Introduced by actor-comedian Damon Wayans
Spike Lee made one of his most daring films with this 2000 comedy-drama, a scathing look at racial stereotypes in popular culture. Damon Wayans stars as Pierre Delacroix, an uptight Ivy League–educated TV writer who proposes a modern-day minstrel show as a protest against television portrayals of African Americans, only to see his series become an unexpected and unironic ratings blockbuster. The supporting cast includes Jada Pinkett Smith (as Delacroix's assistant) and Tommy Davidson and Tony Award–winning choreographer Savion Glover as the stars of the minstrel show, titled Mantan. Lee worked with cinematographer Ellen Kuras (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), shooting in an unusual mixture of digital (for the real-world scenes) and film (for the Mantan sequences).
Presented as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' ongoing series at LACMA.