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GET ON THE BUS

SYNOPSIS:
Three days and 2,000 miles away from the million man march, a diverse group of black men boards a bus that will take them from south central LA to Washington, D.C. Organised by George (Dutton), the men set out on a journey where they'll discover that a wide variety of "being black" exists and that its many "classes" don't always get along. Flip (Braugher), an aspiring actor, has problems with Gary (Smith), a light skinned cop, and with Randall (Lennix) and his gay lover Kyle (Washington). Also on board is Jamal (Casseus), a former gangster and now a convert to Islam; Xavier (Harper) a film student, Evan Thomas Sr. (Byrd) and his shackled teenage son, Junior (Bonds); and Jeremiah (Davis) an older man making the trip because he missed the civil rights marches decades earlier. After their first bus breaks down, they get a new, white driver, Rick (Belzer), who becomes the focus of some heated racial discussions and they pick up car salesman Wendell (Pierce) who thinks it would be a good business idea to go to the march. As the group nears their destination, they realise that they are as much alike as they are different.

"Spike Lee has returned to his cinematic roots here, his cinematic flair not disguised by his own sense of self-righteousness. In Get on the Bus, Lee delivers his most mature and insightful drama to date, a film where richly delineated characters come together as a mouthpiece for the directorís examination of contemporary Black America. Yet, this is not a preachy essay, a mere diatribe. Issues relating to homosexuality, father-son relationships, black politics, even anti-Semitism, come into play, in this touching, funny and very human film. Lee knows how to get the best from his cast, and this Afro-American ensemble works as a skilful whole. While itís tough to single anyone out, Ossie Davis, usually wasted in the likes of Grumpy Old Men, is quite magnificent in a film of unexpected pleasures and emotional highs."
Paul Fischer

"A vital regeneration of a film-makerís talent as well as a bracing and often very funny dramatisation of urgent sociopolitical themes, Get on the Bus represents Spike Leeís most satisfying work since Do The Right Thing. An attempt at creating a microcosm of the black male community via a cross-country trip by 20-odd Los Angeles men to the Million Man March, pic will prove enormously entertaining to black audiences and should get many former Lee fans of all stripes back on board after his disappointing recent outings . . . The positive, righteous and deeply human dynamics of the piece easily carry the day, enough so to marginalise the flaws. As before, Lee revels in his jump cuts and stylistic eccentricities, and they are used to good effect here to keep things lively in the largely constricted setting. Elliot Davisí deliberately rough lensing is in-your-face in a positive sense, and the music, a combination of Terence Blanchardís original score and many pop tunes, including the new Put Your Heart on the Line, penned by Kenneth Babyface Edmonds and performed by Michael Jackson, keeps things hopping."
Todd McCarthy, Variety



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GET ON THE BUS (M)
(US)

CAST: Richard Belzer, DeAundre Bonds, Andre Braugher, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Gabriel Casseus, Albert Hall, Hill Harper, Harry Lennis, Bernie Mac, Wendell Pierce, Roger Guenveur Smith, Isaiah Washington, Steve White, Ossie Davis, Charles S. Dutton

PRODUCER: Reuben Cannon, Bill Borden, Barry Rosenbush

DIRECTOR: Spike Lee

SCRIPT: Reggie Rock Bythewood

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Elliot Davis

EDITOR: Leander T. Sales

MUSIC: Terence Balonchard

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ina Mayhew

RUNNING TIME: 120 mins

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE:June 19, 1997







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