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Spike Lee DIRECTOR




SPIKE LEE BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
 
Producer, director, actor Spike Lee was born Shelton Lee on March 20, 1957 in Atlanta, Georgia. He got his nickname of “Spike” from his mother, who gave it to him as toddler because he was tough. Shortly after his birth, the family relocated to Chicago, Illinois. Then they moved to Brooklyn’s Forte Greene neighborhood, which was mostly made up of black families. His parents made sure that Lee grew up with culture by taking him to various museums, plays, music performances, and movies. He attended St. Anne’s, a school his mother taught at, John Dewey High School, and then Morehouse College, which made him the third generation of his family to enroll at the all male, traditionally black school. 
 
During sophomore year he became interested in film, and simultaneously took film courses at Clark-Atlanta University, where he made his first movie, “Last Hustle in Brooklyn” (1977). After graduating from Morehouse with a B.A. in mass communications, he enrolled in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in film production. For his final film project, Lee made “Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads” (1983), a drama set in a neighborhood barbershop. His thesis film won him a Student Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and also became the first student production to be showcased in Lincoln Center’s “New Directors, New Films” series.
 
In 1985 Lee began working on his first feature film, “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986). He shot the picture in two weeks with a budget of only $175,000. The movie, about a woman and her sexual relationships with three different men (one of them played by Lee), earned $7,000,000 once picked up by Island Pictures and distributed at the box office. Hollywood took major notice of the filmmaker, and in 1988 he had his major studio debut with “School Daze”. The picture, based off his four years at Morehouse College, explores the conflicts between light and dark-skinned blacks. It doubled its cost, but his next movie, “Do the Right Thing” (1989), really launched Lee to the top of the filmmaking community.
 
The picture was controversial, provocative, and illuminated the racial tension between Brooklyn’s Italians and African Americans. It was one of the year’s most talked about, earning Lee an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay. The director’s next, “Mo’ Better Blues” (1990), was the story of a jazz trumpeter, inspired by his father, who was a jazz composer and bassist. The film received modest success.
 
Lee stirred up controversy again with his subsequent feature “Jungle Fever” (1991), about interracial sex. He used another heated subject next, for “Malcom X” (1992), a three hour biopic on the influential black leader. The movie turned into a huge success.
 
Lee took a break from the controversial films he had been creating to make “Crooklyn” (1994), a comparatively light tale of a 1970s Brooklyn family. After, he filmed a crime drama titled “Clockers” (1995). In 1996, the filmmaker released “Girl 6”, a story about a young actress who is forced to take employment as a phone-sex operator, and “Get on the Bus”, a politically charged picture about twelve men who travel from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. to take part in the Million Man March. In 1997 he made a powerful documentary style film about the lives of four girls who were killed in a terrorist bombing at a church in Birmingham, Alabama, called “4 Little Girls”. It earned an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature.
 
Lee followed with “He Got Game” (1998), a collegiate film about the dark side of athletic recruiting. “Bamboozled” (2000), a satire on the stereotyping of African Americans by a predominantly white society, came shortly after, followed by a segment on “Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet” (2002), “25th Hour” (2002), and “She Hate Me” (2004).

2006 brought “Inside Man”, a top notch thriller about a heist turned hostage situation, as well as the critically acclaimed television documentary about Hurricane Katrina, “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts”.  Lee continued working in TV, returning to features in 2008 with “Miracle at St. Anna”, a look at four African American soldiers trapped in an Italian village during the Second World War. The movie was admired for bringing to attention the black soldiers that fought in the war –known as buffalo soldiers – although some critics complained that the film didn’t quite live up to its idea.
 
Lee’s most recent film was “Red Hook Summer” (2012), the story of a boy who goes to live with his grandfather (whom he has never seen before) for the summer. He is currently working on a film titled “Oldboy”, which explores the struggles a mediocre man has when he tries to discover why he has been imprisoned in a room for the past fifteen years.

  
Filmography
 
????       Oldboy 
 
2012       Red Hook Summer  
 
2012       Evolution of a Criminal 
 
2012       The Girl Is in Trouble 
 
2012       You're Nobody 'til Somebody Kills You 
 
2011       Doubles with Slight Pepper 
 
2011       Pariah 
 
2011       Da Brick

2010       If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise

2010       Dream Street  
 
2009       Saint John of Las Vegas 
 
2009       Kobe Doin' Work 
 
2009       Great Performances 
 
2008       Miracle at St. Anna 
 
2007       Lovers & Haters 
 
2007       M.O.N.Y.
 
2006       When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts 
 
2006       Shark 
 
2006       Inside Man 
 
2005       Miracle's Boys
 
2005       All the Invisible Children 
 
2005       Jesus Children of America
 
2004       C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America

2004       She Hate Me
 
2004       Sucker Free City 
 
2003       Good Fences 
 
2002       25th Hour 
 
2002       Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet 
 
2002       Jim Brown: All American 
 
2002       25th Hour  
 
2001       The Concert for New York City 
 
2001       A Huey P. Newton Story 
 
2001       The Making of 'Bamboozled'
 
2001       Home Invaders
 
2001       Come Rain or Come Shine
 
2001       3 A.M. 
 
2000       Bamboozled
 
2000       The Original Kings of Comedy 
 
2000       Love & Basketball 
 
2000       And Ya Don't Stop: Hip Hop's Greatest Videos, Vol. 1 
 
1999       Pavarotti & Friends 99 for Guatemala and Kosovo
 
1999       The Best Man
 
1999       Summer of Sam

1998       He Got Game  
 
1998       Freak  
 
1998       Great Performances 

1997       Michael Jackson: HIStory on Film - Volume II
 
1997       4 Little Girls 
 
1996       Get on the Bus
 
1996       Girl 6 
 
1995       Lumière and Company

1995       Clockers 
 
1995       Tales from the Hood

1995       New Jersey Drive 
 
1994       Drop Squad
 
1994       Crooklyn 
 
1992       Ghostwriter 
 
1992       Malcolm X 
 
1991       Jungle Fever

1991       Coca Cola Pop Music Backstage Pass to Summer

1990       Mo' Better Blues 
 
1989       Do the Right Thing 
 
1988       School Daze
 
1986       She's Gotta Have It

1983       Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads 
 
1981       Sarah 
 
1980       The Answer 
 
1977       Last Hustle in Brooklyn







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