Film Junk Premium Podcast #81: Spike Lee


“It’s a tale of good and evil. Hate: it was with this hand that Cane iced his brother. Love: these five fingers, they go straight to the soul of man. The right hand: the hand of love.” When we chose Spike Lee for our next premium podcast, we had no idea that the U.S. would be in the midst of a series of urgent and unprecedented protests against racism and police violence by the time we recorded it. There are few directors whose movies speak to this moment better than Spike Lee and so we proceeded to dig into the following films: She’s Gotta Have it, Do the Right Thing, Clockers, He Got Game, Summer of Sam and 25th Hour. Discussion topics include Spike Lee as an actor in his own movies, key casting choices that kickstarted several careers, both expected and unexpected examples of product placement, his standout scores and soundtracks not to mention his overall lasting cultural impact. Why is the ending of Do the Right Thing so powerful and consistently relevant? Is Summer of Sam an underappreciated gem or do we all have nostalgia blinders on? Why is the title of 25th Hour missing a word? Do the right thing and download this month’s premium podcast below.

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In light of the global response to the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and countless others, we are donating the first month of all proceeds received for this episode to Black Lives Matter and additional organizations via the Act Blue Racism and Police Brutality Funds.

This podcast is available for a MINIMUM donation of $1, but we encourage you to give more (if you can) between June 8th, 2020 and July 9th, 2020. Film Junk is proud to join in with and offer support to all of those fighting to raise awareness of a broken system that must be changed. #BLACKLIVESMATTER Thank you all!

  • Alicia Dwyer

    Just about to start a 12-hour shift, and now I have something that might make it less difficult to get through.

  • RJ

    Paid extra toward the donations. Can’t wait to listen, guys. P.S. Hopefully someone will talk about Malcolm X in Other Stuff We Watched sooner or later. ;)

  • devolutionary

    It’s a backhanded concession, but in Sean’s defense, maybe he accidentally Wikipedia’d the wrong movie in losing his $35? bet. There’s a French war-drama from the 60’s called “The 25th Hour“. Although the “Spike Lee Joint” mini-text is ridiculously small in the poster. Better get those eyes checked after the quarantine!

    Great discussion this round!

  • Essie

    Thank you boys so much for making the decision to donate the proceeds to causes that will help black lives. I think this video says everything:

  • Matt the Kiwi

    You guys did do the right thing. Nice :-)

  • Tommy

    Hey Sean. Would it be a bother to put posts about Premiums on the Patreon page too? I’ve just gotten used to checking FJ through that first.

  • Sean

    It wouldn’t be a bother but it might create some confusion because people would think they can get the premiums through Patreon. We are still talking about a way to offer them through a separate tier. Hopefully we can do that soon.

  • 1138sw

    You guys are awesome for doing this!!!! Awesome!!!

  • eliantigiorgi

    Sorry, but how the hell can you not talk about Malcolm X???

  • colin the dude

    I need just one Junker to comb through hundreds of hours of audio to make a supercut of Frank saying, “and stuff like that.” We could play it on the show. It would be 20 minutes long but it would be hilarious.

  • Beat_C

    this is such a great idea ?? just wanted to point out that a friend of mine, who’s a specialist in NGO work, once told me that it’s more effective and useful to donate larger amounts to fewer organizations than small amounts to many organizations.

  • Sam

    About movies predating She’s Gotta Have It with similar aesthetic that would lead to the 90s indie scene, I’d say Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise from 1984 would fit in that mold.

  • Sean

    Yeah good call. I was reading the chapter in Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes about She’s Gotta Have It and it mentions both Jim Jarmusch and John Sayles as being a little ahead of Spike and an important part of that scene.