Most people would struggle to bridge the gap between the end of the Peloponnesian War and modern day Chicago, but not Spike Lee. Enter Lysistrata.
The acclaimed filmmaker is doing what any filmmaker after a few belly flops eventually does: he draws inspiration from (and re-purposes) something old (see: 10 Things I Hate About You, otherwise known as a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew) and pushes the couple-thousand-year-old narrative into the twenty-first century, replete with the appropriate amount of expletives and take-no-bullshit female characters.
For those of you not in the know, Lysistrata is a play written by Aristophanes about a take-no-bullshit woman (Lysistrata) who is super fed up with the Peloponnesian War. She is so fed up, in fact, that she invites a bunch of women from various city states in Greece to hang out and drink wine, and discuss how their menfolk are being needlessly slaughtered. Over a few glasses a nice local vintage, Lysistrata eventually convinces the women to deny their lovers and husbands any sort of sexual gratification until they agree to sit down like adults and talk out the war. Then –and only then— can sex be once again provided.
I’m not a classics major, but I’m willing to bet it’s probably one of the earliest documented times in entertainment history where women withheld sex from men for comedic purposes. The results, it almost goes without saying, were hilarious: the men whine like little babies, the women tease them mercilessly, and eventually the play ends with all of the men in a room together, calmly talking out the details of a peace treaty, all the while sporting gigantic, comedy-sized boners.
But I digress.
Spike Lee has taken it upon himself to catapult Lysistrata into 2015 with CHI-RAQ, a story of turf wars and gang violence and boners in downtown Chicago. The main character, who has kept the name Lysistrata, gathers up all of the women who have husbands and boyfriends that do Illegal Things With Guns And Maybe Drugs, and says they should tease the ever living fuck out of their men, but withhold sexy times. Based on the two-and-a-half minute trailer, I can surmise that they do, in fact, agree to this. We have yet to find out if this will end up with the men standing around with boners, talking it out, or if they will be conveniently hid by tables and strategically placed statuary.
We are also waiting to find out if this will be the only time Kanye thinks he can act, or if he’ll decide try it again in the future. Whatever the case may be, CHI-RAQ will likely be entertaining, and have copious amounts of great booty shots.
Since the release of the CHI-RAQ trailer, Spike Lee has been quick to dismiss calling the film a comedy. The legendary flimmaker says that it’s serious business and more of a social commentary or serious satire above all else.
Did I forget to mention that it’s also a musical?
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