Bamboozled Is the Pick of the Week

Obviously, when it comes to films that are challenging and confronting, I think that Spike Lee definitely comes to mind. His films are so on the nose, especially when it comes to the depiction of racism and the aftermath of it. From Do the Right Thing to Malcolm X to BlacKkKlansman, he continues to make movies that not only will slap you in the face, but also really give you something to think about. His savage, yet very underrated 2000 masterwork, Bamboozled, does just that. It’s a truly uncompromising one that not very many people have seen, but should definitely put on their radar.

Buy Bamboozled (The Criterion Collection) Blu-ray

Shot in unvarnished video, the film stars Damon Wayans an unscrupulous TV writer who comes up with a really terrible idea: to bring back blackface in a minstrel show, in order to boost his failing network. He and his collaborators are shocked when it becomes an unexpected success, but it forces everyone involved to realize how not only they’ve sold their souls, but have totally undermined themselves to whet their audience’s dark appetites for brutal, and brutally dated stereotypes.

From the looks of it, Criterion has lovingly restored this almost forgotten cult classic in 4K, and includes some nifty supplements: commentary from 2001 with Lee; new conversation between Lee and film programmer Ashley Clark; new interviews with actor/choreographer Savion Glover, actor Tommy Davidson, and costume designer Ruth E. Lee; a new interview program with film and media scholar Racquel Gates; a 2001 vintage making of documentary featuring Lee, Glover, Davidson, Wayans, Jada Pinkett Smith and Michael Rapaport, among others; deleted scenes, music videos, and alternate parody ads created for the film; poster gallery, and trailer. There’s also a new essay by Clark. This should definitely be a must have for any film lover, as well as for those who love Lee and his groundbreaking cinema!

Other releases:

A Hidden Life: The newest film by iconic filmmaker Terrence Malick about a meticulous objector who refuses to side or fight for the Nazis in World War II.

Richard Jewell: Clint Eastwood’s interpretation of the the true story of the American security guard who saved thousands of lives from an exploded bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is despicably dragged through the mud by the media, who incorrectly deemed him a terrorist.

Universal Horror Collection: Volume 4 (Scream Factory): Includes four more odd tales of fright (Night Key, Night Monster, The Climax, and House of Horror), starring the likes of Boris Karloff, Janet Shaw, Bela Lugosi, and Lionel Atwill, among others.

Alice Guy-Blache Vol 1/Vol 2: The Gaumont Years & The Solax Years: Kino presents the first and second collections of the groundbreaking and pioneering female filmmaker’s films of slapstick comedy, historical epic, social commentary, and fantasy, with which she made after she became the head of production during the beginnings of cinema.

The Intrigue: The Films of Julia Crawford Ivers: Kino presents a collection of the equally pioneering screenwriter’s own directoral efforts, including The Intrigue (1916), A Son of Erin (1916), The Majesty of the Law (1915), and Ben Blair (1916). A part of Kino’s Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers series.


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