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Moriarty Interviews Spike Lee!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here. And y’know what? That exclamation point on the headline feels more appropriate than ever. I made a very specific and concentrated effort to get as much time as possible with Spike Lee this time around. I’ve been a fan of his since SHE’S GOT TO HAVE IT. I remember reading about that film for almost three months before I got a chance to see it at one theater on the far side of Tampa from where I lived, and it was totally worth the drive. Since then, I’ve loved some of his films, hated some of them, and always looked forward to them because he’s continued to evolve and expand and exercise as a filmmaker. About a week and a half ago, just before I left town for Fantastic Fest, arrangements were made for Spike Lee to call me at home one afternoon. The last time I spoke to Lee prior to this was in 1990, at a booksigning for MO’ BETTER BLUES. I waited in line at the Samuel French in Hollywood for almost six hours in order to be the first person to talk to him, and when I was finally ushered inside, he looked up at me, puzzled. SPIKE LEE: They said you were here all day. ME: Yeah. Pretty much. SPIKE LEE: So what did you have to say that was so important? I didn’t. That’s the thing. I just really dug his work and I was brand new to Los Angeles, so the idea I could go to the bookstore and just see Spike DO THE RIGHT THING Lee and actually talk to him... that seemed crazy to me. I was jazzed just to see him. I didn’t really think about what to ask. So I was as surprised by the question that popped out as he was. ME: In DO THE RIGHT THING, when Radio Raheem does the Love/Hate rap, is that Radio Raheem paying tribute to NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, or is that Spike Lee paying tribute to NIGHT OF THE HUNTER? He smiled at the question, and as he thought about it, he took my book and signed it and wrote a short message, and then handed it back, his smile growing bigger before he finally answered. SPIKE LEE: Radio Raheem ain’t never heard of Robert Mitchum. That familiar laugh of his followed me out of the bookstore as the next person stepped up. So I was excited to get a chance to finally get a chance, all these years later, to ask Lee some questions with a little forethought this time.

Spike Lee: Hello?

Moriarty: Hi Spike, how are you?

Spike Lee: How are you doing?

Moriarty: I’m very good. Thank you for taking the time today. I have to say I really enjoyed MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA.

Spike Lee: Thank you very much, I appreciate it.

Moriarty: Yeah, I think in a lot of ways it is the most… “movie” of your movies. It really feels like you are paying tribute to films of various eras, that in a lot of ways you made a real World War II movie. I love the cocktail of influences that seemed to be apparent the film. Can you tell me which films you sort of used as touchstones, no pun intended, as you were working on the picture?

Spike Lee: Well, the film was shot in Tuscany. But our base during pre-production was Rome, and we were on Cinecittà. Ironically, I’d never known that Mussolini built Cinecittà. [Laughs] And we screened many of the great Italian post-war, neo-realism films. A lot of those films I’d never seen projected; I’d only seen on DVD and VHS. So going to Cinecittà vault, we screened for the cast and crew BICYCLE THIEF, ROME OPEN CITY, PAISAN, GERMANY YEAR ZERO, SHOESHINE, and these are films that again, I’d never seen screened before. So those films of Roberto Rossellini’s were a great influence. But also growing up as a kid, my brothers and I used to love to watch World War II films. Some of my favorite films as a young kid in Brooklyn were THE TRAIN starring Burt Lancaster, Frankenheimer’s film. I remember seeing Jim Brown in THE DIRTY DOZEN; that was a revelation to me. Later on in film school, THE CONFORMIST, a Bertolucci film; SEVEN BEAUTIES, a Lina Wertmüller film; TIN DRUM, the Volker Schlöndorff film; DAS BOOT, a Wolfgang Petersen film. Also another one of my favorites is PARIS BURNING. And then of the contemporary stuff, when it came time to look at battle sequences, I don’t think anyone’s gonna top what Spielberg did in the first 45 minutes of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, with the onslaught, the invasion of Normandy, D-Day. So I guess that can be a start. Also, we showed Leni Riefenstahl’s TRIUMPH OF THE WILL too; there’s a documentary that was done by the war department called, I think Frank Capra was the director, called THE NEGRO SOLDIER.

Moriarty: Oh wow. That was always interesting, how those guys were pushed during World War II into a sort of service as filmmakers.

Spike Lee: Yeah, John Huston did several films too.

Moriarty: And you’ve been equally praised and vilified, depending on who’s doing it, for having very strong political and social views, and you’re certainly not afraid to share them. I’ve heard certain people say that filmmakers or celebrities should keep their opinions to themselves, but when you’re making films about sort of who we are and how we live now, is that even possible? Can you separate yourself from your work?

Spike Lee: Well I can’t, but here’s the thing: for the same people to say that politics should be left out of their work or entertainment, I think that, when you make that decision, that’s a political act in itself. I mean if you say I’m not gonna have any politics in my songs, I’m not gonna have any politics in my movies, that’s a political act in and of itself. Everything is political.

Moriarty: That’s interesting, because you’ve sort of embraced documentary in the second half of your career. And it’s become a major part, now, of your film vocabulary. I was devastated by WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE, it was a stunning movie, and an important film not just about that incident, but I think in general the shift in what responsibility the government is willing to accept. We’re in the middle, obviously, of another aggressive storm season. Do you think we can learn anything from Katrina?

Spike Lee: Oh I think so. I think that if you look at how the federal, state and local governments reacted to Gustav, versus Katrina, it’s the difference between night and day. Unfortunately, people had to die for this lesson to be learned.

Moriarty: Yeah, it feels like they had to be shamed into be stepping up, you know?

Spike Lee: I feel that Mike Brown was made a scapegoat. I find it amazing that Michael Chertoff still has a job. How does that guy still have a job?

Moriarty: It’s a self-sustaining system that’s shocking at times.

Spike Lee: But I will say many, many lessons were learned, and that’s great. On the other hand, they dodged a bullet, because the levees are still not up to snuff. Ike missed, Gustav barely missed, and the next one might not miss. I don’t know if New Orleans can recover from another Katrina this soon. I don’t know. A lot of work needs to be done.

Moriarty: I love the fact that you work with so many of your collaborators repeatedly, guys where you can almost look at your career in stages of “Okay, this is when you were working with this DP, or this is when you were working with Terence Blanchard,” you know. There are people who really stay with you. And I think that speaks well to you as a filmmaker, obviously, but you really then seem to be freed up. Right now Matthew Libatique is…

Spike Lee: Yeah, that’s my man!

Moriarty: I got to tell you, I’m a big DP geek, like that’s my big thing. I love cinematographers. I love the work you guys did on this picture, and I’m happy to see that you’re continuing to work with him on INSIDE MAN 2, so it looks like down the road you’re gonna keep collaborating.

Spike Lee: Yeah, we are. We hope to.

Moriarty: Can you tell me about when you find somebody like Matthew, and what that process is as a director when you bring somebody in for the first time, and then what it does when you get to work with them repeatedly?

