Spike Lee’s latest joint, Red Hook Summer, premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival to an incredibly polarizing and controversial response. The film had its supporters, but those who weren’t taken by it really hated it. In his review of the film, our own Matt Goldberg said the most remarkable thing about the movie “is how it finds so many ways to be absolutely terrible.” Now the pic has finally found distribution through Variance Films, and is set for release on August 10th in New York. The drama will then expand to the top 30 markets throughout August.
Apparently Red Hook Summer went through a major re-edit before this deal was brokered, so it’s entirely possible that we’ll be seeing a drastically different version of the film than the one screened at Sundance. When Lee is on, he’s on (Do the Right Thing, 25th Hour, etc.), but his resume isn’t entirely impeccable. He’s next set to direct a remake of Park Chan-wook’s revenge pic Oldboy with Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen. Hit the jump to read the full press release regarding Red Hook Summer‘s acquisition.
Republic of Brooklyn, April 25, 2012 – 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks announced today that the company will undertake its first independent distribution effort with founder Spike Lee’s Brooklyn coming-of-age story, RED HOOK SUMMER. 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks will partner with New York-based Variance Films for the theatrical release, which will begin August 10th, 2012 in New York City theaters, expanding to the top 30 markets throughout the month of August.
“From my very first joint back in 1986, SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, I have been an independent filmmaker, and even today I still am,” said Spike Lee. “I’m elated to join forces with Variance Films for the independent distribution of my new joint RED HOOK SUMMER. We look forward to getting this film into the marketplace, where we believe 100 percent that there is a starving audience for American independent films like RED HOOK SUMMER.”
“Variance’s sole mission is to ensure filmmakers retain their rights and their power,” said Dylan Marchetti, founder of Variance Films, “and I can’t think of a filmmaker that would make better use of both than Spike Lee. Spike is truly one of the godfathers of independent filmmaking, and RED HOOK SUMMER is an entertaining, yet thoughtful, film that says something we think needs to be said. We couldn’t be more excited to work with Spike and his team to ensure that audiences across the country will be experiencing this fantastic film with their friends and family.”
The latest in Spike Lee’s Chronicles of Brooklyn (which also include SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, DO THE RIGHT THING, CROOKLYN, CLOCKERS, and HE GOT GAME), RED HOOK SUMMER tells the story of Flik Royale, a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has come to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse, 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 Flik into a follower of Jesus Christ. Between his grandfather’s constant preaching and the culture shock of inner-city life, Flik’s summer appears to be a total disaster–until he meets Chazz Morningstar, 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.
The deal was brokered by Dylan Marchetti of Variance Films with CAA and Robert Strent of Grubman, Indrusky & Hireon on behalf of 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks.