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Poster for Crooklyn
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Director: Spike Lee Run Time: 112 min. Format: 35mm Rating: PG 13 Release Year: 1994

Starring: Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, David Patrick Kelly, Zelda Harris, Carlton Williams, Sharif Rashed

Though the title may sound menacing to outsiders, Crooklyn is actually Spike Lee’s most tender and affectionate film. The screenplay was penned by Spike, his brother Cinqué, and their sister Joie, semi-based on her childhood growing up with all brothers, their Jazz musician father (an excellent as always performance from Delroy Lindo), and their no nonsense, loving mother played in a top tier turn by the one and only Alfre Woodard.

Though this is one of Spike’s more conventional films, he still finds ways to experiment, shooting an entire sequence of scenes in widescreen without anamorphically adjusting the image. So if the South looks and feels disorienting in this film, rest assured, that was Spike’s intention. In Crooklyn, you will also find RuPaul’s feature film debut, and a cameo in the third act that is one of the only moments of inner-child fulfillment that is truly earned in all of cinema.

This film is a love letter to Bed-Stuy in the 70s, childhood summers, and most of all to the Lee’s mother, Jaquelyn.