Author Topic: Spike Lee  (Read 43774 times)

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MacGuffin

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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #120 on: September 11, 2006, 02:05:30 AM »
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Spike Lee develops post-Katrina drama for NBC

Spike Lee will follow his documentary on Hurricane Katrina with a scripted drama for NBC set in New Orleans.

Titled "NoLa," after the local slang for the Big Easy, the project is a multicultural ensemble exploring the post-Katrina lives of New Orleans residents from different social and economic backgrounds.

"It's a show about the city trying to rebuild itself and the people who are trying to put their lives together," said Lee, who will travel to New Orleans this week with screenwriter Sid Quashie to meet with residents.
 
Lee began thinking about a TV series set in post-Katrina New Orleans while he was filming his HBO documentary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts." Like the documentary, "NoLa" will be infused with humor. Lee is set to executive produce and direct the project if NBC decides to turn the script into a pilot.

"It's our goal to make great cinema for television," Lee said of his approach to the show.

Stylistically, he will pay homage to the great tradition of Italian neorealism, a 1942-52 movement in Italian cinema that involved such acclaimed filmmakers as Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini and spawned such films as De Sica's "The Bicycle Thief" and "Miracle in Milan."

Set among the poor and working class and filmed on location, Italian neorealist films contend mostly with the difficult economic and moral conditions of postwar Italy, reflecting the changes in the Italian psyche and the conditions of everyday life: defeat, poverty and desperation.

Lee is taking similar approach to the stories of Katrina survivors who are picking up the pieces of their shattered lives.

"NoLa" would be filmed on location in New Orleans.

"We don't have to build sets," Lee said wryly. "Things there still look like the city's been bombed out."

Taking another page from the book of Italian neorealism, Lee plans to add to the authentic feel of the show by having some of the most colorful people featured in the documentary -- like Phyllis Montana LeBlanc -- written into the script as supporting characters and appear as fictional versions of themselves.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #121 on: September 11, 2006, 02:44:58 AM »
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I've never taken any show serious. Not The Sopranos, not the cutest new comedy on the block, but this one has potential. Can a TV show finally translate into art?

cine

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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #122 on: September 11, 2006, 03:04:49 AM »
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I've never taken any show serious. . . Can a TV show finally translate into art?
finally?
maybe in your eyes but for the majority of us, this wouldn't be the first time.

Gold Trumpet

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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #123 on: September 11, 2006, 03:29:32 AM »
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I've never taken any show serious. . . Can a TV show finally translate into art?
finally?
maybe in your eyes but for the majority of us, this wouldn't be the first time.

I wouldn't know by your guys comments. Either shows suck or are great or are some other adjective.

Pubrick

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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #124 on: September 11, 2006, 07:49:46 AM »
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you're alone on this one GT. heapsa shows are works of art. maybe you think otherwise cos the only thing you watch is sports and porn, so you think of tv as just a way to get off, or as "pure entertainment" or as whatever reason you watch sports for.. to stop thinking probably.

i'm not saying TV can be art simply cos i love it, some of my favourite TV shows are just "great television" and nothing more, but there have been some shows that have redefined television not only by perfecting existing forms, but by escaping the limitations imposed by those very forms and attempting new functions.. not just to entertain, but to reflect en masse with great insight the culture which created it and perpetuates it. either by nostalgia (freaks and geeks, and to a lesser extent the wonder years) or satire (the simpsons, seinfeld), and that's just a few examples from american television.

in its best moments, tv offers an altogether unique reflection of who we are -- our absurdities, our tragedies, our most human qualities -- with greater consistency, accuracy, and efficacy than the best movies.

haven't you seen Masturbating Bear??
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

MacGuffin

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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #125 on: September 15, 2006, 08:37:02 PM »
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Spike Lee continues attack on Bush over Katrina response

American filmmaker Spike Lee continued at the Toronto film festival to berate US President George W. Bush over Washington's response to Hurricane Katrina, ahead of US mid-term elections in November.

"This is the worst president in the history of the United States of America. He's taken us to hell in a handbag. Even his fellow Republicans are trying to move away (from him)," Lee said.

"The mid-term elections are coming up. I hope people finally wake up and don't go for okey doke again, get hoodwinked, led astray, run amok or hornswaggled," he said.

Two weeks earlier, Lee blasted President Bush in Venice where his film about the storm fallout "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" won an award for best documentary.

