Bamboozled

By Andrew O'Hehir


Salon Staff
October 10, 2000 11:08PM (UTC)

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More liberal white guilt knee-jerkism. Having seen the subject film (until then, convinced that "Summer of Sam" was the worst film to have been made by a major American director in quite some time), I think someone finally ought to make clear to Lee that the weapon of satire is more supposed to be wielded as a rapier, rather than a cudgel. "Bamboozled" is more of an exercise in self-indulgence and blatant artistic self-loathing than even "Eyes Wide Shut" ... and I'd not thought that possible.

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-- Andrew Gettler

I would like to applaud Andrew O'Hehir for a fine review of Spike Lee's new movie, but I also have to express concern over one particular phrase. O'Hehir says that "contemporary television is a complicated and rapidly changing realm," and I think that's quite ignorant of the way things really are. Maybe he's too close to the belly of the beast, but the Telecommunications Act has made TV one of the most homogenized industries in the country. With Murdoch, Eisner, Turner and Co. owning nearly 80 percent of all TV stations, radio frequencies and news outlets, there isn't much "radical changing" going on in television. In fact, it's quite the opposite: a stultifyingly bland rehash of dull concepts we were pretty bored with the first time around.

-- Samantha Berg

Spike Lee's new character, Pierre Delacroix, could also been seen in a new way: His name, translated from French, actually means Peter of the Cross. St. Peter was executed by the Romans upside down on a cross. St. Peter is also the keeper of the keys to the gates of the kingdom of heaven.

In the voodoo pantheon, St. Peter is actually the trickster god, Elegba. Elegba deceives both gods and men using various disguises, ruses and tests and manages to keep perfect control over everyone involved.

Pierre is one trickster, however, who ends up deceiving himself.

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-- Gabrielle Daniels


Salon Staff

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