Spike Lee
Film director
Spike Lee
Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. His production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983. Lee's movies have examined race relations, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues. Lee has won numerous awards, including an Emmy Award. He has also received two Academy Award nominations.
Biography
Spike Lee's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Spike Lee from around the web
Joni Sledge, Member Of 'We Are Family' Group Sister Sledge, Dead At 60
Huffington Post - 18 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Joni Sledge, a founding member of the “We Are Family” disco quartet Sister Sledge, was found dead Friday at her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She was 60. Publicist Biff Warren confirmed Sledge’s death, telling CNN that the cause is unclear. The singer’s family posted about her death on the group’s official Facebook account. Born in Philadelphia, Joni was the second-oldest daughter of a Broadway tap dancer and an actress. She and her three sist ...
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Huffington Post article
34 Poets Of Color Summarize 2017 In Verse
Huffington Post - 30 days
If 2017 was a poem, what would you call it? This was the question Tabia Yapp ― the founder of BEOTIS, a boutique agency that represents leading writers, speakers and multidisciplinary artists of color ― posed to a group of contemporary poets she admired.  The open-ended question provided respondents with ample space to play. Some poets answered the prompt in two words, while others filled up pages, all while attempting to describe a time categorized by so much fear, anger, hope, action and love.   We’re only two months into 2017. At times, it feels like the year has already stretched beyond its 12-month boundaries. Yet at the same time, 2017 still doesn’t feel quite real. Just as Black History Month comes to a close, the following poets are helping us make sense of this uncertain moment in history, using language as a guide.  Behold, 34 poets of color summarize 2017 in verse*:  1. Alok Vaid-Menon Alok Vaid-Menon is a nonbinary artist with a lot of feelings. 2.  ...
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Huffington Post article
Denzel Washington Has Earned More Oscar Nods Than Any Black Actor In History
Huffington Post - 2 months
Tuesday’s announcement of Denzel Washington’s Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his role in “Fences” makes him the only black actor to land seven Oscar nominations.  This is a historic achievement for the 62-year-old as he holds the record for being the black actor who has earned the most Oscar nominations in history. Morgan Freeman comes in close with a total of five Oscar nods. It marks a significant moment as Washington stands out among a short but talented list of people of color who have been nominated for an Oscar throughout history.   In honor of his nomination for his fictional role as former Negro Leagues baseball player Troy Maxson in “Fences,” we’ve complied a list of the roles the two-time Oscar winning heartthrob has been nominated for over the years: Best Performance by Actor in a Leading Role, “Flight,” 2013 Washington plays Whip Whitaker, a high-functioning alcoholic and drug addict working as a pilot whose vices eventually lan ...
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Huffington Post article
The Movies Obama Used To Explain The World (And Himself)
Huffington Post - 2 months
When asked to name his favorite movies in a 2008 interview, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was unabashed in expressing his love for the big screen.  “I’m a movie guy,” Obama said. “I can rattle off a bunch of movies.” As a candidate, Obama stuck to the classics: “The Godfather” Parts I and II (”III, not so much,” he correctly noted), “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Casablanca” because, “you know.” As president, Obama’s breadth of pop culture consumption and his role as pop culture tastemaker and influencer did not go unnoticed. He embraced the big and the small, highbrow and lowbrow, old and new.  For pop culture junkies, it was fun to see the president of the United States dive into all forms of popular culture, voraciously consuming it, talking about it and engaging with it ― but, above all, showing an acute awareness of how it both influences and reflects American society and provides a common language. Throughout his presidency, Obama often used ...
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Barack Obama Admits He Wrote Some Embarassing Love Letters In College
Huffington Post - 3 months
When FLOTUS Michelle Obama said President Barack Obama has always been “swagalicious,” we were more than willing to believe her.  Look at the guy! But in a new interview with former senior adviser David Axelrod, the president himself admits he wasn’t always so cool ― and definitely not smooth with the ladies. Obama tells Axelrod that he was a partier during his time at Occidental College in California, studying social policy and advocating for the anti-apartheid movement through the “haze of a hangover.” When he moved to New York to attend Columbia University, young Obama left his partying ways behind, becoming “wildly pretentious” and “humorless” in the process.  “Physically I remove myself from my old life, I go to New York. And it’s true, I live[d] like a monk for three or four years, took myself way too seriously,” Obama says in the podcast, which was released Monday. Unsurprisingly, monkdom didn’t bode well for Barry O’s social life.  “I’m humor ...
