Miguel Sandoval, Spike Lee, and Ossie Davis

Spike Lee’s ‘Do The Right Thing’ on HBO Now

Do The Right Thing (1989), Spike Lee’s vibrant, vital, thoroughly accomplished third feature, opens on a call to action – “Fight the Power,” shouts Public Enemy in the credits – and ends with a call to “Wake up!” Rosie Perez pumps out an aggressive shout of a dance in the opening credits, staged in front […]

Francine Everett is "Dirty Gertie" in the film directed by Spencer Williams

Black Film History Pioneers – The ‘Blood’ of Spencer Williams on Netflix

The legacy of films made by and for African-American audiences before Hollywood integrated its casts is largely unknown to even passionate films buffs. They were rarely seen by white audiences in their day and were rarely preserved with the same dedication given to the maverick films of Hollywood. Netflix presents over 20 features and short […]

Teyonah Parris stars in Spike Lee's 'Chi-Raq.'

Spike Lee’s ‘Chi-Raq’ on Amazon Prime

Spike Lee weaves a familiar call through Chi-Raq (2015), his polarizing portrait of violence on Chicago’s South Side. Wake up. It’s been a cry and a plea since his first studio feature, School Daze (1998), and it’s particularly resonant in a film about black-on-black gang violence in Chicago, where more Americans have been murdered in […]

Wendell Pierce in the HBO series Treme created by David Simon

Revisit ‘Treme’ and ‘When the Levees Broke’ to remember Katrina – Amazon Prime and HBO Now

This weekend marked the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans, a natural disaster compounded by insufficient defenses and a disastrous response by the government. Looking for a proper way to mark the occasion? Amazon Prime and HBO subscribers have two very good options. Treme, David Simon’s follow-up to The Wire, is beautifully […]