Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why I Love Spike Lee...And Other Random Thoughts

Reviews for both Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Street Kings will be up soon. Possibly tonight. Also, I'm working on a piece called "Oscar Speeches: Best and Worst" that should be up sometime this week.

Now onto the title of this post. Why do I love Spike Lee? So many reasons. Spike Lee is one of my favorite directors, even though he's made more movies I don't like than movies I do like. One of the latter happens to be Do the Right Thing, which remains one of the most important films I've ever seen. It rewards repeat viewings. I love Spike Lee's anger. I love his passion. I love how he doesn't mince words, and he cuts deep. He angers people. He scares people. He is a true artist.

This article from New York Magazine, in which Lee recounts his experiences making Do the Right Thing is one of the better interviews I've ever read. It's short, it's sweet and it tells you so much about the man, who I understand is very guarded and plays his cards very close to his chest. He also reveals his feelings about the Clintons, which I'm not particularly inclined to disagree with at this point in the game.

Peruse the article, but here are some quality quotes from Mr. Lee:
"The Clintons, man, they would lie on a stack of Bibles. Snipers? That’s not misspeaking; that’s some pure bullshit. I voted for Clinton twice, but that’s over with. These old black politicians say, “Ooh, Massuh Clinton was good to us, massuh hired a lot of us, massuh was good!” Hoo! Charlie Rangel, David Dinkins—they have to understand this is a new day. People ain’t feelin’ that stuff. It’s like a tide, and the people who get in the way are just gonna get swept out into the ocean."

And my personal favorite:
"At the last moment, Paramount asked me to change the ending [to "Do the Right Thing"]. They wanted Mookie and Sal to hug and be friends and sing “We Are the World.” They told me this on a Friday; Monday morning we were at Universal."

And that is why I love Spike Lee. Happy Tuesday.

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