Tragedy hits and Spike Lee rewrites 'BlacKkKlansman' - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Tragedy hits and Spike Lee rewrites 'BlacKkKlansman'

Posted: Updated:
(Foto por Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP). La actriz Laura Harrier, el actor Topher Grace y el director Spike Lee posan al llegar al estreno de la película "BlacKkKlansman" en el Festival de Cine de Cannes, el lunes 14 de mayo del 2018 en Cannes, Francia. (Foto por Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP). La actriz Laura Harrier, el actor Topher Grace y el director Spike Lee posan al llegar al estreno de la película "BlacKkKlansman" en el Festival de Cine de Cannes, el lunes 14 de mayo del 2018 en Cannes, Francia.
(Foto por Arthur Mola/Invision/AP). El director Spike Lee posa para los fotógrafos con motivo del estreno de su película "BlacKkKlansman" en el Festival de Cine de Cannes, en el sur de Francia, el martes 15 de mayo del 2018. (Foto por Arthur Mola/Invision/AP). El director Spike Lee posa para los fotógrafos con motivo del estreno de su película "BlacKkKlansman" en el Festival de Cine de Cannes, en el sur de Francia, el martes 15 de mayo del 2018.
(Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP). Director Spike Lee pose for photographers during a photo call for the film 'BlacKkKlansman' at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP). Director Spike Lee pose for photographers during a photo call for the film 'BlacKkKlansman' at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
(Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP). Actor John David Washington, from left, director Spike Lee, and Adam Driver pose for photographers during a photo call for the film 'BlacKkKlansman' at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, T... (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP). Actor John David Washington, from left, director Spike Lee, and Adam Driver pose for photographers during a photo call for the film 'BlacKkKlansman' at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, T...
  • NationalMore>>

  • More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

    More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

    Saturday, May 26 2018 7:34 PM EDT2018-05-26 23:34:43 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through the courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through the courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the...
    A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and that'll continue, no matter what the Supreme Court decides in the case of a baker who wouldn't create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. 
    A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and that'll continue, no matter what the Supreme Court decides in the case of a baker who wouldn't create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. 
  • Amid anti-immigrant sentiment, some Spanish speakers wary

    Amid anti-immigrant sentiment, some Spanish speakers wary

    Saturday, May 26 2018 7:24 PM EDT2018-05-26 23:24:35 GMT
    (AP Photo/Chris Carlson). Lilly Mucarsel, a native of Ecuador, poses for a picture in her office Friday, May 25, 2018, in Tustin, Calif. Mucarsel, 62, of Southern California finds herself reverting to English when she attends a baseball game or goes to...(AP Photo/Chris Carlson). Lilly Mucarsel, a native of Ecuador, poses for a picture in her office Friday, May 25, 2018, in Tustin, Calif. Mucarsel, 62, of Southern California finds herself reverting to English when she attends a baseball game or goes to...
    The Trump administration's harsh rhetoric and tougher policies toward immigrants have made some Spanish speakers self-conscious about speaking other languages in public. 
    The Trump administration's harsh rhetoric and tougher policies toward immigrants have made some Spanish speakers self-conscious about speaking other languages in public. 
  • Legal hurdles may make Weinstein's prosecution an exception

    Legal hurdles may make Weinstein's prosecution an exception

    Saturday, May 26 2018 7:24 PM EDT2018-05-26 23:24:25 GMT
    (Jefferson Siegel/New York Daily News via AP, Pool). Harvey Weinstein, right, appears at his arraignment with his lawyer Benjamin Brafman, in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday, May 25, 2018 in New York. Weinstein is charged with two counts of rape and...(Jefferson Siegel/New York Daily News via AP, Pool). Harvey Weinstein, right, appears at his arraignment with his lawyer Benjamin Brafman, in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday, May 25, 2018 in New York. Weinstein is charged with two counts of rape and...
    Harvey Weinstein's arrest in New York Friday is a landmark moment in the #MeToo movement, but it remains uncertain whether it will be repeated in other cases involving powerful men accused of sexual misconduct. 
    Harvey Weinstein's arrest in New York Friday is a landmark moment in the #MeToo movement, but it remains uncertain whether it will be repeated in other cases involving powerful men accused of sexual misconduct. 

