Thursday, April 16, 2009
Soul Cinema Star Director of the Month
Spike Lee was born Shelton Lee in 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from a proud and intelligent background. His father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a school teacher. He attended school in Morehouse College in Atlanta and developed his film making skills at Clark Atlanta University. After graduating from Morehouse, to go to the Tisch School of Arts graduate film program. He made a controversial short, The Answer (1980), a reworking of D. W. Griffith's, The Birth of a Nation (1915) -- a ten-minute film. In 1986, Spike Lee made the film, She's Gotta Have It (1986), a comedy about sexual relationships. His next movie was School Daze (1988), which was set in a historically black school and focused mostly on the conflict between the school and the Fraternities. Lee went on to do his landmark film, Do The Right Thing (1989), a movie specifically about his own town in Brooklyn, New York. The movie portrayed a neighborhood (Bed-Stuy, to be exact) on a very hot day, and the racial tensions that emerge. The movie garnered an Oscar nomination, for Danny Aiello, for supporting actor. It also sparked a debate on racial relations and exactly where Lee was taking the film.
Lee went on to make other movies, such as, Mo Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Get on the Bus and many others. Bamboozled (2000), proved so over the top and too much for Hollywood. The movie made a near mockery out of television and the way African-Americans are perceived by white America and the way African-Americans perceive themselves. The movie, however, was a resounding critical success. His personal life has become somewhat well known, too. He had a relationship with Halle Barry and started a family with Tonya Lewis Lee , with whom he has two children. Lee is also known to have an obsessive love of the New York Knicks.
What is your favorite Spike Lee movie and why? Please post your comments. Thank you.
This bio is courtesy of Internet Movie Database. For more information on Spike Lee please visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000490/bio.