Spike Lee: Well here’s his situation: one of the most delicate and important relationships is between the director, and the director of photography; the director and the cameraperson. And I was very blessed to have the great Ernest Dickerson shooting my early films. Ernest and I were classmates at NYU. He then went on to shoot for me SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, SCHOOL DAZE, DO THE RIGHT THING, MO’ BETTER BLUES, JUNGLE FEVER, and MALCOM X, then he went on to direct his first film, being JUICE, the Tupac film. So I know what it means to have a great collaborator as a DP. And with Matty, I’ve found that again; what’s ironic is that Matty said that it was Ernest Dickerson’s work while he was at AFI that inspired him to be a cameraperson. So with Matty, we’ve done numerous commercials, right now we have INSIDE MAN, MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA. We also have a documentary coming out on Kobe Bryant that we did for HBO. Also, we filmed the last performance of this great Broadway musical called PASSING STRANGE. So Matty and I really have a good vibe going. We get along great, we both love sports. You know every time we do a movie, we have a softball team, so he’s a great shortstop. [Laughs] He has an arm, he has range. And also he, like me, does not like to lose. And that, whether it’s on a softball field or on the set, you know, he is gonna do what it takes to get it right. And he’s a great artist. I love to work with people who are intelligent, who are creative, and also do not try to impose a style on a subject matter. We don’t do that. We let the films dictate to us what the style should be. So that’s why SHE HATE ME doesn’t look like INSIDE MAN, INSIDE MAN doesn’t look like MIRACLE. It was Matty’s wisdom to say “Spike, you know what? Let’s shoot the bookends – the stuff dealing with the murder mystery at the beginning and end of the film – let’s shoot that in 35. All that stuff that’s 1944, World War II Italy, we’re gonna shoot that with Super 16. It’ll give us much more grain, and it’ll also give us flexibility, we’ll be able to maneuver lighter cameras quicker, more time without changing the rolls.” Great, great, great artist. And then he also shot IRON MAN this summer! So look at his range.

Moriarty: He’s had a hell of a run, and even this year, like you said, between IRON MAN and MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA, to see one guy do that kind of work, you realize how versatile his touch is, and how remarkably different everything he shoots looks. He doesn’t have just one style.

Spike Lee: And then look at his early work, the films he did with Darren Aronofsky. PI, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, and FOUNTAIN. So he’s definitely, I feel, one of the top DPs working today, and I’m happy that we have the partnership that we have, cause he’s like the core. Like a sports team, you’ve got different positions, but you’ve always got your core. The core is editors Barry Brown, Sam Pollard; composer Terence Blanchard; cinematographers like Matty Libatique; casting director Kim Coleman; Mike Ellis, my first AD, so it’s been over 15 years; David Lee, my brother, he’s the unit photographer; my brother Cinqué was archivist, he was behind-the-scenes stuff. And, you know, you go out there and supplement them with the various positions it takes to make a film.

Moriarty: One of the things that I was drawn to very early on with your work, and I’ve been a fan since SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT…

Spike Lee: That’s going *way* back, 1986.

Moriarty: Yeah, I was in high school when that hit. And you were part of a movement of filmmakers to kind of open my eyes to what American film could be, and it was you, and it was Jarmusch, and it was the Coens, and it was a group of guys that sort of emerged at the same time who I thought it felt like were raised on movies in the best possible way, where you had just internalized them so much, and now they were coming out in the craziest, newest ways. And when I see people talk about various movements in film, I feel like you were more a part of that New York independent film than when people have tried to talk about you as a sort of pioneer of what became sort of “black film” in the early ‘90s. Because I think so much of that was not really the kind of work that you were doing.

Spike Lee: Well, I will say that you’re right in both parts. As far as the black New Wave, I was part of it somewhat because it was SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT and Robert Townsend’s film HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE that brought about this movement. But you’re right in the other part of your statement in that my films weren’t MENACE II SOCIETY, BOYZ N THE HOOD, and that type of genre.

Moriarty: Well I’ve always felt like your films were very inclusive. Like DO THE RIGHT THING, to me, is a neighborhood picture. Everybody in that neighborhood is what’s so great about it, and it’s the friction that I find fascinating. It’s not that any one group is the center of the film, it’s how we all live together that makes that movie so powerful. And it’s one of the most quotable movies ever, by the way.

Spike Lee: Thank you, and I would agree. And here’s the thing, because I’ve been thinking about this since it’s been coming up in some of the interviews. Someone should, when they have some time, take four films and look at them in relation to each other: DO THE RIGHT THING, JUNGLE FEVER, and SUMMER OF SAM. I’m talking about the relationship between African-Americans and Italian-Americans here. And then go to MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA, which is totally different, you know, with the relationship between the two.

Moriarty: The other part of what made your early movies so fascinating for somebody who wanted to be in film was the books that you published. And you don’t really do that anymore, but those first few films—

Spike Lee: Oh, we got a book coming out for this one though.

Moriarty: Do you really? Cause I gotta say, SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, SCHOOL DAZE and DO THE RIGHT THING in particular were so confessional about everything you went through behind the scenes as you were trying to work towards getting these films onscreen. And it was the downs as well as actually getting the films made that I thought made the books so valuable, because you really talked about how hard that can be.

Spike Lee: We really wanted the books to be instructional, that – first of all, there’s no one way to do anything, but – here’s how I did it, from A to Z. It might not work for you, but it might too, so here’s what I went through. From the very beginning I’ve always tried to be about the de-mystification of film. Film is a craft; it can be learned. It’s not one of those things, like they try to tell you, where, you know, you gotta get hit by lightning and God has to touch you, and then you can be a filmmaker.

Moriarty: That’s what I heard growing up, that you can’t make films. Only people in Hollywood can make movies.

Spike Lee: Yeah, well that’s why. [Laughs] They want to keep it under wraps. But we were about the de-mystification of that and trying to be more inclusive, and it wasn’t even really based on race either. If you really want to be a filmmaker, here’s how we did it, and we always said that you don’t *have* to go to film school either.

Moriarty: I just loved that, right from the beginning, it felt like you were giving back. Like you were putting the hand out to other filmmakers and saying alright, look, here’s what I had to go through. And DO THE RIGHT THING especially, with the turnarounds, and with how that film almost didn’t happen, and sort of the struggles, it really, to me, crystallized that if it’s worth doing, and if you believe in a project, then keep butting your head against the wall.

Spike Lee: Well that’s part of… I’ve been teaching as a professor at NYU for the last eleven years, the last four or five, I can’t remember exactly, I’m also the artistic director of the non-grata film school, this is where I went to school, where I finished back in 1982, and I try to instill into my students that they have to get up and go, they have to have gumption. They cannot just sit around and think that it’s gonna happen if they don’t make it happen. You have to get off your ass, roll up your sleeves, and make it happen. When I went to Morehouse they always had this speech the first day. [Laughs] They said “Look to your left, and look to your right. There’s a good chance one of those two people will not be there next year when you come back.” Well it’s the same thing in film school, and you have to feel passionate about what you are doing. And you also have to have a thick skin. If you’re a person who can’t take criticism, or is gonna slit your wrists when you get a bad review, then you should try something else. And not everyone is always gonna like what you’re gonna do, but you just gotta strap it up and get out there for the next one. Just try and get the next one. You did one. Alright, you’ve got that under your belt. Now try to do another one. And then the trick is, if you can, try not to repeat yourself, and keep learning and exploring as you go on this journey. Just try to get better as a filmmaker. That was one of the most important things I learned when I was in film school. I read an interview about Akira Kurosawa. At the time he’d just done RAN, so he was probably 85, something like that. And the person interviewing him said “Mister Kurosawa, a master such as yourself, is there anything that you don’t know about cinema?” And Kurosawa – I’m paraphrasing here, but he said “There is still a universe which I do not know about cinema.” So when someone like Kurosawa says that after making many masterpieces, being one of the master filmmakers of all-time, if he says when he’s 85 years old that there’s still a universe he’s yet to learn, then… me reading that in film school, that was like an atomic bomb went off. It was like “Oh shit… if HE says that, then what do I gotta learn?!” So I mean, just understand that you’ve got to keep learning, got to keep growing.

Moriarty: I love the fact that you have shot for television with things like SUCKER FREE CITY, or you know, some of the documentary work that you’ve done, and I love that you’ve embraced hi-def at times, like you said you used Super 16 and 35 on this film, you shot documentary, you’ve shot narrative, you’ve shot giant films, you’ve shot small films… it really seems to me if you’re not flexible like that, you’re not going to survive the next 15 years of filmmaking, because things are changing so dramatically. I read an interview where Spielberg allegedly said, “I can’t make a film for less than $50 million anymore.” I just don’t believe that. I think he could if he wanted to.

Spike Lee: [Laughs] Well, if he doesn’t have to, why should he?

Moriarty: “Oh, I wish I could just go shoot something for $100,000 with three friends, and just do it.” I think that’s a mindset where you COULD do that if you really felt like it. And film is so... you know, with SUCKER FREE CITY, for example: yes it was a TV project, but these days, does that matter? Doesn’t it all just end up as cable and DVD fodder anyway? Does the first distribution point really define what your film is anymore?

Spike Lee: Well, I did SUCKER FREE CITY because we really wanted that to be a pilot for a show. You know, they didn’t want to do it and that’s their choice, so it was just released as a film. But I think you were right about that first statement: if you don’t adapt, no matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, you’re gonna perish, especially in the volatile times we live in. You know I woke up this morning, I turn on the news, and 25,000 people are out of work at Lehman. Just like that. People are coming out of there with all the stuff from their office in a paper box, many people had their life savings wrapped up in 401s and Lehman’s stock… wiped out entirely. It is volatile. If I had been rigid… I mean from the very beginning, we shot SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT in 12 days, two six-day weeks, for $175,000. Now I could have said ‘You know what? I’m gonna need a million dollars to shoot this.’ I think the original budget was half a million, but then I got religion [Laughs], and it became apparent to me that if I was gonna do this, it was gonna be for that amount. And we had to make do; we adapted. So that budget became $175,000. That’s just the way it’s been since the beginning, and you’ve got to adapt.

Moriarty: Well I think that flexibility has always been something that’s defined you, and it’s something that I’ve always liked about the way you’ve worked.

Spike Lee: And I’d like to say also that a lot of it’s not just about adaptability. In my mind, I don’t have a rigid territory about “Yes, now I’m Spike Lee the documentary filmmaker, now I’m Spike Lee the narrative filmmaker.” To me it’s all telling a story, so therefore I don’t have to press a special button, put on a special pair of Nikes, because I’m going from INSIDE MAN to WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE. It’s still just telling a story.

Moriarty: Well I gotta say sir, thank you for taking the time for me this morning. It’s hard to express how much your work has meant to me over the years.

Spike Lee: Thank you. And I want to say I’m glad you liked the film, now let’s get the word on Ain’t It Cool News.

Moriarty: I look forward to INSIDE MAN 2. I’m fascinated that you’re doing a sequel. This is the first time you’ve gone back to a piece of material.

Spike Lee: Well let me tell you, I wanted to do a sequel – not a sequel, but to pick up 25 years later on SCHOOL DAZE, but Sony didn’t like my take. But I still would like to do that one day, because that film has become a cult classic.

Moriarty: I think a lot of your characters have lives that seem to spill off the frame.

Spike Lee: Especially Mars Blackmon?

Moriarty: Mars Blackmon, I am dying to know some of what’s happened with the characters from DO THE RIGHT THING, to see where that neighborhood would be now.

Spike Lee: [Laughs]

Moriarty: I mean seriously, how can you not wonder? I hope that neighborhood re-grew the right way.

Spike Lee: That neighborhood would probably be a victim of gentrification.

Moriarty: It would probably be totally different, yeah.

Spike Lee: Bed-Stuy? Forget it.

****
I wish I’d had twice as much time with him. Or more. It was a genuine pleasure talking film with him, and I hope you will indeed check out MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA this weekend. In case you want to check out my review or missed it the first time, here it is. As I mentioned, I did this interview before I left for Fantastic Fest. I just returned home from it last night, and I’ve got my coverage of the event coming up over the next few days. It was one hell of a run of movies for me, and I’m eager to get into it. For now, thanks to Disney and 42 West, and to Spike Lee for taking the time, as well as Ribbons, transcription elf extraordinaire.


Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:29 a.m. CST

    He da man

    by Skin26

    Look forward to this !!!

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Oh and one more thing . . .

    by Skin26

    Summer of sam was a GREAT movie !!!

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:30 a.m. CST

    Almost Forgot . . .

    by Skin26

    FIRST !!!!!!

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Spike Lee...

    by rost

    once stood in front of me in line in the Nike-Tower in BH and he bought a couple shirts. Now you know.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Spike

    by NudeandAroused

    Is a great director. I very much enjoy watching his art. Look at how he uses color in his shots. He is almost like an impressionist. Mr Lee is talent who does not get the appreciation he rightly deserves.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:48 a.m. CST

    You knew this interview would get political

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    It's a given. We're going to see a lot of crap in upcoming posts. Spike Lee is a condundrum. On the one hand he's spoken out against racism; his Nike commercials, and even in Do the Right Thing, and Jungle Love. On the other hand he's promoted racism: Do the Right Thing and Jungle Love. I don't think anyone understands Spike except Spike. I will say he is a jerk for suing Spike TV, because he thinks he's the only guy named Spike.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:49 a.m. CST

    I loved SUMMER OF SAM

    by unionJACKass.webs.com

    And wait for it... I enjoyed it more than ZODIAC!! <p> Nice piece by the way, Mori.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Spike's impressive

    by DOGSOUP

    Say what you want but the guy can make a movie. Good interview.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:51 a.m. CST

    i rememember watching do the right thing

    by Mr_X

    seems like a lifetime ago. Malcolm x was a quality film. quality. some good work there spike. mori, wished you'd asked him a bit about eastwood

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:51 a.m. CST

    I've always Liked His Movies

    by Darth_Kaos

    Even though he can have a BIG Mouth at times (in recent years he's actually had reasons to yell) I've always respected him as a filmmaker. My Favorite movies by him are She's Gotta have it, MO'Better Blues and Inside Man. At first I didn't think he could do any other kind of stories other than 'Black Themed Stories', till I saw Mo' Better Blues. Even though most of the characters were black, it wasn't about being black. It was a universal story. <br> Anyway, I'm so happy that he has matured as a filmmaker. Mo' Better was the only Spike Lee movie I ever saw at the theater, and the rest on video. But I'm going to see his latest at the picture house.<br> I'm looking forward to Inside Man 2.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 7:01 a.m. CST

    That cinematographer is mega-talented

    by unionJACKass.webs.com

    I only say REQUIEM FOR A DREAM for the first time only LAST WEEK. The film blew me away. And a big part of that was Matthew Libatique's cinematography. I'm shocked he didn't even get a nomination for it at the 2000 Oscars!?!?

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Kurt Lockwood

    by Skin26

    Agree with you about brodys character . . . Was a tad illfitting. As for the ramones,i had the pleasure of seeing this band when they came to glasgow many years ago. So sad their more famous now than they have ever been !!

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Birthday movie

    by Dazzler69

    Thank God I can see this movie instead of Eagle Eye! Shita LaBlah sucks ass!

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 7:17 a.m. CST

    You know what I'd love

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    For Spike to do a take on the killing of those FBI agents, and kids in the 60s racist segregated south. Now THAT is racism that needs to be talked about. I mean they did a made for TV movie version which was okay, but doesn't have the oomph that Spike would bring. I don't know if Mississippi Burning dealt with the same issue. I didn't see it, so I don't know if it had the manhunt for the FBI killers, or just racist killers in general. But Spike could do this like no other I think.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 7:25 a.m. CST

    My favorite Spike Lee movies are...

    by mr.brownstone

    The back to back high point of CLOCKERS and CROOKLYN. Seeing those in theatres one year after the other was a thing of true beauty. Terrific interview.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Aaaahh,

    by Bruce Leroy

    Excellent interview. Finally something cool again or for that matters an article that doesn't have to do with some kind of remake or re-imagination. I love Spike Lee's body of work. I've been following the man since she's gotta have it and although not all his movies have been a total succes to me personally i too have been looking forward to a new Spike Lee joint. The man is, an i truly believe this, one of the greatest filmmakers walking around now. I will be checking Miracle at St. Anna out.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Good interview Moriarty

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Good job. It's nice to read a Spike Lee interview where he talks about the films, and not the various controviersies. Most of the interviews I read with him make him come off like publicity starved jerk. Great director, and I can't wait to see Miracle.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Crooklyn was good. I've never seen Clockers

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    It's been on my need to rent list for some time.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 8 a.m. CST

    ain't never is a double negatative

    by ironic_name

    raheem has heard of mitch'

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Thanks Moriarty, good stuff

    by drturing

    Though you got a little too into loving everything he's ever done at times, which is hard to do cause I'd be the same with Spike. But he must've been like "damn this guy like me a lot" Did you tell him the book signing story? <p> Spike misses out on an opportunity here - The part of Brooklyn that Do The Right Thing takes place in is now being colonized by white hipsters and bohemian yuppies. There's an American Apparel store on Flatbush. A sequel to Do The Right Thing would be about how all those people had to move cause they couldn't afford their rent any more. And I wish someone would do a film about gentrfication, especially Spike. And Mori, I'm curious, what do you make of The Wire?

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 8:07 a.m. CST

    it's nice to see him agree with so many of your compliments

    by HypeEndsHere

    oh, and a "victim" of gentrification? nice parting shot.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 8:12 a.m. CST

    You know about Spike and controversy

    by drturing

    I think you get waylaid by the perception of how as a black man he's covered by the press, where every little aside or thing he says that's outrageous becomes the story instead of treating him as a multifaceted human being. To me, honestly, it spoke of entrenched racism in the media - in his early years Spike was breaking boundaries for filmmakers of color and he was always treated as a curio with the most incindiary things he said always becoming the story. Shit, I've heard about things Michael Bay does or says (and why he doesn't work with a certain dp any more) that makes me sick, but no one ever writes that up. And Spike has never "promoted" racism. He's portrayed it, with complexity. If you ask me, when you can get to the point where you portray black people on screen as complicated with shades of grey and morality in their personage, then we're getting somewhere where we can address people as people.<p> When the Levees Broke is one of the most important american films most people have never seen.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 8:14 a.m. CST

    HypeEndsHere

    by drturing

    Yes, being economically pushed out by capital that seems to go hand and hand with a certain racial factor that destroys communities does fuck places up. Even the people who become attracted to gentrified neighborhoods mourn the loss of the character of the place they move to.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 8:22 a.m. CST

    i know what gentrification is.

    by HypeEndsHere

    it's the "there goes the neighborhood" used when white people move into town. only crime levels drop, people have children, and coffee shops open up.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 8:40 a.m. CST

    hypeendshere

    by drturing

    enjoy voting for mccain and then telling everyone you voted for obama, bitch

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 9:09 a.m. CST

    I’m a big DP geek

    by medicinaluser

    I lol'd sorry am high will come back later when I am back in control of my faculty's

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    I enjoyed the 1990 flashback.

    by tonagan

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Who is your favorite DP artist, Mori?

    by drturing

    Is it Nautica Thorn or Tera Patrick?

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Nice Interview, but...

    by Montag666

    "I'm a DP Geek" sounds really funny.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Great Interview, Moriarity

    by fassbinder79

    Spike is an incredibly underrated director and I'm looking forward to seeing Mircale At St. Anna. One of the things that alot of people don't give Spike credit for is how prolific he is...I mean the guy has made a shitload of movies.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    NOT A BIG SPIKE LEE FAN, BUT WILL CHECK OUT LEVEES BROKE

    by BringingSexyBack

    Great interview, Mo.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    SONY IS CLUELESS!!!

    by utz_world

    <p>"School Daze" is not only one of my favorite movies of all time, it's one of the chief reasons why I - and so many other African-Americans in my age bracket (I'm almost 36) chose to attend a HBCU (Historically Black College/University). For our generation, "School Daze" is an icon - a daggone cultural touchstone. And look at all the African-American actors/actresses who came from that film ALONE! </p> <p>Shame on Sony for passing on the sequel. I'll cross my fingers and hope they get a change of heart over the next few years.</p>

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Coughlins Laws you douchebag

    by drturing

    Lee documents the feeling that there are people who believe that, and there is a lot of folkloric anecdotal evidence that does exist which will become part of the fabric of the event, just as there are people who believe there was a shooter at the grassy knoll. There are people of every race and creed and position in the social strata who want to preserve New Orleans because it is their home, no matter what it is. I had the good grace to meet Terrence Blanchard, who is an upper middle class black man who has family in New Orleans as you can see in the film and it is heartbreaking. Your reactionary, ignorant viewpoint is that only one type of person lives in New Orelans because you have no empathy or standard human experience to tell you that you don't know what the fuck you are talking about. Look at Jerusalem, motherfuckers been fighting over that piece of sandy dirt for fucking millennia now.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 11:28 a.m. CST

    BUSH BLEW UP THE LEVEES?

    by BringingSexyBack

    Nothing surprises me anymore.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Drturing actually represents one reason I don't like Lee.

    by IAmJack'sUserID

    Because of an oversized mouth that feels the need to bully and browbeat those that don't buy into his paranoia. Clean up your language too. I know this is an AICN talkback, and I'm no clean-mouthed choirmember, but whatever point you were trying to make failed even moreso thanks to the method in which you presented it.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Way to go Mori...

    by subtlety

    Great interview... way to ask some good, detailed, specific questions. Sounds like Spike was pleased to be asked about something other than whatever the latest controversy is. Love the guy... a fantastic, ambitious filmmaker who often says more unique things in a single movie than the rest of Hollywood does all year. Miracle looks fantastic.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Ike didn't "miss," it hit us.

    by Oski

    I think Spike is a talented filmaker, I don't begrudge him for having an opinion, but he says stupid shit all of the time and there was another example. Tell the people of Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula and the people of Houston who don't have power that Ike missed. Just because we are better equipped to handle problems like a Hurricane doesn't mean we should be treated with no sympathy and ignored. I don't need a Red Cross fundraiser on TV, I just want Spike to aknowledge that Hurricanes know no prejudice and they devestate wherever they go.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 12:04 p.m. CST

    HUH? I ACTUALLY THOUGHT DRTURING'S FOUL LANGUAGE

    by BringingSexyBack

    gave an emotional punch to the point he was making. We all read things differently, I guess. Weird.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Spike Lee Is Black!?

    by georges garvaren

    Wow. That's great. Just really, really great.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Well, no one ever said you couldn't be a great filmmaker and a p

    by American Hyena

    Don't get me wrong. He's a tremendous film auteur and I'm very much looking forward to seeing "St. Anna." But still...when you SUE Spike TV on the claim that they're infringing on your name--it's just one of those wholly indefensible actions that you never really deserve to live down.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 12:34 p.m. CST

    --Part-time dick.

    by American Hyena

    Subject limits. Oy.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Oski

    by Ribbons

    I have a feeling he meant it missed New Orleans, not the United States (not to say Galveston wasn't devastated).

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 12:59 p.m. CST

    You know what IAmJacksUserID

    by drturing

    Go find the g spot in your asshole you dumb fucking stupid fucking cunthair shitbird oversized aureole Fight Club worshipping douchejuice. I know you'd like to think that young white males have it the worst cause they can afford condos with IKEA furniture and find their lives empty and meaningless, but excussez moi some filthy fucking French you tet du merde I will say whatever the fuck I want cause this... Here... Is aint it cool talkback. P.S. Peter Jackson's King Kong was racist.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Ribbons

    by BuckminsterOhare

    Transcription elf extraordinaire. Your new custom rank for the Zone ?

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Drturing actually represents one reason I don't like drturing.

    by IAmJack'sUserID

    And did you just call me French? <p></p> I think King Kong was racist to oversized apes and offensive to people with good movie tastes.<p></p>Oh, I am a young white male and can't afford a condo with Ikea furnishings. I do have a sweet bookcase from Wal-Mart that cost me about $20. It holds my comics, action figures, and XBox 360 games quite nicely. I also have those little foldable tables that people use to put their food on as endtables. That's not their purpose but they work.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Spike Lee

    by Die_Hardest

    Saw Spike Lee once at a Red Sox Yankees game at Fenway. He was all Yankee'd out with his kid. I yelled "Hey Spike Lee! I love Do The Right Thing" after the Red Sox loss. He didn't acknowledge me, probably because I had all my Red Sox gear on. That's my celebrity story.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST

    BTW HypeEndsHere

    by Die_Hardest

    Gentrification is when a family that has lived in a city for tens, sometimes hundreds of years gets priced out of their home because of a rise in property taxes and cost of living, thus changing the whole personality, look, and feel of a city. It has nothing to do with race, it only has to do with class. And, it's a damn shame.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 3:18 p.m. CST

    esus Kurtlockwood,

    by hst666

    So you traveled the world as a porn star and played in Dee Dee's band among other claims?

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Great interview

    by Darth Thoth

    Spike is the man. I can't wait to check out this film. The interview was pretty inspiring too, the whole bit about Kurosawa, and I'm not even a filmmaker but I think that principle of always improving your craft and going for it is universal. Good job Drew. Spike is the man. Let's go Knicks!

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 5:23 p.m. CST

    i love spike lee

    by lopan

    on the one hand, do the right thing, crooklyn, inside man and 25th hour are among my favorite films of all time. on the other, girl 6 and she hate me are among the worst films i've ever seen. any filmmaker with that kind of talent range is totally fascinating.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST

    The Guy Has Made Some Great Movies`

    by wampa_one

    He's also made some pieces of crap. Girl 6? Such a letdown - I'd hoped that his storytelling & directing & Prince's music could have made for something much more interesting.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6 p.m. CST

    well despite the controversy surrounding him

    by The Amazing G

    he seems like a pretty cool guy judging from this interview

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:02 p.m. CST

    That must have been nerve wracking

    by zombiwolf

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Saw Spike at the corner near my Hi School

    by worldofwarcraft

    Didnt say shit to him, I was with Jen G at the time, she took up all my attention, that little fox . And Do The Right Thing is a great film, but the picture he paints of Bed Stuy is socandy coated. That always bugged me. Even the drunk bum is cute. I think of Spikes version of the hood often when I'm in east new York, which can be a warzone that looks nothing like a Spike Lee movie. Unless you're talking about When the Levees. For real, poor black Brooklyn is fucked up.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Hey Mookie!

    by Itto Ogami loses Daigoro

    Always do the right thing!!

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 7:36 p.m. CST

    m m m m m m m martin m m m m m malcolm

    by crazybubba

    robbin harris aka sweet dick willie... funniest man ever...i don't know what you motherfuckers are gonna do, but i know what the fuck i'm gonna do, i'm gonna go over here and give the korean some of my motherfuckin money is it true this movie was the inspiration for the cartoon King of the Hill

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 9:27 p.m. CST

    gentrification was used to describe, by Spike, what's happening

    by HypeEndsHere

    he's using it to prove a racial point. one that's really silly. i don't mind rich people moving into a crumbling neighborhood and making it clean and safe. sue me. as for voting for mccain and telling people i voted for obama.. why the fuck would i tell people i voted for obama? voting for a symbol of change is different than voting for someone that can make changes. obama, if he manages to get elected, won't be able to affect a single fucking thing. i'm not voting. i don't really care who wins. i believe both candidates are genuinely good and honest people with the best of intentions. sorry to tell people my beliefs, but for someone insinuated that i'm a liar.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Currently at 19% at Rotten Tomatoes

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Yikes.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Loved the interview

    by Star Hump

    Spike Lee is one fascinating dude. He's one of America's greatest artist. Of all-time. I just love his zest for life. It's always interesting to hear his outlook.

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Mori you ignored the elephant in the room

    by Prossor

    one of your questions shoulda been "Mr. Spike, did you know the japanese army didn't have any blackanese or black soldiers? And the flag raisers werent black?"

  • Sept. 24, 2008, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Nasty in the Pasty

    by Ribbons

    Best. Name. Ever!

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Magnus...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... because I don't give a fuck what someone else thinks of the movie? If you go back and read the review I readily linked to, I hardly called it "a masterpiece." I think it's filled with great stuff, but it's certainly messy. I'll take interesting and flawed over bland and cookie-cutter any day, though, and if that pisses you off, then feel free to go read a site that just barfs up "the consensus," since that seems to be what you need. Pity you can't just accept that some people actually have their own opinions that don't depend on what the group agrees.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Spike you lift my heart

    by g-ride9000

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:56 a.m. CST

    mori switch to decaf

    by g-ride9000

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 5:23 a.m. CST

    Gram, I beg to differ.

    by Stalkeye

    You seemed to have missed Lee's take on DTRT, as oppossed to promoting racism, it gave an accurate dialog regarding race relations from all angles.I feel that Italians,Blacks were portrayed fairly as there were good and bad from both sides.(Buggin out was the instigator/catalyst that got radio raheem killed in the end,While Sal who tried to run a establishment finally lost his cool and used the N-Word.)One of my closest friends understood why Sal finally lost it in the end, and yes(spoiler!) He's Black.<p>Jungle Fever howeve was a bit of a stretch "I'd rather have you date a child molester than a N****r...!!!"Italians can't be that Racist....right?What Spike should have shown, was more of the potentual romance between John Tutoro's character and the African American female although the crack scene with Stevie Woer's "livin in the city" score was genius.<p>Jackson's performance in JF is what got him earned recoognition.It's unfortunate that Sam and Spike had a falling out due to Quentin's use of the N-Word in his previous films.It's been mentioned that Spike referred to Sam as a House N****r as a result of Jackson defending Tarantino.<p> As much as I am a fan of Lee's, he lost points during that frivolous Spike TV lawsuit.However I might take the Wifey to see Miracle.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 5:39 a.m. CST

    Mori should have asked Lee about the Eastwood controversy

    by Stalkeye

    But knowing how tempermental Spike is...I don't think so. Well said Kurtlockwood, Bush will one day snswer for all the shit he has done (Karma can be a Bitch)as for the Ramones, it's fucked up that as much as they are responsible for Punk music, they never fully reaped any benefit$ Britians Sex Pistols,The Clash and even The Damned were an instant success during that era but it's sad that when you ask someone about Punk these days; they'll bring up Greenday, Blink 182 or some mundane shit.<p>The Ramones practically died penniless and I'm sure Dee Dee wasted his share on smack.:O

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 7 a.m. CST

    Stalkeye, there was racism on all sides

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    But from what I'm seeing it seems a double standard in that Buggin Out is the biggest racist (ironic because Giancarlo Esposito is half Italian). Sal is taking pride in his Italian heritage. He doesn't have black, Irish, German, latino, you name it, on the wall. He is proud of Italian players. That's what he has. In comes Buggin Out "I'm gonna boycott your pasta ass." Sal doesn't start choking Buggin Out. But when Sal finally gets fed up after after asking (later yellling)Raheem to turn down the radio and uses the word nigger, then it's okay for Radio Raheem to start choking him. Double standard. Then Mookie decides to trash Sal's business because of what happened to Raheem even though Sal is not the one who killed him. Then the older black guys are about to go after the Korean just because. Oh yeah, Turtoro's character was one mean ass racist. Ironic because he and Spike are buds, and he is in almost every Spike movie, and in Jungle Fever he dated the black professional. With Turturo's character it was more words, not violence. And what about Buggin Out going nuts because some white guy bought a brownstone? Part of, just part, of the message I see in DTRT is that if someone uses a bad word against your friend it is okay to attack that person. That's not right. If Spike was going for accurate portrayal of urban blacks, then that's not right either because they should not be acting that way. Nor should the racist Italians in the movie either. As for the use of the word nigger I think Tarantino made a good point in that Spike Lee thinks he's got ownership of the word, and is the only one who can use it in movies. Good point because blacks use it all the time. The minute a white guy uses it it's racist. Personally I say to hell with racism and sexism, especially when it comes to school enrollment and job searches. I don't care if you're black, white, or green. I don't care if you're a man, woman, or hermaphrodite. Pick the right person based upon their experience and character qualities. I love my church because we have among other things black men married to white women, white men married to black women, and everything in between. No one cares, and no one should. It's about the individual.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Do the Right Thing STILL gets people riled up

    by Movietool

    If that's not the mark of an important film I don't know what is. <p>For the record, I watched DTRT in college and couldn't understand why in the hell Sal would pay Mookie the money. To be honest, I still don't get it, but struggling with that question - trying to figure it out - is probably the point.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Moriarty -

    by drturing

    putting aside my rudeness for a moment... what do you think of The Wire?

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 9:24 a.m. CST

    worldofwarcraft

    by drturing

    yo, east new york can be fucked up (but check out those cowboys!) but bed stuy and flatbush are getting colonized by yuppies and hipster more and more every day. shit i seen yuppies around nostrand and classon now. and for me i knew the shit was over when that american apparel store went up on flatbush. with the development on 4th ave and downtown, give brooklyn ten more years and you'll be lucky to get a carribean pastie on flatbush.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:09 a.m. CST

    magnusbarfod

    by mr.brownstone

    it's obvious he didn't have that long to talk with him. Those are the kind of questions you ease into, if you are smart and know what you're doing at least.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST

    coughlin you totally missed my point

    by drturing

    spike's film never says the levees were blown. it documents that a number of people came away from the incident believing so. it is part of the local folkloric fabric of what happened in new orleans and the film never verifies or says it is the truth, it gives voice to the people who say it was.<p> now given that our govt purposely allowed 300 black men to suffer untreated disease, and exposed them to radiation in the 50s, of course there's some paranoia.<p> as for what you're suggesting, those of us who know that's not happened know it's far, far worse. bush was sitting around joking with a country singer and john mccain in the morning with a big birthday cake, and then flew over the devstation two days later, remarking that "it must be twice as worse on the ground". no fucking shit, shitbird. the real tragedy of katina is the utter neglience on display. and for you to even think for a moment that there was an appropriate act by his administration over that crisis you're just a DAMN FOOL

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:40 a.m. CST

    bedstuy is a nightmare.

    by HypeEndsHere

    ask a woman that tries to walk 2 blocks from the J train to her apt with her head down just to avoid eye contact. (apparently, eye contact means you want to fuck) not to mention receiving calls of "Dayum, we got a good looking lady here. look at that ass." if you talk back, you are engaging them. if you ignore them you're treated with a "fuck you! you could at least say thank you, bitch!" as for east new york, it's like fucking Warriors out there. tons of young black guys outside DOING NOTHING. and the women are inside caring for children. unsettling. walking through there is like the end of The Birds. the reason gentrification is a bad thing? i don't know. it's 2008 and the pity party ended a few years ago. it's time to wake-up, shave, and look for a fucking job.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Magnus

    by TerryMalloy

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the reason you pissed off Mori is because you called him a sycophantic prick. So don't play the victim

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Coughlins Laws

    by drturing

    Fuck yeah i prolly ate a chocolate chip cookie on one of the days Katrina hit. But I AINT NO FUCKING PRESIDENT<p> HypeEndsHere, get the fuck outta here, this is Brooklyn, NY not the place where The Hills is set, all right? Ever wonder why shit is the way it is in East New York? Ever take a moment to ponder the disparity in income and class and geography that seems to go hand in hand with race?<p> Now granted, I'm not white, hence my lack of discomfort in the vicinity of Bed Stuy. And I'm not a woman, and if that's your particular experience then yes I have not walked in those shoes and it must suck, but I fail to see how a shitload of yuppies moving in and destroying the property and replacing the gorgeous brownstones with bad prefab condos is gonna make life any fucking better.<p> My asian female friend gets off the subway in PARK FUCKING SLOPE and a dude says to her "ohhhh baby, mmmm mmmm sweet and sour, you can be my fortune cookie im gonna crack open any time. and i'll be yo fried chicken". Shit happens all over the city. If you're uncomfortable with Brooklyn and the thick skin required to live in this here city, then I suggest you move to Wasilia, Alaska.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Magnus

    by TerryMalloy

    I don't really care if you think he's a prick or not. Just don't pretend like he's overreacting. Ie "hold your horses", "sorry if I annoyed you" as if you weren't levelling a somewhat inflammatory personal attack. That's what I mean when I say playing the victim.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:23 a.m. CST

    your sarcasm

    by TerryMalloy

    Was employed to undermine his strong emotional reaction, right?

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:28 a.m. CST

    the whole reason the post

    by TerryMalloy

    Annoyed me was because it was sarcastic. Especially when the specific accusations you made, aside from the sycophant comment, were wrong.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Now your point on

    by TerryMalloy

    Easing into a difficult question was level headed and fair. If that was your first post, it probably would have been a fair criticism of the interview.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:56 a.m. CST

    i refuse to believe lower income blacks and latinos cannot succe

    by HypeEndsHere

    call me an optimist. and i'm not uncomfortable with Brooklyn now that i've torn down a brownstone. i'm just a little tired that white people can do no right. the playing field is more level than it's ever been, and it could be argued that the field is slanted in favor of minorities in some respects if people would participate in the system. participate in the system and thrive and you'll be able to afford rent in NEW YORK. if you can't afford rent in New York, maybe you'd be happier in Louisiana.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 12:09 p.m. CST

    you fucking crazy hypeendshere

    by drturing

    apartments in the mynt building in bedstuy were renting for 1700$ a month for a studio. tell me how the people across the street in the marcy projects are supposed to afford that? level playing field my ass. here's how you can do some good: i saw a white hipster couple in bushwick hosting a mini block party cooking bbq for their neighbors, polish and russian and black and puerto ricans and costa ricans all coming together for the sake of a hamburger, laughing and getting to know each other. that's what makes new york great. those kids get it, and despite my knee jerk reaction whenever i see v neck t shirt tight pants wearin trust funders, i gotta hand it to those kids they figured it out. if youre gonna be part of the gentrification educate yourselves and GET OUT ON YOUR STOOPS.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 12:09 p.m. CST

    that's the thing Magnus

    by TerryMalloy

    You're misrepresenting both mine and Drew's response. I don't have a problem with your criticism of an AICN interview or sarcasm in and of itself. but you got your facts wrong. Drew didn't call it a masterpiece and he didn't compare it to Rome: Beautiful, Country except as an influence to Spike Lee. I also have a problem that you made it personal, unnecessarily, calling it a duck sucking fest and then pretending that you're not trying to drudge up accusations that AICN is impartial. Finally, I don't like that you issued two fake apologies that misrepresented what Drew got pissed off at in the first place. He didn't get pissed because of the rational points in your second post, but because of the spiteful, incorrect accusations you made in the first.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Make that a "dick sucking fest"

    by TerryMalloy

    I've never heard or seen of duck sucking, but it doesn't sound appetizing. <p> But then again, neither does dick sucking.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Goddammit

    by TerryMalloy

    Rome: Open City.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 12:33 p.m. CST

    And yes, there are worse crimes

    by TerryMalloy

    But they are usually committed by thirteen year olds with ADD. I think I was intrigued by the fact that you are a journalism major. <p> My question to you is: would you really consider Moriarty or Harry journalists? Annd should they be upheld to the same standards as someone that works for the Washington Post? <p>

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Section 8 and rent control could only keep us out

    by HypeEndsHere

    for so long. the times are a'changing. the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction and white flight is occurring once again. blacks and latinos are fast becoming the Palestinians of new york. never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. the sad part is that you didn't stop to think it wrong to assume white kids with v-necks got money from a trust fund. new york isn't The Hills. some of us... gulp... work! i'm out. someone else have the last word, please....

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:06 p.m. CST

    the last word

    by drturing

    you unveiled your entrenched, entitled racism plentily, so nothing more need be said.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Magnus

    by TerryMalloy

    First--I don't really care that much. This whole thing was slightly annoying, if that. <p> Second-- you're right. You never said Drew made the comparison. But neither did Spike: <p> "And we screened many of the great Italian post-war, neo-realism films. A lot of those films I’d never seen projected; I’d only seen on DVD and VHS. So going to Cinecittà vault, we screened for the cast and crew BICYCLE THIEF, ROME OPEN CITY, PAISAN, GERMANY YEAR ZERO, SHOESHINE, and these are films that again, I’d never seen screened before". <p> Hardly comparing his film to the greatness of these. He watched them and attempted to use them as an influence. The film might be an abortion but I haven't seen it. <p> Third, well, this one is complicated and I apologize if it wasn't clear. Basically, your first post, was, admittedly, not clear in its point. The second one was. But at the end of the second one, you say "sorry if that [my clear point] pissed you off" when clearly it wasn't that, but your unclear point. <p> If you felt that me calling you a victim was a personal attack on your character, then I apologize. But when you are sarcastically self deprecating, like saying "nasty old me", it screams victim to me.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:09 p.m. CST

    And I will watch Rome: Open City

    by TerryMalloy

    I've only seen two Italian NeoRealist films: Bicycle Thief, and Umberto D. But it's on my list.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Magnus

    by TerryMalloy

    Why was it necessary for Drew to ask the question, "How do you respond to the largely negative critical reception of the film?" <p> Just wondering.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:12 p.m. CST

    And when I say necessary

    by TerryMalloy

    I mean necessary as a journalist. I really don't know, that's all I'm saying.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Jesus, I was unclear again.

    by TerryMalloy

    Let me try a final time. <p> "Third, well, this one is complicated and I apologize if it wasn't clear. Basically, [you admitted that your first post was] not clear in its point. Your second post was clear in its point. But, at the end of [your] second post, you say "sorry if that [my clear point] pissed you off" when clearly it wasn't that, but your unclear point [that pissed him off].

