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Spike+Lee%3A+Interviews

Spike Lee: Interviews

Edited by Cynthia Fuchs

272 pp., 10 b&w film stills

1578064708 Paper $25.00T

Paper, $25.00

"I realized that you just have to be two or three-four-times better. You don't sit there and brood about it. This is something you just know, growing up black."

Since his first feature movie, She's Gotta Have It (1986), gave him critical and commercial success, Spike Lee has challenged audiences with one controversial film after another, sparking debates about race, sex, American politics and film production, and garnering award nominations along the way.

Spike Lee: Interviews collects the best interviews and profiles of America's most prominent African American filmmaker. The collection features interviews with such luminaries as Charlie Rose, Elvis Mitchell, Michael Sragow, and actor Delroy Lindo.

Lee has made a broad range of movies, including documentaries (4 Little Girls), musicals (School Daze), crime dramas (Clockers), biopics (Malcolm X). An early advocate of digital video, he used the technology to film both of his 2000 releases, The Original Kings of Comedy and Bamboozled.

Reactions to Do the Right Thing (1989) and Jungle Fever (1990) propelled Lee into a constant presence in the public eye as media currency. He directed commercials for Nike, Levi's, and the U.S. Navy, directed music videos, published seven books, and conducted many interviews explaining and clarifying his views. As Lee puts it, "I've been blessed with the opportunity to express the views of black people who otherwise don't have access to power and media. I have to take advantage of that while I'm still bankable."

Articulate and deeply passionate, Lee reveals a degree of subtlety and wit that is often lost in sound bites and headlines about him. The range of his interests is as diverse as the subjects of, and approaches to, his films.

Cynthia Fuchs, an associate professor of English at George Mason University, writes film and media reviews for the Philadelphia City Paper and Addicted to Noise.

272 pp., 10 b&w film stills