Spike Lee

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Posted by kaori 02/25/2009 @ 13:28

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Spike Lee's camera goes one-on-one with Kobe Bryant - Fort Worth Star Telegram
By DAVID MARTINDALE Spike Lee's access to Kobe Bryant was from floor seats at the Staples Center he bought from actor Denzel Washington. ESPN Kobe Doin' Work, a sports film from acclaimed director Spike Lee, is literally all Kobe Bryant all the time....
Chat with Spike Lee - ESPN
On Monday, we bring in legendary filmmaker Spike Lee to chat about his latest piece on Kobe Bryant, "Kobe Doin' Work," which he produced for ESPN. To help celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, ESPN called upon 30 filmmakers to create one-hour...
Kobe Doin' Work - HitFix
Kobe Bryant's battle for a fourth NBA Championship is chronicled in Spike Lee's "Kobe Doin' Work." With unprecedented access and utilizing 30 cameras, Spike Lee brings the audience onto the court with superstar Kobe Bryant as his Lakers battle the...
Tribeca Film Festival: Kobe doin' voiceover - Los Angeles Times
I'm tempted to call Spike Lee's hotly-anticipated documentary, "Kobe Doin' Work," a second-rate Spike Lee Joint, but that's not right because the truth is that it's hardly a Spike Lee Joint at all. The film, which premiered last night at the Borough of...
On Tonight: Kobe on Kobe, Preakness, Last 'MadTV' - Hartford Courant
While using 30 cameras doesn't make the game look that different from what networks can now accomplish, Spike Lee puts a microphone on the Lakers' Kobe Bryant throughout the game. It's surprising what a leadership role he plays, calling out plays on...
Q&A with Spike Lee on new Kobe documentary - NBA.com
By Adena Andrews, NBA.com On April 25, 2008 ESPN Films teamed up with legendary director Spike Lee to create an intimate portrait of one of the NBA's greatest players, Kobe Bryant in the film Kobe Doin' Work. Lee and ESPN Films take us on a journey...
Spike Lee's 'Passing Strange' purchased by PBS at Tribeca Film ... - Entertainment Weekly
PBS acquired director Spike Lee's adaptation of rock musical Passing Strange, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, according to Variety. Strange -- which focuses on a young black man who travels to Europe and exploits his LA persona -- will...
Fear reigns after woman, 97, slain in Oakland - San Francisco Chronicle
In the event Oakland sees the traditional spike in crime in the summer months, it will be politically impossible to cut police officers from the streets. Lett's death has again renewed residents' concerns about crime little more than a month after the...

Spike Lee filmography

Spike Lee in 2007.

Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee is an Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated American film director, producer, writer, and actor, noted for his films that deal with controversial social and political issues. Lee's films are typically referred to as "Spike Lee Joints".

Lee received a Master of Fine Arts from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, which culminated in his thesis film Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, the first student film to be showcased in Lincoln Center's New Directors New Films Festival. Lee's first feature-film She's Gotta Have It was released three years later in 1986. Lee directed, produced, wrote, and acted in his first three feature-films: She's Gotta Have It, School Daze, and Do the Right Thing. Lee has starred or acted in many of his own films, including the role of Mars Blackmon, which he reprieved for a series of Nike commercials that also stared Michael Jordan. He has also been interviewed in and contributed to many documentaries.

In addition to his feature-film credits, Lee has directed a number of music videos by artists such as Prince, Michael Jackson, and Anita Baker. He has also directed music videos for songs featured in films he has directed, including "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy, which was featured heavily in the 1989 film Do the Right Thing.

Spike Lee has been interviewed or appeared as a guest in numerous documentaries.

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Spike Lee

Spike Lee.jpg

Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee (born March 20, 1957) is an Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated American film director, producer, writer, and actor, noted for his films dealing with controversial social and political issues. He also teaches film at New York University and Columbia University. His production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983.

Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Jacqueline Shelton, a teacher of arts and black literature, and William James Edward Lee III, a jazz musician, and composer. Lee moved with his family to Brooklyn, New York when he was a small child. The Fort Greene neighborhood is home to Lee's production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, and other Lee-owned or related businesses. As a child, his mother nicknamed him "Spike." In Brooklyn, he attended John Dewey High School. Lee enrolled in Morehouse College where he made his first student film, Last Hustle in Brooklyn. He took film courses at Clark Atlanta University and graduated with a B.A. in Mass Communication from Morehouse College. He then enrolled in New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He graduated in 1978 with a Master of Fine Arts in Film & Television.

