Spike Lee Essay

1488 words - 6 pages

Shelton Jackson Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia March 20, 1957. Born to teacher Jacqueline Carroll and jazz musician William James Edward Lee, Shelton grew up in Brooklyn, New York where he was provided with a rich cultural upbringing that included plays, movies, and music (Gale 1). At a young age, Lee was nicknamed “Spike” by his mother who noticed his rough nature and the nickname stuck well into his adult life. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where he gained an interest in film and then graduated with a Bachelors degree in Mass Communication. Lee went on to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he created his first student film and graduated in 1982 with a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television. Being one of the few black students to attend Tisch School of the Arts, the aspiring filmmaker’s first year at New York University was a particularly difficult one. Lee’s experiences, race, and upbringing have all led him to create controversial films to provide audiences with an insight into racial issues.
Spike Lee’s first student production, The Answer, was a short ten minute film which told of a young black screenwriter who rewrote D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. The film was not well accepted among the faculty at New York University, stating Lee had not yet mastered “film grammar.” Lee went on to believe the faculty took offense to his criticisms towards the respected director’s stereotypical portrayals of black characters (1). For his final film project, Lee wrote, produced, and directed Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads. The film won him the 1983 Student Academy Award for Best Director and the Lincoln Center chose the film as its first student production. The film was located in Brooklyn, where the majority of his movies take place.
After graduation, Lee decided to start a film based upon a New York bicycle messenger. The movie never went into production due to a dispute between Lee and the Screen Actors Guild who did not grant him a waiver which would have allowed him to use nonunion actors. Lee believed they did not grant him the waiver due to his race. This experience only added to his determination to make films portraying other racial issues currently circulating the country.
With a burning determination from his previous refusal, Lee scrapped together funds to create She’s Gotta Have It, a low budget film made in two weeks about a black woman’s encounters with three men. Starring himself as one of the men, a trait very common through out his film career, the movie was an expected success in the United States making $7 million. She’s Gotta Have It emphasized the gender issue of double standards that women face when dating several men at a time. The film, although not directly about racial issues, was definitely a black film which set off his important and controversial career (Sheridan 4).
To continue his controversial career, Lee followed She’s Gotta Have It with School Daze,...

Find Another Essay On Spike Lee

Do the Right Thing, directed by Spike Lee

751 words - 3 pages look into the racial animosities of the time period. Works Cited Reid, Mark A. “Black Comedy on the Verge of a Breakdown.” Redefining Black Film. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993. Watkins, Craig. “Producing Ghetto Pictures.” Representing: Hip Hop Culture and the Production of Black Cinema. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1998. 169-195. Do The Right Thing, Dir. Spike Lee, 1989.

Critical Analysis on the movie "Do the right thing" by Spike Lee.

2333 words - 9 pages I dearly love the film and maintain that it's one of the great pictures from the last 10 years. I don't know what the director of this movie (Spike Lee) intended the moral to be, but my take on the film has always been that NO ONE does the right thing, and this is the cautionary element of the movie. The racial message about racial injustice is very deep and one that every race should see. The climax of the movie is very powerful and deep. The

Untitled

1282 words - 5 pages What is the right thing to do? An isolated and seeming out of the way part of the city is how Spike Lee has set up the life of the people in Do the Right Thing. Being nothing but peoples of a poor and struggling society of New York the movie shows how strong the feelings can become between these. The viewers received the reason for the movie in different ways, and in some places it also shows how Spike Lee wanted people to understand it.Spike

Fight the Power

1034 words - 5 pages Aside from the leisure to watch movies, film studies is another step into the implicit movie analysis. In the award winning American comedy-drama film, Do The Right Thing (1989), Spike Lee portrays the racial and social issues over the plot duration of twenty-four hours during the hottest day of the summer in Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. The story centers around the ethnic tension between the Italian-American family

Do the right thing

1064 words - 4 pages harass. Toes are then stepped on and apologies are not made. Spike Lee creates the perfect set-up for a modern day in Bed-Stuyvesant. Without fail Spike Lee is transformed into an anthropologist. Spike Lee’s goal is to allow viewers to glimpse into the lives of real people and into a neighborhood they call home. After all this isn’t just some flight into an imaginary ghetto. It’s a journey into real life, real people and of course real circumstances

“Yo! Hold up! Time out!”

