Still ‘Gotta Have It’! Spike Lee’s first feature is still a classic

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Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” is coming full circle.

Filmed in Fort Greene, the 1986 film is coming back to the neighborhood on July 5, screening as part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s “Contraband Cinema” series.

The filmmaker’s feature debut follows Nola Darling, a sexually liberated Brooklynite who juggles three less-than-perfect men, among them an immature bicycle messenger played by Lee. Shot in black and white, the subversive film was seen as a rival to the indie sex comedies of Woody Allen, appropriating the genre to address a topic that at that point was absent from the big screen — black sexuality.

The film also put a spotlight on Brooklyn, specifically Fort Greene as a vibrant cosmopolitan community.

More than 20 years later, Lee hasn’t stopped making the film world, thanks to “joints” such as “Do the Right Thing,” “Malcolm X” and “25th Hour.”

But here’s the chance to see Spike Lee in all his raw, edgy ambition — before the Nike commercials, before the celebrity, before the vodka tie-ins.

“She’s Gotta Have It” at BAM Rose Cinemas [30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland and St. Felix streets in Fort Greene, (718) 636-4129], July 5 at 2 pm. Tickets $12. For info, visit

— Meredith Deliso

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Joey from Clinton Hills says:
This movie aged really badly. I saw it in the theatre when it came out (and like it) and rewatched it on DVD this spring. Ugh, embarrassing. There's a reason most of these actors were never seen again.
June 28, 2010, 9:48 am
Ft Green4Life from Frt Green says:
Dude you really sound ignorant.
June 29, 2010, 7:38 am
Frot Gren 4 life from Frot Green says:
I know, the ignorance is just astounding. You shame the black community with the ignonance. We be so smart, but you just be ignoranting all over the place - can I get a what what?
June 29, 2010, 5:32 pm

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