Spike Lee is offered a cure of youth

Photo: Netflix
The Nola Darling 2017 has certainly lost none of his aplomb, and his comments prove, sadly, that it is still current.

Whether one is a filmmaker drawn to Hollywood or an obscure independent filmmaker, it becomes more and more difficult to get funding for a film. With the advent of digital platforms, which thrive on original series, thus it is not surprising that some of them, and not the least, look resolutely to the format of the tv series. We cannot blame them since the movie-goers attend less and less to the cinema, preferring to gorge on all that platforms have to offer.


Nothing on the platform, Netflix, David Fincher (The social network), to whom we owe the first episodes of House of Cards and Mindhunter, Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge !) and its series The Getdown, Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brokovich), which threatens constantly to retire, and his series of western Godless, as well as the sisters Wachovski (The matrix) and their phenomenal success Sense8.


While Soderbergh had already recorded the series The Girlfriend Experience, and True Detective before its arrival on Netflix, Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X), one of the new recruits of Netflix, has, for its part, quite a few were flirting with the tv. In order to make his entry into the wonderful world of digital platforms, Lee has chosen to revisit the work that made the world as a film maker in 1986 : Nola Darling does her head (She’s Gotta Have It).


Sex in Brooklyn


Shot in 15 days in the summer of 1985, with a shoe-string budget of $ 175,000, Nola Darling does not in fact her head was at the time winning over the critics and the audience with his black and white images which appeared to have been shot clandestinely in apartments shabby Brooklyn, with the soundtrack jazz of Bill Lee, and, especially, with its heroine a free spirit.


Interpreted by Traci Camila Johns, Nola Darling, 1986 claims the right to have three men in her life without being judged and the right to be respected as a woman by men. What is it, of the Nola Darling by 2017 ? It certainly has lost none of his aplomb, and his comments prove, sadly, that it is still current.

Go see She’s Gotta Have It or not? The response of Manon Dumais.


In fact, we find in the ten episodes of thirty minutes of Nola Darling has his head several replicas of the film. And they have not taken a ride. That is to say, how the society is changing, sometimes at a snail’s pace, in contrast to the technology. Thus, the scene where Nola, as incarnated by the beautiful, DeWanda Wise, to share the comments that he will sway the men on the sidewalk justifies the emergence of movements #AgressionNonDénoncée and #MoiAussi a little everywhere on the planet.


An artist and fiercely independent, Nola has three lovers, dangerously seductive, which the three of them form the ideal partner : Jaime Overstreet (Lyriq Bent), the banker romantic recently separated ; Greer Childs (Cleo Anthony), model, narcissistic and god at the stake ; and his best friend, the funny guy with the March Blackmon (Anthony Ramos, who takes over the role that Spike Lee was in the 1986 version). In phase with its time, Nola will not be afraid this time to live her bicuriosité with Opal Gilstrap (Ilfenesh Hadera), attractive career woman raising alone her daughter.




If the black and white has disappeared in favour of vibrant colors, monologues facing the camera, are still in Nola Darling goes to his head. The tone is always light, even when dealing with serious subjects. The dialogues are fun, sometimes artificial, the sensuality of the original film gave way to scenes of a sexual frenzy, and the music, jazz, R’n’b, hip-hop, holds a paramount place. While Spike Lee scrolls through photos of Brooklyn in order to illustrate that the neighborhood has significantly gentrified, it inserts also the albums that you hear.


We can also notice that Spike Lee is abusing somewhat the use of the word-click ; every character and every title of the episodes are preceded by a pound… of Course, we can see the willingness of the filmmaker to anchor the series in his time. And it certainly is.


Coming in the wake of the movement Black Lives Matter, the series showcases not only a fulfilled woman sexually, but a woman who is proud of his african origins, and celebrates, both in its way of being in the paintings that she painted.


In Nola, the incarnation of the cultural movement, Black is Beautiful, Spike Lee opposes Shemekka (Chyna Layne), who dream of having the ass of Niki Minaj, caricature par excellence of the black woman, and the wife of Jamie, Cheryl (Sydney Morton), which lifts the nose on his / her own culture. Raised by parents proud who have the memory of the fight for civil rights and Black history, Max (James Foster Jr.) and Septima (Joie Lee, who plays the ex-roommate of Nola in 1986), Nola is not ashamed of his color. However, as a reminder of the artists at a vernissage, and Spike Lee, black pride goes beyond appearances. In sum, Nola Darling goes to his head turns out to be a series much less frivolous than it leaves appear. And from the long format film to the tv series, his subject is enriched, not diluted.

Nola Darling has his head (V. F. of She’s Gotta Have It)

On Netflix as of Thursday

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