[Editor's Note: This article is part of a series currently underway at Big Media Vandalism, where the author is publishing 29 pieces on 29 consecutive days in celebration of Black History Month.]
Spike Lee is one of the few directors who still cares about opening credits sequences. Each of his films has a unique way of ushering us into the movie. From Rosie Perez fighting the power in Do The Right Thing to the horrific gunshot victims that open Clockers, Lee sets the mood for his joints with precision and care. Even in Girl 6, an otherwise horrible film with a great Prince soundtrack, Lee's credits are alive despite being displayed on a blank screen.
My favorite opening credits sequence of Spike's is the one that opens Crooklyn. There's a lot wrong with Crooklyn as a feature: Spike Lee can't write a female character to save his life, the film is fragmented and meandering, and the entire anamorphic sequence, while bold, is annoying. Still I love this movie for the sense of nostalgia it evokes. In an argument with a film critic buddy of mine, I completely acknowledged every flaw he pointed out. "But I was there," I told him, "and I think that's what Spike's going for in this movie. He's preaching to the choir of kids from the 70's."
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