I debated about watching Quentin Tarantino's movie Django Unchained because of the "gratuitous violence" (according to some critics), but when I heard that Spike Lee had condemned it, without seeing it, I felt morally obligated to see it, out of respect for logic. How dare Lee condemn the movie without actually having seen it? Lee's twisted logic: Tarantino, a Caucasian, shouldn't be directing a movie about slavery. How illogical is that? I think Spike had a bit of the green-eyed monster coloring his judgment. [Yes, my use of "green" and "colored" was deliberate and intentional!] If Lee cared so much about "his people", why hadn't he already directed a definitive movie about slavery? He seems to be able to acquire funding for other schlock he's directed. [an aside: Lee would definitely hate my using a Yiddish word to describe his product, after his well-documented anti-Semitic remarks.]
It's not the first time Lee's hypocrisy about Tarantino has been evident. Lee was also critical of Tarantino's Jackie Brown, because of the use of the "N" word. More twisted logic: it's OK for Lee to use the disgusting word, but Tarantino shouldn't, although it was an integral part of both Tarantino movies. Although I have not personally been on the streets of Harlem or lived during slavery, I feel fairly certain that the "N" word was used in both of those contexts!
It reminded me of the criticism of Spielberg's directing The Color Purple because he isn't black. I'm also reminded of the sheer silliness of extracting the "N" word from Huckleberry Finn. The only question to be asked: did/do people use certain words at the time and place? If it's accurate, then the "real" words SHOULD be used, whether it was from Twain, Tarantino, or Lee.
This week, I noticed on my Facebook page (in the yearly campaign to induct Richie Havens into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame), it was mentioned that Richie Havens' signature song Freedom was played in the background in a pivotal scene of the Django Unchained. (Listen from YouTube below.) As Richie is my all-time favorite rock and roll/folk performer I'll watch the movie in loyalty to him.
Richie's songs have been used in 34 movies and 17 television shows. Freedom, in particular, has been used as background music in 6 different movies or television shows.
After Freedom, my favorite songs of his used in movies and performed by Richie are: Morning, Morning played in The Pursuit Of Happyness and Follow played in Coming Home. Richie even has his music used in a video game and has also appeared as an actor in 8 films or television shows.
Listen to Follow and Morning, Morning because both are simply beautiful.