Lee's thesis film, Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, was the first student film to be showcased in Lincoln Center's New Directors New Films Festival.

In 1985, Lee began work on his first feature film, She's Gotta Have It. With a budget of $175,000, the film was shot in two weeks. When the film was released in 1986, it grossed over $7,000,000 at the U.S. box office.

The reception of She's Gotta Have It led Lee down a second career avenue. Marketing executives from Nike offered Lee a job directing commercials for the company. They wanted to pair Lee's character from She's Gotta Have It, the Michael Jordan-loving Mars Blackmon, and Jordan himself in their marketing campaign for the Air Jordan line. Later, Lee would be a central figure in the controversy surrounding the inner-city rash of violence involving Air Jordans. Lee countered that instead of blaming manufacturers of apparel, "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 also directed commercials for Converse, Jaguar, Taco Bell and Ben & Jerry's.

Lee's movies have examined race relations, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues.

Lee's film Do the Right Thing was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1989. Many people, including some in Hollywood, such as Kim Basinger, believed that Do the Right Thing also deserved a Best Picture nomination. "Driving Miss Daisy" won Best Picture that year and according to Spike in an April 7, 2006 interview with New York Magazine, this hurt him more than his film not receiving the nomination.

His documentary 4 Little Girls was nominated for the Best Feature Documentary Academy Award in 1997.

On May 2, 2007, the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival honored Spike Lee with the San Francisco Film Society's Directing Award. He was most recently named the recipient of the next Wexner Prize.

A number of actors have appeared in multiple Spike Lee productions. Joie Lee (Spike's sister) and John Turturro lead the list, each having appeared in nine Spike Lee films. They are followed closely by Roger Guenveur Smith and the late Ossie Davis, who each participated in seven of Lee's projects.

Lee has never shied away from controversial statements and actions involving race relations. In 2002, after headline-grabbing remarks made by Mississippi Senator Trent Lott regarding Senator Strom Thurmond's failed presidential bid, Lee charged that Lott was a "card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan" on ABC's Good Morning America.

Lee was the executive producer of the 1995 film New Jersey Drive, which depicted young African-American auto thieves in northern New Jersey. At the time, the city of Newark had the highest automobile theft rate in the country, and Newark mayor Sharpe James refused to allow filming of New Jersey Drive within the city limits. Years later in the hotly-contested 2002 Newark mayoral campaign, Lee endorsed James's opponent, Cory Booker.

In 2003, Lee filed suit against the Spike TV television network claiming that they were capitalizing on his fame by using his name for their network. The injunction order filed by Spike Lee was eventually lifted.

More recently, Lee commented on the federal government's response to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. Responding to a CNN anchor's question as to whether the government intentionally ignored the plight of black Americans during the disaster, Lee replied, "It's not too far-fetched. 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." On Real Time with Bill Maher, Lee cited the government's past atrocities including the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.

Spike Lee is well-known for his devotion to the New York Knicks professional basketball team. Much of the blame for the Knicks' loss (93-86 to the Indiana Pacers) in Game 5 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, in which "Knick-killer" Reggie Miller scored 25 points in the 4th quarter, was given to Lee. Lee was apparently taunting Miller throughout the 4th quarter, and Miller responded by making shot after shot. Miller also gave the choke sign to Lee. The headline of the New York Daily News the next day sarcastically said, "Thanks A Lot Spike".

At the 2008 Cannes Film Festival Lee, who is 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. Citing historical accuracy, Eastwood responded that his film was specifically about the soldiers who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima, pointing out that while black soldiers did fight at Iwo Jima, the U.S. military was segregated during WWII, and none of the men who raised the flag were black. Eastwood also pointed out that his 1988 film Bird, about the Jazz musician Charlie Parker featured 90% black actors, and sarcastically said that his upcoming movie about post-apartheid South Africa will not feature a white actor in the role of Nelson Mandela. 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." In fact, black Marines are seen in scenes during which the mission is outlined, as well as during the initial landings, when a wounded black Marine is carried away. During the end credits, historical photographs taken during the Battle of Iwo Jima show black Marines. Although black Marines fought in the battle, they were restricted to auxiliary roles such as ammunition supply, and were not involved in the battle's major assaults, but took part in defensive actions.