1789 words - 7 pages In the midst of a time period of racial conflict, Nike releases an ad with whites and blacks bashing each other due to the stereotypes created by each race. My initial reaction to the ad was “Alright, this is Spike Lee here,”I didn’t expect a nice ad since he wasn’t his usual “Mars Blackmon” character from the Jordan commercials, the playful sneaker lover from Spike Lee’s own film She’s Gotta Have It. The rant said by both races reminded me of

Analysis of the Spike Lee's Movie Do the Right Thing

537 words - 2 pages Analysis of the Spike Lee's Movie Do the Right Thing For my shot analysis I chose a shot from the Spike Lee Movie Do the Right Thing. This is the second shot following the climactic riot scene. It features Da’ Mayor and Mother Sister reacting to the hellacious events of the previous night. The block was just devastated by a melee that broke out because the police killed Radio Raheem after he and Sal got in an altercation that was triggered

do the right thing

1899 words - 8 pages The 1989 film Do the Right Thing displays a story about racial tension in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. Spike Lee not only directed and produced this film but he was also the main character, Mookie. In spite of maintaining these three jobs, Lee incorporated cinematic techniques that allowed his film to unlock controversial ideals for both Caucasian and African-American viewers. Through the use of camera elements Lee was able to

Exploring the Movie, Do The Right Thing

1410 words - 6 pages interesting to me is to think about what Spike Lee considered the right and wrong thing to do in this screenplay. It’s not just his words as an actor playing a role, he also wrote, directed, and produced the vehicle for those words and actions to come to life. So it’s hard to separate Spike from Mookie, and I don’t think Spike would even want us to. I also wonder about some changes from the screenplay and the film, and the effect the have on the overall

Film Review of Do the Right Thing

1079 words - 4 pages The Reality of the Melting Pot Tempers explode, emotions take charge, and a Italian-run pizzeria in a black Brooklyn neighborhood becomes the center of a violent conflict on a hot summer day in Spike Lee?s Do the Right Thing.The film is a day-in-the-life of the Bedford-Stuyvesant community and it is one of the hottest days of the summer. Much of the action takes place around or inside the Sal?s Famous Pizzeria, owned and operated by Sal (Danny

Do the Right Thing Scene Analysis

1342 words - 5 pages Do the Right Thing is a dramatic comedic film that was directed by Spike Lee. The movie was released in 1989. Lee served in three capacities for the film: writer, director and producer of the movie, Ernest Dickenson was the cinematographer and Barry Alexander Brown was the film’s editor. For this film, Lee garnered together some notable actors and actresses, including Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Rosie Perez, Samuel L. Jackson, John Tuturro and

Similar Essays

Spike Lee Essay

985 words - 4 pages Spike Lee is considered to be one of the underrated directors of our time. He was born on March 20, 1957 in Atlanta. He grew up with a supportive family. He started making amateur films at the age of 20.After graduating NYU film school he was ready for the world. He already overcame the fact that African-American filmmakers were narrow. His big break started when he earned seven million in box office for a movie which priced at $175,000 to make

Spike Lee & Condoleezza Rice Essay

555 words - 2 pages Spike LeeShelton Jackson Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 20, 1957. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, an area that would become the setting of many of his films. Lee's awareness of his African American heritage was established at an early age. His mother, Jacquelyn, instilled within her children, an appreciation for African American art and literature. By the time he was old enough to attend school, Lee had earned the nickname his

Film Analysis: Clockers Directed By Spike Lee

1916 words - 8 pages Spike Lee is an 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". Most of his films focus on the perspective on African American culture throughout the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. For centuries racism was the norm in America. Director Spike Lee can be considered as the modern day racism opponent. His

Do The Right Thing By Spike Lee

1845 words - 7 pages this case the Italian pizza shop is owned by Italian immigrants, and this is significant. Urban isolation, and the daily struggles and tension are a powerful part of, Do the Right Thing. The fights that erupt as the heat in the inner city rises, and so do tempers and frustrations. Spike Lee does a great job of revealing the realities of how harsh life in the inner city is for those who are in an urban jungle, and how that will shape their lives