on Spike Lee in Mostar

No, he wasn’t here but his film  Old Boy is.  I went to Mostar’s movie theater yesterday to see this film.  At the University of Mostar, I am teaching a film course in African American cinema with an emphasis on Spike Lee. None of my students knew who he was, but this doesn’t surprise me. I have heard the same from my American students.  But then again, his films require thought, and can be difficult to watch because they require thought. What is often missed is Lee’s sense of humor, and this film has a definite sardonic sensibility.

Perhaps, it was because this film followed a number of trailers for big blockbusters about Hercules,et al, but I found the emphasis on one’ s man journey through revenge and retribution to salvation quite remarkable. Lee’s sharp comments on American history and culture were present as ever, and there was a certain poignancy to the unraveling of time shown through television news coverage.  But it was the very difficult moral issues that struck me. Or perhaps, because once again, I am watching an American film in a country torn apart by acts of revenge, violence, and so on that these issues strike me so. 

The theater itself could be found in any American mall, with its posters, candy and popcorn counter.  There was even a small lounge to wait for the theater to open.  The seats were as comfortable as any.  The tickets were cheaper than the popcorn. And when I left, I walked out into a crowded smoke filled mall of people drinking coffee and window shopping. And then it was off to the shop for food. 

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