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THE 25th HOUR (2002) - A Spike Lee Mixtape Season (Black History Month)

25th Hour still.jpg
  • dir. Spike Lee

  • year. 2002

  • country. USA

  • run-time. 135 mins

  • rating. 15

£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)

Doors: 7.00pm
Film: 7.30pm


October in Britain is Black History Month, and for Deptford Cinema that means a sweeping retrospective of director Spike Lee’s joints. Since his breakout first feature She's Gotta Have It back in 1986, African-American filmmaker Spike Lee has built an incredibly diverse, politically-charged, and hugely respected filmography that is famed for its pull-no-punches focus on the Black American experience in a society still infused with racism, from his sophomore feature Do the Right Thing to the recent Cannes-winning police drama BlackKklansman. Lee’s films hungrily fuse satire, anger, provocative ideological positions, and plenty of humour into compelling expressionistic rockets. Lee’s films dance freely between being realistic and symbolic, lighthearted and tragic, funny and savage, sometimes all within the same scene. Identity, racial prejudice, and the struggles to compromise and co-exist as a minority in the modern world all come under his microscope, even as his 2006 film Inside Man showed him more than capable of switching to more mainstream genre fare. His expressive visual approaches means certain ‘Spike-isms’ are now an immediately recognisable cinematographic flourishes: such as his love of free-floating dolly shots. His longstanding collaboration with Denzel Washington, in films such as Malcolm X and He Got Game, remains one of the most rewarding actor-director collaborations in recent film history. There is so much to be angered by, to be moved by, and to laugh at, in Lee’s filmography that you surely can’t afford to miss out on this retrospective.

THE 25TH HOUR

The scarred landscape of a post-9/11 Manhattan provides the potent metaphorical backdrop for Lee’s masterful dissection of a group of wounded and uncertain New Yorkers. Edward Norton is on superb, tormented form as Monty, a mid level early-30s drug-dealer facing his last day of freedom before starting a seven year stretch in prison, a stretch he knows full-well he can’t make. Everything gets tested: friendship, love, father-son bonds, and Monty's own analysis of his self-worth, as the haunting twin lights of the Twin Towers blaze up into the night sky in the background. An unsettling study of an uncertain and shaken, but still unmistakeable city and its denizens. Also a good example of Lee (who usually writes his own screenplay’s) masterfully taking on someone else’s material; in this case David Benioff’s novel and screenplay.

Doors Open 7pm*
*Programme Start 7.30pm*
*Age Restriction over 15