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Huffington Post article
The Dubai Film Festival Diaries: Samuel L. Jackson on Quentin and Spike Lee and Best of the Emirates
Huffington Post - 4 months
While there have been undeniably more wonderful films than what I've been able to watch at this year's Dubai International Film Festival, part of the excitement belonged to the talks, the conversations with international stars who kept coming "even after the opening night," as DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma reminded me earlier today. More of course on that chat, with Juma himself, the man who year after year sets me straight on the business of cinema in the Arab world, and then figuratively sends me out into the world another year -- in between Dubai film fests, I mean -- to ponder, research and enlighten myself. Only to come back more excited about this incredible world of cinema from the MENA region. Yes, more on that in the next few days, and trust me, it's all worth waiting for. So one of the highlights of the talks -- and there were many, too many to list -- was the "In Conversation with Samuel L. Jackson" moderated by DIFF programmer Nashen Moodley. Movie star Jackson ha ...
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Huffington Post article
Spike Lee Remembers His 'Dear Friend' 'Radio Raheem'
ABC News - 6 months
Nunn, who died today in Pittsburgh, was 63. He was battling cancer.
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ABC News article
Bill Nunn, Actor Who Fought The Power In 'Do The Right Thing,' Dies
The Huffington Post - 6 months
Actor Bill Nunn, best known for his frequent collaborations with friend and director Spike Lee, died on Saturday in his hometown of Pittsburgh after a battle with cancer, Nunn’s wife told The Associated Press and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He was 62, according to his IMDB profile.  Lee was first to announce the news in what became a series of powerful social media tributes to the actor, who starred in Lee’s classic 1989 film “Do The Right Thing” as the boombox aficionado Radio Raheem. The two were both alumni of Morehouse College in Atlanta, which Lee graduated from in 1979 and Nunn in 1976.  More...
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The Huffington Post article
A Letter To Tupac Shakur, 20 Years Later
Huffington Post - 7 months
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Dear Tupac: There is a lot I want to say to you, so much so that I do not know where to begin. There is rarely a day or week that I do not think about your life, and your death, since that fateful day on Friday, September 13, 1996. I have tried, at times, and with great failure, to block you out of my head, to ignore the people who've asked me mad questions about you, about the circumstances of your death. I've been utterly frustrated, even, when it felt, during these past twenty years, like my life, in some ways, and for whatever reasons, is at least partially linked to yours. Maybe I should simply start at the beginning. When I first heard of you, it was when your debut album, "2Pacalypse Now," had just been released. We were still in what we now call the Golden Era of hip-hop, when an incredible and diverse range of rap music was being produced, it felt, every single month, from one new artist or another. At the time, groups like N.W.A and ...
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Huffington Post article
The Real Story Of The Obama's First Date: We Were There
Huffington Post - 7 months
"Southside With You" is a charming, witty, and heartwarming movie of the Obama's first date. My wife Jo and I saw them that night, and the movie has two characters based on us, a couple who run into Barack and Michelle at a movie. This is what really happened. In more than 35 years of teaching and serving now as dean at Harvard Law School, our daughter Martha Minow called me only once to recommend that our law firm recruit one of her students as a summer intern. "I know you don't normally bring on first year students for your summer program at Sidley Austin," she said, "but this one is truly exceptional, and he wants to work in Chicago this summer." I asked, "What's his name?" "Barack Obama," she answered. I replied "Wait a minute, I need to write that down, and you'll have to spell it for me." I called John Levi, the head of our firm's recruiting, who also oversaw the summer program for law students, and discovered that Barack Obama had already been hired. Levi had interviewed ...