The movie, shown on cable television in the United States and Canada, provides a detailed chronology of events through the eyes of survivors and documents the anger of America's black underclass at government inaction.

It allows people to linger with the victims, beyond the news coverage of the storm, to wade through Katrina's putrid detritus, and hear and see their desperation, anger and, ultimately, their resolve.

But, Lee noted: "As we sit here today, not much has changed in New Orleans. On August 29th, the president went down there and had a lot of (expletive) photo ops, talked about rebuilding ... It's not the case. People are still struggling day-to-day."

"The ninth ward still looks like somebody dropped a bomb on it," he said.

Seventy-five percent of the people of New Orleans, mostly African-American, who fled the storm, are still spread out across the United States, and there are no plans and even some opposition to repatriate them, he said.

"It was so offensive for me to see (President Bush) down there, smiling and acting like he really cares ... If he cared, it wouldn't have taken the federal government five days to get there. If he cared, many things would be taking place now." said Lee.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #126 on: October 14, 2006, 06:39:41 PM »
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Spike Lee to Speak in Santa Cruz

Monday, November 27th, 2006, 8pm, at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz, California.  Tickets on sale now.

For more information, go to:
http://artslectures.ucsc.edu/artistpages/spike.htm

MacGuffin

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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #127 on: November 28, 2006, 09:46:12 PM »
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10 Questions: Spike Lee
Acclaimed director offers IGN his faves.

From his first feature film, She's Gotta Have It, to his latest, the Katrina Hurricane documentary When the Levees Broke, director Spike Lee has only increased his love for free expression via the art of filmmaking.

"I'll always love that filmmaking allows me to say what I have to say," Spike tells IGN. "And I'm always learning from every one of my projects. I was learning every day when I was on [When the Levees Broke], and I won't stop because I love to learn."

What else does Spike love? During our recent interview, he was game enough to give our 10 Questions a shot.

1. What is your favorite piece of music?

Something that inspires me I would have to say is "A Love Supreme" by John Coltrane.

2. What is your favorite film?

On the Waterfront.

3. What is your favorite TV program, past or current?

The Wire. If you haven't seen it, do.

4. What do you feel has been your most important professional accomplishment to date?

I think the body of work I've built over the past 20 years. 20 years and 20 films. I would say my body of work.

5. Which project do you feel didn't live up to what you envisioned?

Hmmm, that's a hard one. Looking back I'd have to say they're all good. [He laughs] No, I'm not making perfection, but I'm trying. I think School Daze could have been better. That was my evolution at the time, so I thought I could do a better job, I couldn't have done any more with it. I put everything into it. It made me a better filmmaker, but I think the movie could have been better.

6. What is your favorite book?

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.

7. If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

That studios would try to finance films where everyone doesn't have to be a home run. That they could sometimes go for some singles, doubles and triples. Everything doesn't have to be a big home run. I don't know of anybody in Hollywood executives who think that way.

8. Who or what would you say has had the biggest influence on your career?

My film instructor in college. His name was Dr. Herb Eichleberger. He recognized I had some talent, and he just really took a deep interest in me nurturing that talent.

9. What is your next project?

Selling Time. [About a man who shaves time from his life to change the worst day of his life.]

10. What is the one project that you've always wanted to do, but have yet to be able to?

I have a Joe Lewis/Max Schmeling boxing epic that I co-wrote with Budd Schulberg that's not happened yet.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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matt35mm

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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #128 on: November 28, 2006, 11:48:44 PM »
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Oh yeah, I'm reminded to say that this...

Spike Lee to Speak in Santa Cruz

Monday, November 27th, 2006, 8pm, at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz, California.  Tickets on sale now.

For more information, go to:
http://artslectures.ucsc.edu/artistpages/spike.htm

... didn't happen.  It was cancelled, which I didn't find out about until the day of.  So I spent all day being excited, and found out an hour before I was about to leave that it wasn't happening.  There was no reason given for the cancellation.

MacGuffin

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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #129 on: December 07, 2006, 01:08:32 AM »
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Lee is Universal's inside man on 'Riots'
Grazer to produce drama about L.A. riots
Source: Variety
 
Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment are teaming with helmer Spike Lee on "L.A. Riots," a drama framed around the racially charged April 1992 riots.

John Ridley will write the script. Brian Grazer will produce.

