MOVIE REVIEWS

Clockers

September 15, 1995

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Spike Lee is an unfortunate instance of a very talented filmmaker who's
obvious talent in craftsmanship doesn't come across in contemporary
mainstream cinema because of issues having nothing to do with cinema
itself. I realize that in becoming great at anything in one's life,
other things have to suffer, and with him it seems, at least to me,
that for everything he has undoubtedly accomplished in the filmic
realm, it's created a type of 'idiot savant' (it's simply an existing
term--I certainly don't mean it pejoratively)--that is, in social
skills, at least pertaining to self-marketing, or getting across one's
persona in the field, he is lacking--and it negatively impacts his
cinema. And that's a dirty rotten shame, because this was a fine film.

He and his excellent approach to cinema remind me of the Heisenberg
principle and make me: a) wish Lee could find more happiness in his
life, so that he can come across better, and thus have his personality
not negatively influence cinephiles like me; and b) wonder, like in 'A
Beautiful Mind', if he was happier and more pleasant, if it would
negatively impact his filmmaking? Philosophical questions such as this tend to keep me up at night, unless I have some red wine, milk or chamomile tea to wear me out and soothe me.

'Clockers' worked for me. Keitel was really on a roll when he worked in this, with 'Bad Lieutenant', 'Reservoir Dogs', 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Smoke' all around this time. It was certainly a great vintage for him, and a fine time to sample his acting.

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