Bamboozled

Bamboozled

4.6 6
Director: Spike Lee

Cast: Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith

     
 

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Writer and director Spike Lee casts his satiric gaze on racism in American television and how America's racist past still impacts the present in this biting comedy. Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans) is an astute, Harvard-educated African-American writer working for an independent television network who is assigned to brainstorm a new show for the African-American

Overview

Writer and director Spike Lee casts his satiric gaze on racism in American television and how America's racist past still impacts the present in this biting comedy. Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans) is an astute, Harvard-educated African-American writer working for an independent television network who is assigned to brainstorm a new show for the African-American audience. Delacroix is the only black writer on the network's staff, and the longer he works under Dunwitty (Michael Rapaport), the loudmouthed executive in charge of programming, the more he's convinced he's made a mistake. Wanting to be fired, Delacroix writes a pilot he imagines is so offensive no network would ever dare to air it: "The ManTan Minstrel Show," in which dancer Man Ray (Savion Glover) and comedian Womack (Tommy Davidson) portray two shiftless dunderheads, ManTan and Sleep 'N Eat -- who are to be played in blackface. To Delacroix's surprise, Dunwitty gives the idea the go-ahead, and to his shock, the show is soon a massive hit. Delacroix is now stuck trying to explain his show to the African-American community, who are generally not amused, especially Sloan Hopkins (Jada Pinkett Smith), his assistant on the staff, who has become involved with Man Ray. In order to give Bamboozled a look that would suit its setting in the world of network television, Spike Lee and cinematographer Ellen Kuras shot the entire film using digital video equipment.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
With his provocative Bamboozled, a raging satire on mass-media trivialization and stereotyping of African Americans, writer-director Spike Lee forces even his fiercest supporters to wrestle with troubling questions. It opens with a network big shot (Michael Rapaport) castigating a black, Harvard-educated TV writer (Damon Wayans) for his insufficient ethnicity. Charged with delivering a hit show -- or else -- Wayans swallows his pride and hires homeless street artists Savion Glover and Tommy Davidson to appear in blackface on his "New Millennium Minstrel Show." Their retro-racist routines, along with the inspired musical stylings of a house band called the Alabama Porch Monkeys, make the show a surprise hit, inducing Wayans and assistant Jada Pinkett-Smith to overlook its ugly stereotyping. Lee occasionally pushes the point too hard, but flashes of brilliance temper his self-indulgence. He makes the case that the media in general, and TV in particular, are always tempted to fall back on hurtful attitudes and icons -- especially when ratings are low. Bamboozled is occasionally draggy, preachy, and self-important -- but, like Lee's best films, it's also passionate and forceful. Lee supplies a commentary for the DVD, which also features a making-of documentary, deleted scenes, music videos, a gallery of artwork created for the movie, cast/crew filmographies, and DVD-ROM content.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/17/2001
UPC:
0794043519635
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
R
Source:
New Line Home Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Damon Wayans Pierre Delacroix
Savion Glover Manray/Mantan
Jada Pinkett Smith Sloan Hopkins
Tommy Davidson Womack/Sleep 'N Eat
Michael Rapaport Dunwitty
Thomas Jefferson Byrd Honeycutt
Paul Mooney Juenbug
Sarah Stacker Jones Dot
Gillian Iliana Waters Verna
Susan Batson Orchid Dothan
Mos Def Big Black
Kim Director Starlet

Technical Credits
Spike Lee Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Terence Blanchard Score Composer
Kisha Imani Cameron Associate Producer
Ruth E. Carter Costumes/Costume Designer
Aisha Coley Casting
Harry Darrow Art Director
Mike Ellis Asst. Director
Victor Kempster Production Designer
Jon Kilik Producer
Ellen Kuras Cinematographer
Rolf Pardula Sound/Sound Designer
Sam Pollard Editor
Alex Steyermark Musical Direction/Supervision
Ford Wheeler Set Decoration/Design

Videos

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Bamboozled 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Spike again takes it in-your-face with an outrageously larger than life critique of cultural trends and, incidentally, the media. In my stilted view, Spike reliably eviscerates black and white cultural and personal vices in yet another highly entertaining satire on personal and cultural attitudes. On the surface, Spike exposes the media for exploiting blatantly degrading stereotypes with the giddy and ignorant support of the 'television audience.' Under the surface Spike lampoons the contemporary pop culture of the black community and equates it with the embarrassing ''black face'' ''art form'' of a more innocent era. If you don't see this devastating put-down of the ''gangsta rap'' culture, check out whether it is because you are naive or have unconsciously bought into it. Please don't stop at the intentionally farcial send-up of the media. Do you really think Spike is that -- simple? In any event, if you have even remotely enjoyed any of Spike's other work, you have to see this one - he is in top form.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Spike Lee brings us his best film ever in ''Bamboozled'', a powerful and important American history lesson. The film attacks (and rightly so) the long legacy of white Hollywood's racism towards, and degradation of, Blacks in films and TV, while providing great insight and thought-provoking issues, including whether the treatment of Blacks in the roles they receive on the big and small screen have changed very much. ''Bamboozled'' explores many subjects: the lack of serious dramas featuring Blacks in primary and three-dimensional character roles; the contradictions of some Black entertainers (who contribute to continuing racist, ''minstrel show-type'' stereotypes); the white music artists (examples: Eminem, Vanilla Ice, N'Sync, The Backstreet Boys, New Kids on The Block) that may be imitators or appropriators of Black music culture rather than appreciators of it; as well as what ''black'' and ''white'' really mean in America. Also: the exploration of who has the ''right'' to use the ''n''-word. And there's much more food for thought than the above in ''Bamboozled'', a film which many people would rather hope disappears. Many consumer store websites have not prominently featured ''Bamboozled'' in its new releases, in what seems to be blatant suppression of the film. Another new release however, ''The Ladies Man'' (also directed by a Black filmmaker) is prominently featured on the same websites -- a film which promotes and endorses the very stereotypes that ''Bamboozled'', a classic satire, attacks. ''Bamboozled'' must be seen. Watch it with an open mind. You will be forced to discuss it. The DVD is exceptional. One of the best films of the last 20 years and of the 20th century, ''Bamboozled'' is required viewing for college students and adults everywhere else.
Guest More than 1 year ago
WITH IT'S TRUTHFUL WIT. WHILE WATCHING THIS MOVIES, MY MOUTH STOOD OPEN IN SURPRISE. SPIKE LEE, GIVES AMERICA A WAKE UP CALL IN THIS MOVIE. TELLING US AS AFRICAN AMERICANS TO WAKE UP AND SEE WHAT'S STILL HAPPENING TO US AND TO CAUCASIANS TO STOP LAUGHING AND SEE WHAT YOUR DOING TO OTHER PEOPLE. DAMAN, JADA, AND SAVIAN PLAY EXCEPTIONAL ROLES. IF YOUR AFRICAN AMERICAN AND YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THIS MOVIE.....YOU NEED TOO!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far one of the greatest movies that I have ever seen. VERY POWERFUL. This movie made me sit back and think about the black race and ask the question ; how far have we really come?
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's quite interesting to me how after leaving this movie how many people said that is ''Spike Lee Preaching Again''. And my response was if my people were not involved in the things that were in the movie than Spike Lee wouldn't have a reason to preach. I think this movie was a wakeup call to African American on the things that are settling for and how there actions are viewed. I really hate to say it but many people didn't like the movie because the truth hurts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago