Monday, January 14, 2008

Spike Lee's "She's Gotta Have It" Is Finally On DVD!

Tuesday January 15th marks the North American DVD release of Spike Lee's debut feature film, the 1986 romantic comedy-drama "She's Gotta Have It". Although it was released in the U.K. in 2006, this will be the first time that it will be available on DVD in North America.

Starring Tracy Camilla Johns, Tommy Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell, and Spike Lee (who in addition to directing the film, also wrote and co-produced it), "She's Gotta Have It" tells the story of Nola Darling (played by Johns). An desirable and independent female, Nola simultaneously dates three men (played by Hicks, Terrell, and Lee) who share little in common... except that they all want Ms. Darling to dump the other two and make a commitment to them.

Shot mostly in black and white on a limited budget, "She's Gotta Have It" is arguably one of the most important films of the last 25 years. It helped to usher in not only a new wave of African American cinema, but independent filmmaking as well. The success of "She's Gotta Have It" opened the doors for such talents as John Singleton, Albert and Allen Hughes, Julie Dash, and Kevin Smith. The popularity of the film (in particular Spike Lee's "Mars Blackmon" character) also led to a series of Nike ads featuring Spike and Michael Jordan.

Since I was unable to find any clips from "She's Gotta Have It" that I could embed in this post, I have included some quotes from the film below.

Dog #7: Baby, you're so fine, I'd drink a tub of your bath water.

Mars Blackmon: [begging Nola not to dump him] Please baby, pleasebaby, please baby, baby baby please!

Nola Darling: It's really about control, my body, my mind. Who was going to own it? Them? Or me? I'm not a one-man woman. Bottom line.

Mars Blackmon (to Jamie): Nola's about as dependable as a ripped diaphragm.


karen said...

that's great news! i've never seen it. my husband loooooves spike lee.

Malcolm said...

Karen: If you liked any of Spike's early movies, you will probably enjoy "She's Gotta Have It". For my birthday in 2006, I received the Spike Lee Joint Collection. Because I assumed "She's Gotta Have It" was on DVD, I was surprised that it wasn't included in the set. The movies it has are: CROOKLYN, DO THE RIGHT THING, CLOCKERS, JUNGLE FEVER, and MO' BETTER BLUES.

Samantha_K said...

Because I have poor taste on occasion, I have to say I enjoyed Girl 6. It was really borderline awful (I don't think a straightforward attempt at humor worked so well for the Spikester), but I liked it for some reason or another.

I feel I should throw in a positive comment for Summer of Sam as well. Spike Lee certainly knows how to create atmosphere.

"She's Gotta Have It" sounds like it's going to have to find its way into my dvd player.

Candy Minx said...

Yes this was a remarkable film for starting careers and so hip and funny at the time. It is also profound in that it had the woman acting like the "dawg" at a time when the image among rappers was soley on the men achieving that kind of autonomy...I am long overdue to watch this one again...good post Malcolm!

Jay said...

I can't believe it took THIS LONG for a movie as great as this one to make it to DVD!

X. Dell said...

She's Gotta Have It was innovative in terms of artistic acumen, but it was also important in the business culture of Hollywood.

I actually prefer Lee's later film (e.g., Do the Right Thing, Crooklyn, etc.). But this one's cool too.

pjazzypar said...

I posted earlier, I don't know what happened. As Spike Lee goes. I either really like his work ("Do The Right Thing", "Crooklyn", "Jungle Fever", "Inside Man") or I don't like it so much ("School Daze", "Girl 6", "Mo Better Blues"). For all intents and purposes "She's Gotta Have It" is a good first effort for a director that changed they way we experience film in the 20th and 21st century. Love him or hate him, he is one of the most influential filmmakers of our time.

Malcolm said...

Samantha: I never finished watching "Girl 6". I checked it out back when I used to work for Blockbuster. I don't remember it being terrible, but it just didn't hold my interest for whatever reason. I would like to revisit it someday.

Candy: That's a good point about the gender role reversal. One thing that I just remember that I enjoyed about it is the semi-documentary feel that it had.

Jay: Me and you both! I think I might have taped it off of cable years ago, but who knows where that videocassette is now. I'm really looking forward to seeing it again.

X. Dell: Of the Spike Lee films that I've seen, I would rank "Do the Right Thing" as the best. "Crooklyn" was a disappointment to me. Although there were some parts of it that were worthwhile.

Pjazzy: I remember seeing "Jungle Fever" at the theater. I need to make time to watch that again because it's part of the Spike Lee Joint Collection DVD set that I own. Another fave of mine is "Get On the Bus".

Jeremiah (played by Ossie Davis): My name is pop. We at the top. This Shabooyah has got to stop!

Open Grove Claudia said...

I love this movie. My favorite part is the montage of all the guys. I laughed until I cried. My boyfriend at the time was shocked at how funny I thought it was - he had no idea how much I hear that STILL! I'll have to rent it to see if it's still as funny.

X. Dell said...

I probably have an affection for Crooklyn because it was the first, and last time in my life when I ever saw myself on screen. That is, the first time I saw a movie that related my own experience growing up in the '70s.

Malcolm said...

Open Grove: The montage was one of the best parts! The only line I can remember from that segment is the "Baby, you're so fine, I'd drink a tub of your bath water." "She's Gotta Have It" was definitely a breath of fresh air for the movie industry.

X. Dell: I remember that Pjazzy told me something similar as to why "Crooklyn" is one of her fave Spike films.

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