Spike Lee has been bombarded with buzz following the release of his incendiary, based-on-reality picture BlackkKlansman, about Colorado Springs’ first black police officer, Ron Stallworth, who infiltrated the KKK. Of Lee’s more than 35 films, it arguably is among his best ever, blending dark comedy with intensely thought-provoking and disturbing social commentary.
But Lee quietly released another — exceedingly different but equally biting — movie this year.
Lee’s “Pass Over” debuted at SXSW in Austin and started streaming on Amazon in April. It’s called an adaptation of a play by Antoinette Nwandu, produced at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, directed by Danya Taymor. Yet, said play actually is the whole movie, with a bit of before, after, audience shots and varying camera angles tossed in.
The set up harkens to “Waiting For Godot.” Two young black men discuss ambitions — to rise up off of the street corner and make something of themselves. They’re quieted repeatedly by the need to dodge stray bullets. And interruptions by two characters, each of whom ostensibly are an amalgamation of certain groups of people within society.
Altogether the production stars just four actors. One of them, the abusive white policeman — who, in the play, essentially embodies all abusive white police officers — is portrayed by 1998 Lake Highlands High School grad Blake DeLong.
I last saw Blake in a 2011 Super Bowl commercial alongside Ozzy and Bieber as well as a superb movie that same year, “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
While his “Pass Over” role required little in the way of screen time, it is a power-punch-to-the-gut part. His performance is chilling, impactful, infuriating. I mean, the dude is damn good at his profession and I predict a continuous rise.
Here he plays an unapologetic racist cop who periodically checks in on the two main characters. He takes sadistic glee in flinging racial epithets, unveiled threats and ensuring the two young men never leave the corner — that they understand “their place” in this world.
After Lake Highlands, Blake went on to University of Texas at Austin. “He began appearing in new and experimental plays in Austin’s vibrant theater scene in the early 2000s,” according to his IMBD bio, “and was subsequently recruited to return to the university as an MFA student in acting. He moved to New York City 2008.”
this is what bustin’ your ass looks like https://t.co/iN8tTS7BkF
— Blake DeLong (@blakedelong) July 26, 2018
I unfortunately have yet to interview Blake DeLong; I can derive from his Twitter feed that he’s a hard worker, proud Longhorn alum and a fan of U.S. Senate candidate from Texas, Beto O’ Rourke.