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Huffington Post article
Bud Billiken Parade: Black Legacy And Heritage
Huffington Post - 8 months
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Chicago Defender Charities As a kid growing up in Chicago, I always looked forward to the Bud Billiken Parade. It signaled back to school, but also highlighted talent in the black community. Black dignataries, celebrities, athletes, musicians, and marching bands from across the nation would come to the south side of Chicago to march in the parade. It was like a family reunion for African-Americans throughout the country. My family, aunts, and uncles would line King Drive with other participants early in the morning for the best spot to view the parade. You would see old friends that moved away but came to the city every summer so that their children could experience the Bud Billiken Parade. My most vivid memory of the parade was in the 80s. Todd Bridges, who played Willis in Different Strokes, was the celebrity attendee. When his float passed, girls screamed and passed out. As an adult, I moved around a bit, Los Angeles and New York. However, no mat ...
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Huffington Post article
The color orange gets a new meaning
Reuters.com - 10 months
Spike Lee turns the Empire State Building lights orange to mark the start of Gun Violence Awareness Month. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
Article Link:
Reuters.com article
The Blur: To stream or not to stream: Filmmakers face a tough choice on getting their films to audiences
LATimes - 10 months
As everyone knows, Spike Lee has never been afraid to take a strong stand for what he thinks is right. But these days, when he speaks to aspiring young filmmakers, the man who made "Do the Right Thing" says that — at least when it comes to making movies in the digital age — there is not necessarily...
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LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Spike Lee
    FIFTIES
  • 2015
    Age 58
    He has been nominated twice for an Academy Award, but never won; in November 2015, he was given an Honorary Academy Award for his contributions to film-making.
    More Details Hide Details Though very powerful and one of his most memorable films, Do the Right Thing only received a nomination from the Academy in 1990.
    In 2015, Lee received an Academy Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his contributions to film.
    More Details Hide Details Lee is the director, writer, and producer of the MyCareer story mode in the video game NBA 2K16. Lee's films are typically referred to as "Spike Lee Joints" and the closing credits always end with the phrases "By Any Means Necessary", "Ya Dig" and "Sho Nuff". However, his 2013 film Oldboy uses the traditional "A Spike Lee Film" credit after producers heavily re-edited it.
  • 2013
    Age 56
    Nevertheless, in November 2013, the McClains filed a negligence lawsuit which accused Lee of "encouraging a dangerous mob mentality among his Twitter followers, as well as the public-at-large". The lawsuit, which a court filing reportedly valued at $1.2 million, alleged that the couple suffered "injuries and damages" that continued after the initial settlement up through Zimmerman's trial in 2013.
    More Details Hide Details A Seminole County judge dismissed the McClains' suit, agreeing with Lee that the issue had already been settled previously. Early in his career he won the Student Academy Award for his film Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads. He won awards at the Black Reel Awards for Love and Basketball, the Black Movie Awards for Inside Man, and the Berlin International Film Festival for Get on the Bus.
  • 2012
    Age 55
    In March 2012, after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Spike Lee was one of many people who used Twitter to circulate a message which claimed to give the home address of the shooter George Zimmerman.
    More Details Hide Details The address turned out to be incorrect, causing the real occupants, Elaine and David McClain, to leave home and stay at a hotel due to numerous death threats. Lee issued an apology and reached an agreement with the McClains which reportedly included "compensation", with their attorney stating "The McClains’ claim is fully resolved".
  • 2008
    Age 51
    At the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, Lee, who was then making Miracle at St. Anna, about an all-black U.S. division fighting in Italy during World War II, criticized director Clint Eastwood for not depicting black Marines in his own WWII film, Flags of Our Fathers.
    More Details Hide Details Citing historical accuracy, Eastwood responded that his film was specifically about the Marines who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima, pointing out that while black Marines did fight at Iwo Jima, the U.S. military was racially segregated during WWII, and none of the men who raised the flag were black. He angrily said that Lee should "shut his face". Lee responded that Eastwood was acting like an "angry old man", and argued that despite making two Iwo Jima films back to back, Letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers, "there was not one black soldier in both of those films". He added that he and Eastwood were "not on a plantation." Lee later claimed that the event was exaggerated by the media and that he and Eastwood had reconciled through mutual friend Steven Spielberg, culminating in his sending Eastwood a print of Miracle at St. Anna.
