Ok for a student movie...

This was ok for a student movie... good to see that his filmmaking improved a lot since then...


I think it better then you give it credit for. Is it a all time classic, no not really. Is it anywhere near Lee's best film, no way I'd have Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, Inside Man, Crooklyn, Blackkklansman, 25th hour are all better films imo. I'd put it in middling Lee group, still good films just flawed like Jungle Fever, Summer of Sam, Clockers,He Got Game, Get On The Bus, Mo Better Blues and I think She's Gotta Have It slips easily into that group.

You can see why it was such a calling card for Lee as a director and is still highly rated and now has a spin off show on Netflix. The film wears it's influences on it's sleeve like French New Wave, John Cassavates's debut Shadows and Jim Jarmusch early work. I love Bill Lee's Jazzy soundtrack, the performance from Tracy Camilla Johns is career making but she only acted in a few films after which is a shame. Only performance I wasn't feeling was Tommy Redmond Hicks as Jamie, his acting was off for me. I liked the breaking of the third wall with character's talking to the audience. I like that Nola Darling is still the same person in the end that she was at the start and doesn't change herself which is pretty ballsy thing to do in the 80's. The locations around New York from the 80's are great.

I'm still uneasy with the rape scene and the film is too in love with itself in places and drags even at only 85 mins long. But overall a very good debut from Lee.