29 November 2011

Spike Lee's Crooklyn (1994)

Based in Brooklyn New York about a family of seven struggling to pay the bills and keep track of their children’s activities in the Crooklyn parts of Brooklyn. This story lets you into the neighbor hood and then into the main families house. Introducing a mix of races and drug addicts glue sniffers and the crazy men and women of Brooklyn New York, all in the same struggle to make payments and keep living where they are living. Mainly this story based in Brooklyn New York, but story moves to another location. This family has five children and the only girl who is about ten years old, is spending her summer with her cousin who is the only child and very sheltered compared to her, because she is from Brooklyn. She knows more than the average 10 year old. After getting a letter from her mother as well as presents to celebrate her birthday, she decides she wants to go home before the summers over. She gets back to discover that her mother is very sick with cancer and is dying. After her mother dies, she assumes the roll of being the responsible woman in the house. In addition, the father started playing his party more strongly for the family, started working for a better wage and stopped relying on his dream of staying a successful writer.

The beginning credits were colorful, and communicated that this would be an African American film because of the African designs/colors. The neighborhoods outdoor activities showed children playing with almost priceless items e.g. large cardboard box, making the best of their financial situation. However, at that age you do not see yourself as impoverished. I related to this because I to found fun in empty cardboard boxes. This translation was taken from the mise-en-scene that communicated the neighborhoods unspoken message clearly

It also showed the different age groups, how close the children were to each other. They all knew each others parents and a lot of trouble seemed to come from the children that are well known for commotion. The vulgar language through out the film to me communicated their lack of respect for others. The children and their attitudes toward their mother were negative. The husband and wife relationship was unstable as well in the beginning, I was not sure whether they were married or not.

When the scene changed into a different neighborhood the camera became a visibly narrow picture, back in the 70’s/80’s they did this to show that the location was different. I found this drastic adjustment interesting, because I had never see that type of narrow picture done on a motion picture before.

Crooklyn was a wonderful film I enjoyed watching it. I would recommend it to anyone who would like to have a laugh and a load of drama. The continuity style of editing and the protagonist role as well as the many antagonistic roles made this film come to life.

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