As we continue through a summer filled with uncomfortable triple digit temperatures, Dunkin Donut Coolatas, and blockbuster releases, director Spike Lee (Malcolm X) is steamrolling toward – what looks to be – a very controversial summer. The trailer for Lee’s latest film Red Hook Summer, courtesy of iTunes Movie Trailers, has finally arrived and can be viewed below:
Apart from the deeply religious tone that you’ll quickly notice upon viewing the trailer, you’ll also notice Lee uses a unique style by inserting various shots that look as if they are direct from old home videos. How these shots will be used during the film remains to be seen.
Red Hook Summer stars rookie actors Jules Brown and Toni Lysaith, as well as Treme alumni Clark Peters and James Ransone. The film will also feature an appearance by Spike’s Mookie character from Do the Right Thing. Lee co-wrote the project alongside James McBride, who the writer-director worked with on 2008s Miracle at St. Anna.
Check out the official synopsis for Red Hook Summer below:
Red Hook Summer focuses on a sullen young boy, Flik Royale (Brown). He hails from middle-class Atlanta and heads to Red Hook to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse (Peters), in the housing projects of Red Hook. Having never met before, things quickly get off on the wrong foot as Bishop Enoch relentlessly attempts to convert the youth into a follower of Jesus Christ. Between his grandfather’s constant preaching and the culture shock of inner-city life, the young man’s summer appears to be a total disaster–until he meets a Chazz Morningstar (Lysaith), a pretty girl his age, who shows Flik the brighter side of Brooklyn. Through her love and the love of his grandfather, Flik begins to realize that the world is a lot bigger, and perhaps a lot better, than he’d ever imagined.
As reported here, Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks company worked out a deal with Variance Films to distribute Red Hook Summer, but that would come after plenty of studios shied away from the project due to one of the films most controversial scenes involving a main character, sex and the bible. Lee would go on to blast the studios by saying, “They [studios] know nothing about black people, and they’re going to give me notes about what a 13-year-old boy and girl are doing in Red Hook?”
Spike Lee has the esteemed reputation as being one of the finest directors of our generation, and many would argue that he should have, at very least, been nominated for Oscars in the Best Picture award category for his work on both Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X. Whether or not the old adage of “controversy sells” helps boost ticket sales for Red Hook Summer remains to be seen.
Lee is also set to direct the forthcoming Oldboy remake.
Red Hook Summer is set for a limited release on August 10th, 2012.