Last night out

Spike Lee's desire to explore the nuances of black life is admirable, though the scope of his ambition has often proved to be his artistic undoing. Each film not only tells a racially charged story that (he hopes) teaches a moral lesson, but insists on driving home the points again and again in superfluous scenes that drag on and on (one of the reasons his films tend to run well over two hours). This is an especially distressing problem in Bamboozled, his 2000 film about a black television producer who brazenly puts on a minstrel show. The valid points about hypocrisy and self-image are made early on, but then Lee continue to hash out the major themes, slowing the film down to a crawl.


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