Spike Lee's Controversial Films

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Spike Lee

Producer, director, writer and actor Spike Lee creates controversial films that explore race relations, political issues and urban crime and violence. His films include She's Gotta Have It and Do the Right Thing. Lee became a director of promise with his first feature film, She's Gotta Have It, in 1986. The film was shot in two weeks and cost $175,000 to make, but grossed more than $7 million at the box office, making it one of the most profitable films made in 1986. While a person's race shouldn’t dictate the quality of the films they make, it unfortunately does affect the amount of opportunity they receive in Hollywood to make films. While Researching Black Directors I found that most end up working in television or suffer long
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At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended school in Morehouse College in Atlanta where Last Hustle in Brooklyn was completed and developed his film making skills at Clark Atlanta University. Married lawyer Tonya Linette Lewis in 1993 and has one son, Satchel. He started up his own production company 40 Acres and a Mule and directed first feature, She's Gotta Have It, 1986; also directs music videos and commercials for Nike/Air Jordan. Trustee of Morehouse College, 1992. Multitude of awards include: Student Directors Academy Award, for Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, 1980; U.S. Independent Spirit Award for First Film, New Generation Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and Prix de Jeunesse, Cannes Film Festival, all for She's Gotta Have It, 1986; U.S. Independent Spirit Award, Best Picture, L.A. Film Critics, and Best Picture, Chicago Film Festival, all for Do the Right Thing, 1989; Essence Award, …show more content…
Spike Lee refuses to be content with presenting blacks in their "acceptable" stereotypes: noble Poitiers demonstrating simple moral righteousness are nowhere to be found. Lee's characters are three-dimensional and often vulnerable to moral criticism. His first feature film, She's Gotta Have It, dealt with black sexuality, unapologetically supporting the heroine's promiscuity. It also reflects the sensibilities of an already sophisticated filmmaker and harkens back to the early French New Wave in its exuberant embracing of exceptional technique—black-and-white cinematography, a sense of improvisation, characters directly addressing the camera—all wedded nevertheless to serious philosophical/sociological examination. The considerable comedy in She's Gotta Have It caused many critics to call Spike Lee the "black Woody Allen," a label which would increasingly reveal itself as a rather simplistic particularly as Lee's career developed. (Indeed, in his work's energy, style, eclecticism, and social commitment, he more resembles Martin Scorsese, a Lee mentor at the NYU film

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