106 Great Directors: Spike Lee

“I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to express the views of black people who otherwise don’t have access to power and the media. I have to take advantage of that while I’m still bankable.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Do The Right Thing.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Do the Right Thing.

What Did I Watch: Chi-Raq.

Where Does He Fit: Chi-Raq is a mess. This is high praise. Sure, the momentum stops dead for a very long time just for a preacher’s sermon that is, well, preachy (and it’s when shit gets really weird). The stuff at the end with Chicago becoming a utopia is deranged, and so is the karaoke number at the beginning, but my goodness do the women embrace this. Angela Bassett being best in show is unsurprising, but Teyonah Parris is relevatory, and Jennifer Hudson gives a better performance than in Dreamgirls even without singing. The rhymes and politics and enhanced by Lee throwing every technique in the book at the wall, and it results in a mad screed that is for the ages despite being hugely current.


Most Valuable Asset: Rhythms and awareness.
Most Excited For: 25th Hour.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: “Documentarian” Robert Flaherty.


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