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School Daze

By Marshall Fine

Spike Lee's follow-up to his unlikely hit She's Gotta Have It was this ambitious--some would say too ambitious--attempt at a musical about college life. But Lee, ever the provocateur, doesn't settle for a simple college comedy. Rather, he wants to make a point about the social divisions within all-black colleges: between the socializers and the socially conscious, and between light and dark-skinned blacks. Laurence Fishburne plays a politically aware student trying to bring his fellow students together; Giancarlo Esposito plays the fraternity boss who constantly seeks to insert a wedge between the haves and have-nots. Lee himself plays a pawn in the middle, a would-be frat boy undergoing a wicked Hell Week as a pledge. The story doesn't pull together and the musical numbers--more spoof than anything else--only serve to fragment it. While it offers interesting points, it never does so in a particularly cohesive way.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Spike Lee

Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, Tisha Campbell, Joe Seneca, Art Evans

Released: February 12, 1988

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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