The Best Old Movies On a Big Screen This Week: February 18-24

02/18/2015 8:16 AM |

shes gotta have it

She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
Directed by Spike Lee
Lee’s sexy, silly and artsy breakthrough is borderline French, with its shadowy black-and-white, quasi-documentary style, ostensible improvisation, direct address and still-photo interludes—as liberated aesthetically as its hero is sexually. Tracy Camilla Johns plays a Brooklyn designer resistant to settling down because she enjoys her polyamorous exploits. Her three suitors (including Spike) seem to represent different facets of black identity, and her spurning of all three feels like a defiant rejection not only of being pigeonholed but also of pigeonholing the black experience. So does the movie. It’s a watershed indie, a gamechanging moment in African–American cinema—put into context by this important series—and a radical piece of Brooklyn filmmaking, depicting pre-Dinkins Fort Greene and its surrounding neighborhoods not as a despairing inner city but a vibrant community, with Fort Greene Park as its commons. Henry Stewart (Feb 19, 9:30pm, at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968-1986”)