Crooklyn is one of Lee’s only films centered around the adolescence of a female figure. Based on Troy’s age, one would assume that the film centers around her childhood. However, in reality Lee shows us a journey from childhood to adulthood.
Let’s think about the spaces that Bleek occupies in the film versus Indigo, whom we barely see outside of the home or simply, outside: she only really gets to spend time outdoors in her wedding scene, after she has been chosen by Bleek. Women’s spaces are circumscribed, limited, interior: compare this to Bleek, who has so much sprawl. He bikes around Prospect Park, he wanders the city streets, he shows up all over New York. Even Clarke, distinctly un-domestic compared to Indigo, rarely shows up outdoors: she is inside the club, inside apartments, inside the record store. Indigo is almost always within the home: her excursion to the club is unexpected and upsetting to Bleek because it is not where she belongs, in his mind.
I want to look specifically at the spatial dynamics of Bleek and Indigo’s final seduction/coercion scene that we looked at in class. There’s the fact that Bleek walks across the city to get there, through the rain: he is in the outdoors and of the outdoors, thoroughly drenched in it. Indigo is the picture of interiority and domesticity: she is nestled in her home, and rather than leaving to meet Bleek, she lets him come inside. The inside of her house is a contrast between shadows and stark, yellow light: this lends a sense of containment, further enhanced by the way Bleek tries to contain her in his arms, again and again. At first she resists and beats him, but in the end she (willingly, or coercedly) allows herself to be enveloped by him. When they are together Bleek continually dominates the frame: he is wider, taller; she often disappears within him. This inverts the beginning of the scene, where it is Indigo who allows him into her space.
Spike Lee employs very interesting visual effects throughout the course of Get On The Bus (1996). One of the ones that caught my eye was a shot containing the view from what appears to be the bumper of the bus on a highway.