Lee and his wife, attorney Tonya Lewis, had their first child, daughter Satchel, in December 1994.

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Spike Lee Fellowship

The Spike Lee Fellowship is a top award for thesis film in New York University's graduate film program. Select graduate thesis films are nominated by the department's faculty and one film is selected winner. The award is based on a contribution by filmmaker Spike Lee, who also operates as that department's Creative Director.

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School Daze

School Daze.jpg

School Daze is a 1988 musical-drama film, written and directed by Spike Lee, and starring Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell-Martin. Based in part on Spike Lee's experiences at Atlanta's Morehouse College, it is a story about fraternity and sorority members clashing with other students at a historically black college during homecoming weekend. School Daze was the second feature film directed by Spike Lee, and was released on February 12, 1988 by Columbia Pictures.

Vaughn "Dap" Dunlap (Laurence Fishburne) is a politically conscious African American student at Mission College who leads anti-apartheid demonstrations encouraging students and school administrators to completely divest from South Africa. He also eschews the buffoonery and social climbing of the Greek fraternal system. Dap's craven younger cousin, Darrell, aka "Half-Pint" (Spike Lee), is pledging Gamma Phi Gamma (also known as G-Phi-G or simply G-Phi) fraternity and is willing to endure any humiliation to join the fraternity. While Half-Pint tries unsuccessfully to impress the Gammas with his inept womanizing, Dap engages in debates with Rachel (Kyme), his girlfriend, as well as other Mission students.

Throughout the film, the predominantly light-skinned African American women of the Gamma Rays, a women's auxiliary to the Gamma Phi Gamma fraternity, battle it out with a number of natural-coifed fellow co-eds, who are predominantly dark-skinned. The students at Mission College also battle with the local unemployed and uneducated people living around the campus, who resent the Mission students for taking all of the good jobs.

Spike Lee had the actors stay in separate hotels during filming. The actors playing the "wannabes" had better accommodations than the ones playing the "jigaboos", which contributed to the on-camera animosity between the two camps. (A similar tactic was employed in the making of Animal House with similar results.) In School Daze, the method approach yielded strong results - the fight that occurs at the step show between Dap's crew and the Gammas was not in the script; on the day of the shooting of the scene, the fight broke out, and Lee ordered that the cameras keep rolling.

Spike Lee was asked to stop production on the campuses of Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark Atlanta University during filming because the colleges' Boards of Directors had concerns on how historically black colleges were being portrayed in the film. Lee had to finish filming at the neighboring Morris Brown College.

Three members of the School Daze cast -- Kadeem Hardison, Darryl M. Bell, and Jasmine Guy -- became principal cast members on the Cosby Show spin-off A Different World, a TV series about life at a historically black college. Other School Daze cast members also appeared on A Different World, including Dominic Hoffman, Tisha Campbell, Art Evans, Guy Killum and Roger Guenveur Smith.

Though "Mission College," and "Gamma Phi Gamma" were fictional, a chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity actually appears in School Daze.

Musical performances are throughout, including the production "Good or Bad Hair", a fantasy dis-fest between the Wannabes and Jigaboos, and "Be Alone Tonight" performed by Campbell (as Jane Toussaint and her Royal Court) at a talent competition. The go-go anthem "Da Butt" is performed by the group E.U. during the after-party for the Gammites.

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Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington cropped.jpg

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. (born December 28, 1954) is an American actor and director. He has garnered much critical acclaim for his work in film since the 1990s, including for his portrayals of real-life figures, such as Steve Biko, Malcolm X, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Melvin B. Tolson, Frank Lucas and Herman Boone.

Washington has been awarded three Golden Globe awards and two Academy Awards for his work. He is notable as the second African American man (after Sidney Poitier) to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, which he received for his role in the 2001 film Training Day.

Denzel Washington was born in Mount Vernon, near to New York City, in 1954. His mother, Lennis "Lynne", was a beauty parlor-owner and operator born in Georgia and partly raised in Harlem. His father, Reverend Denzel Washington, Sr., was an ordained Pentecostal minister and also worked for the Water Department and at a local department store, "S. Klein".

