Our reviewer in Tribeca…reviews The Greatest Catch Ever

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Maysa Moncao has been hitting the Tribeca Film Festival. She sends back her review of Spike Lee’s short film, The Greatest Catch Ever. Check out her Maysa Moncao LinkedIn profile for more and contact details.

The Tribeca Film Festival has some special events dedicated to sports, sponsored by the ESPN TV channel. This year, Spike Lee was invited to show his recent short movie, The Greatest Catch Ever, about the victory of the Giants against the Patriots during the 2008 Super Bowl.

On the last few years Lee has been shooting commisioned movies, so I pop up the question: “Do you have any new authoral fiction project for the near future?”. I remember the audience of the talk about the importance of features like Jungle Fever and Malcolm X and I suggest he should take that trail again. He answers: “Oh, yeah, I have loads of ideas, but I don’t talk about them before they are ready”.

I understand that this afternoon’s programme is about the black New Yorker equality over the Bostonians. After all, in Lee’s words, “New York is the best city in the world. If you are a winner here, your life is a hit”. And the Giants won in the last 30 seconds of the game.

The Greatest Catch Ever does not have any images of the final game, because Lee did not want to deal with the copyrights. The movie is a series of interviews with the former players mixed with their families’ home videos of the season. There is nothing really revealing if you are not a fan of American football, but if you follow Spike Lee’s career you will think, as I do, that there is a coherent string in Lee’s choice to shoot this short movie: to tell the story of black equality in the USA. Here the black hero is David Tyree.

And that explains everything. That is enough. Tyree is another name in North-American history. Another black guy who raised himself; literally, by jumping higher to catch the ball.

For Spike Lee, the secret of a good filmmaker is knowing how to write a story. “You have to write, and write, and write.” That is a good challenge to the younger generation more used to images than the written word.

And maybe that is why a new empire is rising in the east, where language is pictorial. But my guess is that China needs some drops of black blood to establish its Empire.

Maysa Moncao

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