By JAKE COYLE
AP Film Writer

CANNES, France (AP) - Spike Lee is holding court on the sunbaked rooftop terrace of the Cannes Film Festival hub, the Palais des Festivals, doing his best Peter O'Toole impression.

A passionate cinephile, Lee's likes to punctuate his points with movie references or classic stand-up lines or sports metaphors. When it's suggested to him that his furious statement on race in Donald Trump's America, "BlacKkKlansman," has rocked Cannes like nothing else at this year's festival, he smiles.

"Did you ever see one of the greatest films that was ever made? David Lean's 'Lawrence of Arabia,'" says Lee before raising his voice to a sonorous battle cry.

"Taaaaaake nooooo prisoners!"

For even a filmmaker who has seldom pulled punches when it comes to straight taking - what he would call "da truth, Ruth" - "BlacKkKlansman" is a haymaker. The film, which is in competition for Cannes' Palme d'Or, is the true-life tale of an African-American police detective Ron Stallworth (played in the film by John David Washington, son of Denzel), who in 1979 infiltrated a Colorado Springs, Colorado, cell of the Ku Klux Klan.

Introduced to the project by producer Jordan Peele ("Get Out"), Lee made what he knew would be a commentary on race in America. Then, during a summer weekend in Martha's Vineyard, he saw his film run directly up to present day. On the TV was news of the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent in clashes with counter-protesters. Anti-racism activist Heather Heyer was run over and killed.

Former KKK leader David Duke, who's played by Topher Grace in "BlacKkKlansman," was part of the rally. After it, President Donald Trump blamed "both sides" for the violence. For Lee, it was a "defining moment" for Trump and the United States. (In a press conference in Cannes on Tuesday, he blasted the president in a passionate, expletive-filled monologue.)

Lee decided to end "BlacKkKlansman" with footage from Charlottesville (he sought and received permission from Heyer's mother) and of Trump's speech. The film concludes with the image of an upside-down black-and-white American flag.

"Those terrorist groups wrote themselves into the film," Lee said in an interview. "The real-life David Duke wrote himself into the film. The president of the United States wrote himself into the film. They gave us an ending we're not good enough to write."

Focus Features will release the film in August on the anniversary of Charlottesville.

"Take the past and make it present was the real approach Spike and I wanted to take with it," says co-writer Kevin Willmott. "And unfortunately, the events of today just presented themselves. They've taken the past and brought it back to the present."

Many in the cast were surprised by the film's unscripted conclusion. Asked when he found out, Washington replies: "Uh, when I saw it. And it messed me up. I was emotional. I was fighting (tears) back."

Washington has known Lee since his father, one of Lee's favorite leading men, made "Malcolm X" with him and the younger Washington had a small role. But as to the first time they met, Lee lights up and mimics cradling a baby. "BlacKkKlansman" is a breakthrough for the 33-year-old Washington, a former professional football player.

The cast is filled with what Lee calls "new blood" - actors he hasn't worked with before. Among them is Adam Driver, who plays Stallworth's Jewish partner. Driver calls Lee's revision "a testament to his movies' unpredictability."

"And it's like how he directs on set - following your impulses. He's worked with most of the same crew members since 'Do the Right Thing,'" Driver said. "That's what I like about his movies. They're filled with an energy that you never know what's going to happen."

"BlacKkKlansman" is also, in part, about the influence movies can have. It begins with the flying Confederate flag of "Gone With the Wind" and shows the Klan members enthralled by D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation." But it also captures characters lovingly discussing "Shaft" and "Superfly."

"Here's the first time I really realized what a movie can do. I went to see a Bruce Lee film on 42nd Street, and when people came out of there, people were doing flying kicks all over the sidewalk," says Lee with a karate chop of his own." And it clicked for me: That is a power."

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.