NYS Writers Institute, October 11, 2005
Cosponsored by Department of Africana Studies
His life story and the stories behind his films are chronicled by Kaleem Aftab in the new book Spike Lee: That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It (2005).
"Spike Lee does a remarkable thing in Kaleem Aftab's engrossing book: he levels with us. Not another one of those self-promoting canned celeb bios, but the memoirs of a man who made his reputation by fearless truth-telling…." - Roger Ebert
"Although Aftab generally comes down on the director's side, he never ignores dissenting voices…. [It] is to Lee's great credit, too, that he gives his British biographer so much freedom to disagree with him, to question his creative choices, and to give voice to his critics. It is hard to imagine many other American film directors doing the same." - Dominic Sandbrook, London Daily Telegraph
Produced on a shoestring budget, Lee's 1986 comedy feature, She's Gotta Have It, went on to earn nearly $9 million at the box office, and received the Prix de Jeunesse Award at Cannes. Lee established himself as a major American filmmaker with Do the Right Thing (1989), a portrait of life in a Brooklyn neighborhood during a single hot summer's day. In announcing the official list of "Best Picture" nominees at the 1990 Academy Awards, Kim Basinger, in an unscripted moment that reflected the beliefs of legions of critics and moviegoers, said, "The best film of the year, Do the Right Thing, is not on this list."
Lee's forthcoming film is Inside Man (due 2006), a bank heist thriller starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, and Jodie Foster. His other films include She Hate Me (2004), 25th Hour (2002), Bamboozled (2000), Summer of Sam (1999), He Got Game (1998), Clockers (1995), Malcolm X (1992), Jungle Fever (1991), Mo' Better Blues (1990), and School Daze (1988). Lee wrote or cowrote almost all of the scripts for his films, and received a "Best Screenplay" Oscar nomination for Do the Right Thing.
In addition to his achievements in feature films, Lee has produced had directed numerous music videos for such diverse artists as Miles Davis, Tracy Chapman, Anita Baker, Public Enemy and Bruce Hornsby. His other music videos include work for Phyliss Hyman, Naughty by Nature, and Arrested Development.
Additional Work By Spike Lee
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