Before “Sex In The City “and their resident sex kitten Samantha there was Nola Darling.
1986 was not ready for a film student from Morehouse and nor his film She’s Gotta Have It! Director/Producer Spike Lee burst onto the film scene with the same controversy he continues to evoke in 2016 with an urban comedy about a chick who has a voracious sexual appetite.
Nola Darling is a beautiful, black woman from Brooklyn who is independent and knows what she wants and what she likes. Along the way, the three men in her life – Jamie Overstreet, Mars Blackmon and Greer Childs – all provide their point of view on Nola and on their relationship with her, which often times varies from Nola’s point of view on the situation.
The film shot in 12 days and marked the feature film debut of S. Epatha Merkeson, nowadays known for her role on NBC’s “Law & Order”.
”She’s Gotta Have It” was shot entirely in Brooklyn, and made on a budget smaller than those of some television commercials. The impression of artiness is increased by the use of still shot collages the film being shot in black in white with the exception of one scene.
Spike Lee has made an indelible mark in cinema sharing and exposing life from the perspective of a young black man and their relationships with their parents, women and each other. It’s one of the few time in cinema history that I have gone to the a screening and seen people that look like and reflect the world that I navigated through as a college student at Howard University and as a black woman in life.
This year, She’s Gotta Have It is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and Spike Lee is now the recipient of an honorary Oscar for his contribution to cinema.
The films star Tracy Camilla Johns kept the momentum going for a second, and then fizzled out. Johns went on to have a tiny role in Mo Better Blues,was the scandalous girlfriend of G in New Jack City, and had a small role in an early Air Jordan commercial, but after ’91, that was it.
Take a look back at She’s Gotta Have It…