Washington attended grammar school at Pennington-Grimes Elementary School in Mount Vernon, and in 1968, at the age of 14, he was sent to a private preparatory school, Oakland Military Academy, in New Windsor in New York State, followed by Mainland High School, a public high school in Daytona Beach, Florida, from 1970-71. Washington was interested in attending Texas Tech University: "I grew up in the Boys Club in Mount Vernon, and we were the Red Raiders. So when I was in high school, I wanted to go to Texas Tech in Lubbock just because they were called the Red Raiders and their uniforms looked like ours." Nevertheless, Washington earned a B.A. in Drama and Journalism from Fordham University in 1977. At Fordham, he played collegiate basketball as a Freshman guard under coach P. J. Carlesimo. After a period of bouncing from major to major and briefly dropping out of school for a semester, Washington worked as a counselor at an overnight summer camp called Camp Sloan YMCA in Lakeville CT. After participating in a staff talent show for the campers, a colleague suggested he try acting. Returning to Fordham that fall with a renewed purpose and focus, he enrolled at the Lincoln Center campus to study acting, snagging the title character in both Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones, and William Shakespeare's Othello, where he earned rave reviews. Upon graduation, he was given a scholarship to attend graduate school at the prestigious American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, where he stayed for one year before deciding to return to New York to begin a professional acting career.

Washington spent the summer of 1976 in Southern Maryland, in St. Mary's City, acting summer stock theater in the Wings of the Morning, the Maryland State play. Shortly after graduating from Fordham, Washington made his professional acting debut in the 1977 made-for-television movie Wilma. He made his film debut in the 1981 film Carbon Copy.

His big break came when he starred in the popular television hospital drama, St. Elsewhere from 1982 to 1988. He was one of a few actors to appear on the series for its entire six-year run. In 1987, after appearing in several minor television, film and stage roles, Washington starred as South African Anti-Apartheid political activist Steve Biko in Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom, a role for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 1989, Washington won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing a defiant, self-possessed ex-slave in the film Glory. Also that same year, he gave a powerful performance as the conflicted and disillusioned Reuben James, a Caribbean-born British soldier who, despite a distinguished military career abroad, turns to a life of vigilantism and violence upon his return to civilian life in For Queen and Country.

In March, 1990 he starred in the Spike Lee movie Mo' Better Blues as Bleek Gilliam. In the Summer of 1992 he starred in a movie called Mississippi Masala where he played the character Demetrius Williams. Washington played one of his most critically acclaimed roles in 1992's Malcolm X, directed by Spike Lee. His performance as the Black Nationalist leader earned him an Oscar nomination. Both the influential film critic Roger Ebert and the highly acclaimed film director Martin Scorsese called the movie one of the ten best films made during the 1990s.

Malcolm X transformed Washington's career, turning him, practically overnight, into one of Hollywood's most respected actors. He turned down several similar roles, such as an offer to play Martin Luther King, Jr., because he wanted to avoid being typecast. The next year, in 1993, he took another risk in his career by playing Joe Miller, the homophobic lawyer of a homosexual man with AIDS in the movie Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks. During the early and mid 1990s, Washington became a renowned Hollywood leading man, starring in several successful thrillers, including The Pelican Brief and Crimson Tide, as well as comedies (Much Ado About Nothing) and romantic dramas (The Preacher's Wife).

While filming the 1995 film Virtuosity, Washington refused to kiss his white female co-star, Kelly Lynch, during a romantic scene between their characters. During an interview, Lynch stated that while she wanted to, "Denzel felt very strongly about it. I felt there is no problem with interracial romance. But Denzel felt strongly that the white males, who were the target audience of this movie, would not want to see him kiss a white woman." Lynch further stated, "That's a shame. I feel badly about it. I keep thinking that the world's changed, but it hasn't changed quick enough." A similar situation also occurred during the filming of The Pelican Brief when Julia Roberts expressed in an interview her desire to have her character in the film engaged in a romantic relationship with Washington's character. And an additional occurrence was in the 1989 film The Mighty Quinn where Washington's Quinn character did not kiss Mimi Rogers' alluring Hadley character. However, in 1998, Washington starred in a scene of a sexual nature with actress Milla Jovovich, in Spike Lee's He Got Game.

