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He Got Game: Spike Lee at GSU Tomorrow

Director to discuss his life and career

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Versatile, controversial filmmaker Spike Lee will be on campus tomorrow to talk about his films and screen short clips.

In dozens of feature films and documentaries, acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee has earned a reputation for taking on some of this country’s thornier issues—race relations and poverty, for example. The controversial director’s films include Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and Jungle Fever, as well as the Hurricane Katrina documentaries When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts and If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise. In a career spanning nearly 25 years, Lee has earned two Oscar nominations and an Emmy.

Tomorrow at the George Sherman Union, at 4 p.m., the director, producer, writer, and actor will speak about his life, his work, and effecting social change in An Evening with Spike Lee, hosted by the Roxbury International Film Festival (RIFF) and the Color of Film Collaborative, in conjunction with the College of Communication and the Dean of Students Office.

Born in Atlanta in 1957 and raised in Brooklyn, Lee returned to the south to attend Morehouse College. After graduation, he continued his education at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned an MFA in film production. In 1986 Lee founded the Brooklyn-based production company 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks. His first major feature film, She’s Gotta Have It, was released the same year.

“Spike Lee’s brilliance as a director and filmmaker comes not only from his artistic talent, but his ability through his films to force audiences to confront the ugliest parts of American life—and often of themselves,” says Tom Fiedler (COM’71), dean of the College of Communication.

Lee, known for his versatility, recently directed a live webcast of a concert featuring John Legend and the Roots. The live stream was webcast on YouTube. The project is just the latest example of the filmmaker’s interest in filming live events. He also directed Kobe Doin’ Work, a documentary about basketball star Kobe Bryant playing in a single game.

The Color of Film Collaborative is a nonprofit organization that supports the development, production, and exhibition of diverse images of people of color in the media and performing arts. It coproduces RIFF, New England’s largest film festival dedicated to films that celebrate people of color.

Lee will screen short film clips from his career during this evening’s discussion. The event, Fiedler says, promises to be memorable. “Nobody walks out of a Spike Lee film feeling unmoved or even unprovoked,” he says.

An Evening with Spike Lee is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 6, at the George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave., second floor. The event is free and open to the public. Admission is first-come, first-served.

Brendan Gauthier can be reached at btgauth@bu.edu.

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