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:32 p.m. CST

    I don't disagree with you

    by TerryMalloy

    But I think there's also a place for just geeking out with a filmmaker, discussing influences, etc. <p> I think if you care about this so passionately it would serve you better to address the moderators without personal insults and they might be more willing to listen to what you have to say. But I may just be idealistic.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:33 p.m. CST

    I will check out Rome

    by TerryMalloy

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 3:43 p.m. CST

    This talkback is now about hand lotion

    by dr sauch

    I love hand lotion.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Also, anyone who looks at Rotten Tomatoes should not be here

    by dr sauch

    That site is full of the types of reviewers that we come here to get away from. The idiots who only like what they think people smarter than them will like, or what will make the most money.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Magnus...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... the real reason you came across as a shitbag in your initial post and your subsequent follow-ups is simple: I didn't ask your question because I think it's a bullshit question. You act like it's something essential I "forgot." Far from it. <p>For one thing, I did the interview before there were other reviews. I was honest about my opinion, and I asked him EXACTLY what I wanted to about his influences. You seem to have sand in your vagina over his references to certain classics of the Italian neorealism movement. Well, when you see the film, you'll understand why he makes that reference. They are very clearly part of the cocktail of influences that make up ST. ANNA. <p>And I refuse to ever take my lead from Rotten Tomatoes or any other aggregate site. I. Don't. Care. What. Anyone. Else. Thinks. I like what I like. There are dozens of movies I love that got terrible scores there, and vice-versa. <p>So if you feel like you would have gone after him with a question about "Why don't people like your movie?", good for you. I think it's a stupid fucking question, and your insistence about it only reveals your character, and not a single thing about me.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Grammatron...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... the thing is, DO THE RIGHT THING doesn't say that ANY of the behavior in that film is "right." Instead, the title invites you to decide if anyone on that day does anything right, or if it's even possible to do what's right under those circumstances. I don't think Lee thinks that anyone's behavior in that film is to be commended. Just understood.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Perhaps Mori, but

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    gray areas aside in society there are very clear choices of what is right and wrong. Most of the time it isn't that hard to figure out.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Maybe...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... but I disagree that the film says "it's okay" for Radio Raheem to choke Sal. I'm saying that the film isn't glorifying the behavior it shows... it's a great movie precisely because it allows you to draw your own conclusions about what people do. You think Mookie's a hero for smashing the window, or that the film wants you to think he made the right choice? That's where I think you misread it. I don't think the film suggests that at all.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Your Question...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... has nothing to do with integrity. It's a question you wanted asked. Period. Your attempt to inflate it into something else is just asinine. But by all means, write another elaborate response now to justify why you're being such a dick about it.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Well, Magnus...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... fuck you. You just had to keep pushing it until you got to the whole "people can buy your reviews" bullshit. You are no longer welcome here, man. It's amazing how quickly trolls like you leap right to smearing someone's work because they disagree with you, but inevitable as well. <P>Enough. Bye. Conversation over. I'll tolerate the disagreeing and even some of the namecalling, but you call me a liar, you're out of here.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Am I the dick?

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    If so, why? Or was that directed at someone else?

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Not You...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... that was for the now banned dude who was calling me a liar, Grammatron. I thought your points were interesting and worth conversation. I'm not remotely calling you anything, buddy, and sorry if it came off that way.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Well the third one was meant for Magnus

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    obviously, and I wasn't sure about the second one. I've said it before, and that's one reason I'm in the Zone a lot, I can disagree with someone's opinion, whether it be a movie or anything else without getting into the juvenile "you suck, no you suck arguments."

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 9:26 p.m. CST

    InsideMan2? Gotta bring back Chiwetel Ejiofor!

    by ProziumJunkie

    Great actor, needs his role expanded if brought back, made a great partner to Washington.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 9:48 p.m. CST

    I think Spike is an interesting as hell filmmaker but he drives

    by Orbots Commander

    I really like some of his movies and his stab at a mainstream commercial thriller, Inside Man, was fantastic and smart. But Spike, man, he can come out with some whoppers of statements makes you think he's a bit off-hinged. I mean, NOBODY likes GW Bush, but to propose the theory that he blew up the levees in New Orleans is jaw droppingly stupid. I mean seriously Spike, think before you speak. That shit is Area 51 or alligators in the sewers level coockoo.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 9:49 p.m. CST

    ...meant to say 'but he drives me crazy".

    by Orbots Commander

    My bad.

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 1:02 a.m. CST

    Should have asked him what it was like to be...

    by MaxTheSilent

    ...short, obnoxious and irrelevant. Last worthwhile film he made was BAMBOOZLED, where I agree with everything he was saying in that flick: that black popular culture these days is little more than a new minstrel show. Where talented black performers subjugate themselves and conform to the worst kinds of stereotypes for the sake of the white man's dollar.

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Gram....

    by Stalkeye

    What I liked about DTRT was that Spike did'nt portray Blacks as victims in a Multicultural setting.Instead it was an honest take on racism and responsibility: IE what is considered "the right thing".Mori's summation was dead on: (and I knew he would'nt refer to you as a Dick since you have always been respectful on these boards)Did Mookie throw the can through sal's window out of anger due to Raheem's murder (yes, it was murder regardless of restraint procedures.)or the fact that it channeled the angry crowd's rage via destroying sal's establishment as oppossed to glory stomping him and his sons?There are various conclusions but one answer.Great performances with unforgetable dialog.<p>Nice Church you have BTW. hopefully everyone will learn to blend or accept other races or cultures, but that's not gonna happen for sometime.

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Thanks for clearing that up Kurtlockwood

    by Stalkeye

    Did'nt know Dee Dee (Doug)was clean for sometime and glad he made a comfortable living as he was a major contributor to the Ramones.I knew his residuals did'nt come from that rap album he did back then.There was a bit of controversy from Johnny (Ramone) when he mentioned that he would be able to make more money now that Joey and DeeDee are dead.I knew he was a prick, but DAYUM!!<p>Gotta give a shout-out to End of the Century,which was one of the best docus I have seen in a long time and I'm not that big a fan of the Ramones.Hopefully Joey and Dee Dee are in a much better place.

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Stalkeye

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    "There are various conclusions but one answer.Great performances with unforgetable dialog." Absolutely, as is the case of most of Spike's movies. Love him or hate him, you don't forget the movies. Funny talking about church, it reminds me of a quote from Bullworth. I havent' seen it but he says somethingto the effect that the whole world should just keep mating with each other until we're just one color.

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Amen Gram, Amen.

    by Stalkeye

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Mori, a quick question about Magnus, and his ilk

    by BadMrWonka

    is there any way to ban someone WITHOUT deleting their posts? if you come into a talkback late and see all the responses, but have none of the original sensationally stupid posts to read, it's super frustrating. I want to see what was so bad that you had to eviscerate and eventually ban him. I mean, I can mostly tell, but it's so tantalizing without the original idiocy. it's like watching Rickles at a roast but without seeing the reactions, you know?

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 4:01 a.m. CST

    How do you not discuss BAMBOOZLED?!?

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    Maybe his most interesting film. Brilliant, challenging film. What does he think of it post-Chappelle? And no discussion of SHE HATE ME? Come on, there is so much to say about that repugnant film. I want know know what he was thinking. Because I hope it wasn't what we were seeing on screen.

  • Sept. 29, 2008, 12:06 p.m. CST

    I loved Miracle at St. Anna..

    by PullMyFinger

    Saw it Friday night and disagree with a lot of what the critics are saying. Loved how Lee didn't lose his distinct perspective by taking on a genre that's a bit foreign to him... Great interview!