Lee, who's also developing an "Inside Man" sequel for the studio and Grazer, said the goal is to have a script in front of prexy Donna Langley before business closes for the holidays. Project could well be his next feature and shoot next year.

The riots, which followed the acquittal by a white jury of four police officers who were videotaped beating black motorist Rodney King, caused the death of 55 people, thousands of injuries and close to $1 billion in damage.

Lee, who's coming off the HBO docu "When the Levees Broke," about Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, said he and Grazer fixed on the idea together and felt the subject matter was ripe for a revisit.

"This isn't about some cavalcade of stars, but rather a truthful and realistic examination of what happened, what the ramifications were and where we are now, in hopes that something like this doesn't happen again," Lee said.

 Grazer said the subject matter was "the best way to use Spike's power as a filmmaker, to tell an even-handed story that gets beyond the iconic pictures that we all remember. I was most interested in looking at the idea of universal group dynamics that manifest themselves under the highest amount of stress and to get all these points of view as they converge into each other and ignite in flames."

Lee's memories of April 29, 1992, are vivid.

"The day the riot happened was the very first time that Terry Semel and Bob Daly saw 'Malcolm X,' when they were running Warner Bros.," Lee said. "All the things Malcolm X was talking about were happening. Assistants were running into the room, passing them notes. 'Do you want us to order a helicopter to come into the studio to get you home?' You could see it in their faces, watching this movie, wondering if L.A. was burning down, and if the world was coming to an end.

"I have to give credit to Bob and Terry, because I know they wanted to leave but they stayed and saw my first cut, which was about three hours and 45 minutes," Lee said. "I don't know how they got home, whether it was by helicopter or by car, but they ran out of the screening room. It was very scary."

Lee was in no mood to hang around, either.

"I went straight to LAX, and my ass was on the red eye," he said.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #130 on: December 13, 2006, 01:32:49 AM »
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Building a mosaic of the 1992 L.A. riots
Source: Los Angeles Times

On April 29, 1992, a furious seizure gripped Los Angeles and shook it violently for four terrifying days. John Ridley, then a recent New York transplant, spent much of that time quarantined in his Fairfax district neighborhood, where he huddled on street corners with petrified neighbors and denied rides to white friends looking for his protection. (As a black man he felt no safer from the random brutality and rioting.) An attempt to escape via LAX was thwarted by the unrelenting chaos, and he ultimately had to turn back through the charred and broken cityscape.

Ridley has spent the last year researching and reliving that historic convulsion, which left 54 people dead and $1 billion in property damage in its wake, for a screenplay tentatively called "L.A. Riots" that Spike Lee is attached to direct for producer Brian Grazer at Imagine Entertainment.

Lee and Ridley had previously been developing a law enforcement drama called "The Night Watchman," for which Ridley had been researching the Los Angeles Police Department and its Rampart Division scandal. When that movie stalled a year ago, Lee asked Ridley to write a script for a film about the riots, so Ridley expanded his research, dug up reams of documentation and tracked down some of the people who were affected at the street level.

But the knotty multiethnic cultural history of Los Angeles pointed to something more comprehensive — a film with a scope more like Anna Deavere Smith's documentary play "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992," which was made into a TV movie in 2001.

Rather than merely focus on the 1992 riots, Ridley's suspenseful script begins with a prelude about the Watts riots of 1965 and then highlights notable aspects of the complex racial and political environment — the murder of black, 15-year-old Latasha Harlins by a Korean American liquor store owner two weeks after the Rodney G. King beating, the maneuverings that went into moving the trial of the police officers accused of beating King to a courthouse in Simi Valley, the ominous but ignored warnings police officers were delivering to their superiors, the National Guard's lack of preparedness — that allowed that explosive rage to sweep through the city again 27 years later.

"The idea is to try to get as accurate a picture of how this happened as I can," Ridley says. "Beyond race and the hot-button issues, it's just these little things together that allow for chaos. It was a Katrina-type systemic failure. Literally and figuratively, it wasn't just a black and white problem."

Public figures such as LAPD Chief Daryl F. Gates and Mayor Tom Bradley are referenced, but mostly the film will follow ordinary Angelenos affected by the public outrage triggered by the acquittal of the four white officers who beat King. "It's not 'Crash,' where these individuals all weave in and out of each other's storylines," Ridley says. "It's more of a mosaic."

Both Lee and Ridley have well-earned reputations for being provocateurs.

