100) Armond White Movie Review of Spike Lee’s Crooklyn film -1994-
“Animosity gets in the way of Spike Lee’s nostalgia. That’s not a…
happy assessment to make, but Crooklyn is a very unsatisfying film. It displays Spike Lee’s widest emotional range since Do The Right Thing, and generates some genuinely warm sentiments. But its view of life is idiotically simplistic.”
“Working from a script co-written with his siblings Joie Susannah Lee and Cinque Lee, Spike Lee returns to the 1970s. This semi-autobiographical tale focuses on Trey (Zelda Harris), the ten-year-old girl in a Brooklyn family and her musician father, schoolteacher mother, and four raucous brothers. A casual succession of memories, Crooklyn is filled out with an r&b hit parade soundtrack, precise details of adolescent rowdiness, and vintage artifacts from hopscotch games, ‘Rock Em, Sock Em Robots’ to a TV sitcom like ‘The Partridge Family’ (the latter an ironic yet authentic choice).”
“Two stories are told: The Lee family history (here called the Carmichael family) and a chronicle of Black pop’s golden age. The seventies are seen more perceptively than in The Inkwell as the roots of nineties pop culture and social…”
“Crooklyn was a smooth enough viewing experience, but afterwards the more I thought about it, the less well I thought of it. The pleasures of seeing an era fondly recalled, including childhood memories of dinner-time, playtime, fighttime, is rare and welcome, but Spike Lee’s accuracy made me long for some understanding of what these remembrances mean…”
To read more of Armond White’s take on the Spike Lee film Crooklyn, purchase a new or used copy of The Resistance: Ten Years Of Pop Culture That Shook The World.