  • FORTIES
  • 2005
    Age 48
    In October 2005, Lee responded to a CNN anchor's question as to whether the government intentionally ignored the plight of black Americans during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina catastrophe by saying, "It's not too far-fetched.
    More Details Hide Details I don't put anything past the United States government. I don't find it too far-fetched that they tried to displace all the black people out of New Orleans." In later comments, Lee cited the government's past including the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.
  • 1999
    Age 42
    In May 1999, the New York Post reported that Lee made an inflammatory comment about Charlton Heston, president of the National Rifle Association, while speaking to reporters at the Cannes Film Festival.
    More Details Hide Details Lee was quoted as saying the National Rifle Association should be disbanded and, of Heston, someone should "Shoot him with a .44 Bull Dog." Lee said he intended it as a joke. He was responding to coverage about whether Hollywood was responsible for school shootings. "The problem is guns," he said. Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey condemned Lee as having "nothing to offer the debate on school violence except more violence and more hate."
  • THIRTIES
  • 1997
    Age 40
    His 1997 documentary 4 Little Girls, about the children killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, was nominated for the Best Feature Documentary Academy Award.
    More Details Hide Details On May 2, 2007, the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival honored Spike Lee with the San Francisco Film Society's Directing Award. He received the 2008 Wexner Prize. In 2013, he won The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the richest prizes in the American arts worth $300,000.
  • 1994
    Age 37
    Lee and his wife, attorney Tonya Lewis, had their first child, daughter Satchel, in December 1994.
    More Details Hide Details They also have a son, Jackson, born in 1997. Spike Lee is a fan of the American baseball team the New York Yankees, basketball team the New York Knicks, and the English football team Arsenal. One of the documentaries in ESPN's 30 for 30 series, Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks, focuses partly on Lee's interaction with Miller at Knicks games in Madison Square Garden. In June 2003, Lee sought an injunction against Spike TV to prevent them from using his nickname. Lee claimed that because of his fame, viewers would think he was associated with the new channel. While Lee continues to maintain an office in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, he and his wife live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. As Lee became more well known and his work and comments were followed more closely, he became embroiled in some controversies.
  • 1990
    Age 33
    In mid-1990, Levi's began producing a series of TV commercials directed by Lee for their 501 button fly jeans.
    More Details Hide Details Marketing executives from Nike offered Lee a job directing commercials for the company. They wanted to pair Lee's character, the Michael Jordan–loving Mars Blackmon, and Jordan in a marketing campaign for the Air Jordan line. Later, Lee was called on to comment on the controversy surrounding the inner-city rash of violence involving youths trying to steal Air Jordans from other kids. He said that, rather than blaming manufacturers of apparel that gained popularity, "deal with the conditions that make a kid put so much importance on a pair of sneakers, a jacket and gold". Through the marketing wing of 40 Acres and a Mule, Lee has directed commercials for Converse, Jaguar, Taco Bell and Ben & Jerry's.
    After the 1990 release of Mo' Better Blues, Lee was accused of antisemitism by the Anti-Defamation League and several film critics.
    More Details Hide Details They criticized the characters of the club owners Josh and Moe Flatbush, described as "Shylocks". Lee denied the charge, explaining that he wrote those characters in order to depict how black artists struggled against exploitation. Lee said that Lew Wasserman, Sidney Sheinberg or Tom Pollock, the Jewish heads of MCA and Universal Studios, were unlikely to allow antisemitic content in a film they produced. He said he could not make an antisemitic film because Jews run Hollywood, and "that's a fact".
  • 1989
    Age 32
    Lee's 1989 film Do the Right Thing was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1989.
    More Details Hide Details Many people, including Hollywood's Kim Basinger, believed that Do the Right Thing also deserved a Best Picture nomination. Driving Miss Daisy won Best Picture that year. Lee said in an April 7, 2006 interview with New York magazine that the other film's success, which he thought was based on safe stereotypes, hurt him more than if his film had not been nominated for an award.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1985
    Age 28
    In 1985, Lee began work on his first feature film, She's Gotta Have It. With a budget of $175,000, he shot the film in two weeks. When the film was released in 1986, it grossed over $7,000,000 at the U.S. box office.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1957
    Age 0
    Born on March 20, 1957.
    More Details Hide Details
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