In 1999, Washington starred in The Hurricane, a movie about boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, whose conviction for triple murder was overturned after he had spent almost 20 years in prison. Various newspaper articles have suggested that the controversy over the film's accuracy may have cost Washington an Oscar for which he was nominated. Washington did receive a Golden Globe Award in 2000 and a 'Silberner Bär' (Silver Berlin Bear) at the Berlin International Film Festival for the role.

He also presented the Arthur Ashe ESPY Award to Loretta Claiborne for her courage. He appeared as himself in the end of The Loretta Claiborne Story movie. Washington is often cited as an example of human physical attractiveness due to the symmetry of his facial features.

In 2000, Washington appeared in the crowd-pleasing Disney film, Remember the Titans, which grossed over $100 million at the United States box office. He was nominated and won an Oscar for Best Actor for his next film, the 2001 cop thriller, Training Day, as Det. Alonzo Harris, a rogue LAPD cop with questionable law-enforcement tactics. The role was a much-acclaimed change-of-pace for the actor, who was known for playing many heroic leads. Washington was the second African-American performer ever to win an Academy Award in the category of Best Actor (for Training Day), the first being Sidney Poitier, who happened to receive an Honorary Academy Award the same night that Washington won for Best Actor. Washington holds the record for most Oscar nominations by an actor of African descent; so far he has earned five.

After appearing in 2002's box office success, the health care-themed John Q., Washington directed his first film, a well-reviewed drama called Antwone Fisher, in which he also co-starred.

Between 2003 and 2004, Washington appeared in a series of thrillers that performed generally well at the box office, including Out of Time, Man on Fire, and The Manchurian Candidate. In 2006 he starred in Inside Man, a Spike Lee-directed bank heist thriller co-starring Jodie Foster and Clive Owen, and Déjà Vu released in November 2006.

In 2007, he co-starred with Russell Crowe in American Gangster. Later, Denzel directed and starred in the drama The Great Debaters with Forest Whitaker.

In 2005, after a 15-year hiatus (he was last seen in the summer of 1990 in the title role of the Public Theater's production of Shakespeare's Richard III) , Washington appeared onstage again in another Shakespeare play as Marcus Brutus in Julius Caesar on Broadway. The production's limited run was a consistent sell-out, averaging over 100% attendance capacity nightly despite receiving universally terrible reviews.

Washington will next star as New York City subway security chief Zachary "Z" Garber in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, a remake of the 70's thriller, The Taking of Pelham One, Two Three, opposite John Travolta and directed by Tony Scott, opening in July 2009. He is also attached to star as CIA intelligence officer Brandon Scofield in the film adaptation of Robert Ludlum's Cold War spy thriller The Matarese Circle, and in February 2009, he will begin filming The Book of Eli, a post-Apocalyptic drama set in the near future.

In 1983, Washington married actress Pauletta Pearson (now Pauletta Washington), whom he met on the set of his first screen role, Wilma. The couple have four children: John David (b. July 28, 1984), who signed a football contract with the St. Louis Rams in May 2006 after playing college football at Morehouse; Katia (b. November 1987), who is attending Yale University, and twins Olivia and Malcolm (named in honor of Malcolm X)(b. April 10, 1991). In 1995, the couple renewed their wedding vows in South Africa with Archbishop Desmond Tutu officiating.

Washington and his family visited soldiers at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He later made a sizable donation to the Fisher Houses, small hotels that provide rooms for soldiers' families while the soldiers are hospitalized. In October 2006, he published a bestseller entitled A Hand to Guide Me, featuring actors, politicians, athletes, and other public figures recalling their childhood mentors. The book was published in commemoration of the Boys and Girls Club of America's centennial anniversary, because Washington had participated in the club as a child.

Washington is a devout Christian. He goes to Church with actress Angela Bassett at LA's West Angeles Church of God in Christ. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia named Washington as one of three people (the others being directors Oliver Stone and Michael Moore) with whom they were willing to negotiate for the release of three defense contractors that the group had held captive from 2003 to 2008.

On May 18, 1991, Washington was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Fordham University, for having "impressively succeeded in exploring the edge of his multifaceted talent". He also was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities from Morehouse College on May 20, 2007.

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Source : Wikipedia