm X.

In the other clips, Spike speaks forthrightly with Ebony/Jet Magazine about the racism in the movie industry, revisiting the scandal around Malcolm’s assasination, and how black hollywood saved the film “Malcolm X”.

I would bet that the relationship and friendship between Spike and Denzel is “mo betta” than most.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. My favorite Spike/ Denzel collaboration is Mo’ Better Blues. That’s a beautiful film. And also Spike’s sister Joie is in that film. I really like seeing her in films. I wish she worked more.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      She’s very beautiful, and I am in love with her hair! At first her hair shocked me beyond belief. Then, pure enduring love.

      Of course since I’m always talking, here’s what I had to say about Joie. https://nachalooman.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/joie-lee-beautiful-nappy-natural/

  2. Reggie says:

    Very nice post.

    Now I wonder where I can get a suit like the one Spike wore in X.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      I dont think South Carolina is ready, Reggie.

  3. Lin says:

    Malcolm X, the film, was a social & cinematic triumph just given the fact that it was ever made & finally released. Several powerful black money-makers eventually contributed to see to it that Spike’s vision was realized. Mad props to all involved.

    Denzel & Spike together definitely define some serious BAP ( Black Artistic Power)!

    I guess Hollyweird is waiting for Spike to become an old, tired, worn-down & feeble black man before they finally give him his ‘honorary Oscar.” Maybe they think he’ll be too old to bitch, moan, point accusatory fingers & tell the truth. But they better think again! lol.


    1. Anna Renee says:

      “…Maybe they think he’ll be too old to bitch, moan, point accusatory fingers & tell the truth. But they better think again! lol…”

      I see him continuing on his truth telling path into old age. I can see it clearly. He’ll be sporting a cap that says “I had to pay for my 40 acres” lol

      You know though, what he was complaining about having to do to get his film finished, is what we as black artists should consider the reality. We should be able to call on black hollywood to help, and they should be more than willing. This should be standard.

      And dont get me started on Oscar. You know I caint stand that biatch! 😉

  4. blackmystory says:

    Anna that is definitely one thing I dislike about Spike above all those who came after him. His level of consciousness and commitment to positive and artistic African expression was way above most except for a few such as Charles Burnett. I had hoped after how he put She’s got to have it together, he would have continued on that path. I guess looking in from the outside it is easier to criticize but I felt he dropped the ball when he kept going to those White Supremacists in Hollyweird and having them insult a director of his caliber. I feel, as you do that we have enough capital now that we can fund our own movies and keep the money away from them folks. I guarantee this would get their attention, because if there is one thing them folks hate, is us not begging them for anything and keeping our resources to ourselves.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      In that clip where he talks about this, I think he fell into that thing where we black folks feel upset about the “unfairness”. As he looked at how the industry fully supports other movie makers like Penny Marshall back then, he went into that mental space of “Well we black movie makers deserve to get the same considerations, they should pay for our films too! We are just as good as they, if not better”
      You know, that same ole dead space. Yes, brother Spike, we are just as good as they, and even better, so we should pay for our own films. Stop running to them like they our daddy and stuff. DO 4 SELF!!! Spike may have had to cough up two million of his own dollars, but he forgot, that allowed him full artistic control!!! Imagine a racist agenda compromising a movie like X!! Anyway, he has to remember that its a blessing that he COULD come up with 2 million like that. I’m sure he knows that.
      The white man may owe us, but like that 40 acres, we better not hold our breath, as my mom used to say. We better DO 4 SELF, with pride and contentment. Especially when we can!

      I love Spike nonetheless.

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