Lee's most recent film was his pointed HBO Hurricane Katrina documentary, "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts." And Ridley is a novelist ("Love Is a Racket," "A Conversation With the Mann"), screenwriter ("Undercover Brother," "U Turn") and TV writer ("Third Watch") who lately has gone very public with his feelings about race in controversial essays for HuffingtonPost.com, Time and Esquire.

But Ridley insists that provocation is beside the point when telling a story with such deep reverberations.

"To me this story is so real and so true that you don't need to go out of your way to be provocative," he says. "There's a level of balance in that everybody is a little embarrassed, everybody is a little outraged."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #131 on: December 27, 2006, 11:51:00 AM »
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Brown biopic in the works
Lee signs on for Godfather of Soul film
Source: Variety
 
Spike Lee has signed on to direct a feature on the life of James Brown for Paramount and Imagine Entertainment. Brian Grazer is producing, and the pic could be in production by late next year, though 2008 is more likely.

Lee will rewrite a draft recently turned in by Jezz and John Henry Butterworth. Script has been through several drafts since Steve Baigelman wrote the original.

Brown was an active part of the development of the biopic project. The singer met with Baigelman, and gave the Butterworth brothers access to his camp. Brown's longtime sideman Bobby Byrd also was interviewed for two days by the Butterworth duo. The rights package includes Brown's life rights, and also access to all his music rights.

"Like everybody, I was surprised and saddened that James Brown died," Grazer said Tuesday. "Having known him well, and after spending lots of time with him and researching his life, it's somehow not surprising that he died on Christmas Day. He was the ultimate showman, all the way to the end."

Lee has two other projects with Grazer. He will next direct a John Ridley-scripted film on the L.A. riots for Universal and Imagine. He will either follow with the Brown film or an "Inside Man" sequel, which Russell Gewirtz is scripting.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #132 on: March 07, 2007, 10:17:12 AM »
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Source: The Guardian

Spike Lee is the latest Hollywood director to direct a pilot for NBC, with the working title MONY, about an everyman who becomes the mayor of New York. Lee is calling upon the services of present NY mayor Michael Bloomberg to help give the programme some background detail and authenticity.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #133 on: March 07, 2007, 10:47:52 AM »
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MacGuffin

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Re: Spike Lee
« Reply #134 on: April 17, 2007, 09:14:23 PM »
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Spike Lee touts Babelgum at Mip
Director lends 'Jesus' rights to web service
Source: Variety

CANNES -- Spike Lee brought some movie talent wattage to the Mip TV mart Tuesday, when he came to endorse Babelgum, the latest venture by Italy's newest media magnate Silvio Scaglia.

Lee has given the startup global Internet TV network -- a sort of commercial YouTube -- exclusive rights for three months to "Jesus Children of America," a 21-minute short film segment Lee contributed to the Unicef omnibus film "All the Invisible Children."

"I'm always looking for ways to get distributed," the director said, adding filmmakers make films "so you can share your vision of the world with the rest of the world."

He predicted: "In a couple of years, someone is going to shoot a film on a mobile phone, and they'll show it in 35mm -- it is going to come."

Lee's short film, an emotionally charged story about a teenage girl who learns that she and her junkie parents have HIV, aired before a roomful of TV execs including key distribs -- interested in Babelgum, officially launching on the Croisette.

The service, which will be up and running within a couple of months, is similar in concept to Joost, the Netco that recently pacted with Viacom, only Babelgum is targeting niche content.

Tech guru Scaglia, who is netting around r1 billion ($1.36 billion) from the sale of his stake in Italian IPTV provider Fastweb, said Babelgum was aiming for 10,000 hours worth of content available to users by the end of 2007.

So far, the company has shelled out a trifling $10 million, paying minimum guarantees for around 1,000 hours of programming of all genres, from independent producers and distributors. Deals have been struck with about 30 companies, including news orgs Reuters Television and ITN. Eventually,the site is expected to generate and share revenues from advertising, rather than paying for content, he said.

Lee, looking dapper in a light gray suit and tie, said he felt nostalgic being back in Cannes, where he had been "five or six times, but always for the festival. It's the first time for TV."

"She's Gotta Have it" screened at the festival 21 years ago, and "Do the Right Thing" competed in 1989.

"We were robbed (of the Palme d'Or)! We should have had it. It's not sour grapes," Lee quipped.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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