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Shelton Jackson Lee (b. 20th March 1957) Spike Lee is an American film director, producer and writer. His hometown is Brooklyn, New York. He started his own production company under the name '40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks'. Spike Lee is renowned for his controversial topics in films, some of which highlight race relations, poverty and political issues.
Early life: Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia. His mother, Jacqueline Carroll, taught the arts and black literature while his father, William James Edward Lee III, was a jazz musician. He got his nickname 'Spike' from his mother and he attended John Dewey High School. Lee then attended Morehouse College and made his first film 'Last Hustle In Brooklyn' before leaving with a BA in Mass Communication. During that time he also took film courses at Clark Atlanta University, and later did graduate work at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where he landed himself a Master of Fine Arts in Film & Television.
Career: Spike Lee completed his first thesis film 'Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads' in 1983 and showcased it at Lincoln Center's New Directors New Films Festival. In 1985, Lee made his first feature film 'She's Gotta Have It'. The budget was $175,000 and was released in 1986; the film grossed $7,000,000 at the U.S Box Office and it was shot in only two weeks.
1989 saw the release of controversial film 'Do The Right Thing' which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. The following year, 'Mo' Better Blues' was released. Lee released '4 Little Girls' in 1997; a documentary that explored the killings of the children from a church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. The film was nominated for Best Feature Documentary at the Academy Awards.
Commercials: In 1990, Levi's jeans took Lee on to produce the TV commercials for the 501 button fly selection. Nike offered Lee a deal to direct for the company, and worked on the 'Air Jordans' line. His success in commercials then spanned to the likes of Converse, Taco Bell, Ben & Jerry's and Jaguar.
Personal Life: Lee is married to Tonya Lewis who is an attorney. They have two children; their daughter Satchel (b. Dec.1994) and their son Jackson (b. 1997). Lee is an avid New York Yankees fan, as well as a New York Knicks and English Football Team, Arsenal. Lee has his own office, and lives with his wife Tonya in Upper-East Manhattan, New York.
Spike Lee and musician Questlove are leading celebrations to honour Prince and his legacy.
The music icon, 57, was found dead at his Minnesota home on Thursday (21Apr16), and tributes from fans and friends came flooding in honouring him, and now filmmaker Spike and The Roots drummer Questlove are giving fans in New York a chance to mourn together on Thursday night with two separate events.
The Do The Right Thing director is hosting a Prince: We Love You Shockadelica Joint "celebration of life" for his friend and collaborator at his 40 Acres film studio in Brooklyn.
Announcing the event on Instagram, Spike told interested fans to "wear something purple" as they "dance, sing and shout to his music".
Continue reading: Spike Lee And Questlove Hosting Prince Tribute Events
Actress Rosario Dawson was reportedly taken into custody by police at the Democracy Spring rally in Washington D.C. on Friday (15Apr16).
The political protest in America's capital has been running for days, with event participants taking to the streets to express dissent over a variety of issues affecting U.S. citizens.
And TMZ reports Dawson was arrested at the rally after crossing a police line and sitting down in protest with a dozen others. It's not clear why the actress was allegedly handcuffed, but sources claim about 100 people were hauled away by cops on Friday and booked on charges of obstruction and crowding.
Before the arrest, Dawson posted several photos from the rally on her Instagram account. The 36-year-old Sin City star made the reasons why she was in attendance clear in several hashtags attached to the images she shared with fans online, writing "#BlackLivesMatter #Dreamers #LGBTQIequality (sic) #ProtestHB2 #DCStatehood #MoneyOutOfPolitics #ThePeoplesHouse #RestoreTheVRA #WolfPac #PayEquity #VotersNotDonors #NotMeUs #VoteTogether #puertoricandebtcrisis".
Continue reading: Rosario Dawson Arrested At Political Rally - Report
Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Allyson Green, Alec Baldwin , Steven Tisch - NYU TISCH 50th Anniversary Gala hosted by Alec Baldwin and Spike Lee, honoring the Tisch Family and notable alumni at Jazz At Lincoln Center - New York, New York, United States - Monday 4th April 2016
Katie Holmes is hoping for a career boost with latest movie Touched By Fire.
The Batman Begins appears in the film that was written and directed by first-time filmmaker Paul Dalio, son of American hedge-fund billionaire Ray Dalio.
Touched By Fire is an autobiographical study depicting a romance between fellow bipolar sufferers played by Katie (Carla) and actor Luke Kirby (Marco). The film also stars Christine Lahti (Sara) and Griffin Dunne (George) and is co-produced by Spike Lee. Paul Dalio suffers from the manic-depressive disorder himself.
Katie admits she is attracted by the subject matter despite not being knowledgeable about the condition. Deadline has already called her turn in the movie "superb", and this may prove to be a turning point in the actress' career.
Continue reading: Katie Holmes Eyes Career Revival With New Movie
Chance the Rapper has hit back in his feud with Spike Lee branding the director a "liar".
The pair's war of words began in December last year (15) after the hip hop star criticised the way Spike's latest film, Chi-Raq, depicted his hometown of Chicago.
In comments made last week (beg29Feb16) at a Chicago university screening of the gangland musical Spike called Chance, real name Chancellor Bennett, a "fraud".
The rapper has now responded angrily to the filmmaker on Twitter, writing, "Come on now. This guy promoting this offensive unsuccessful flop of a movie...And then get mad when students at the screening challenge him on his sexist, and RACIST movie and he wanna point the finger at me ... Boy. You are a lame. But more importantly a liar."
Continue reading: Chance The Rapper Hits Back In Spike Lee Feud
Dustin Hoffman believes America has a problem with racism that goes beyond the film industry.
The two-time Oscar winner insisted the lack of diversity among nominees is symptomatic of a bigger problem that affects American society.
Dustin did not attend Sunday night's (28Feb16) Academy Awards choosing instead to be at a basketball game, which he watched in the company of film director Spike Lee, a vocal critic of the lack of African-American nominees at this year's Oscars.
Continue reading: Dustin Hoffman: 'America Has A Problem With Racism'
Moviemaker Spike Lee has officially endorsed U.S. Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders in a radio advertisement.
The Do The Right Thing director previously admitted he was "intrigued" by Bernie's campaign to become the Democratic Party's standard bearer in November's (16) presidential election, and he has now offered him his full support.
In the campaign commercial, which aired ahead of South Carolina's Democratic primary election on Tuesday (23Feb16), the filmmaker referenced his famous movie by saying the 74-year-old politician would "do the right thing" if elected as U.S. leader.
"Wake up! Wake up, South Carolina!" he says in the advert, "This is your dude, Spike Lee. And you know that I know that you know that the system is rigged!
Continue reading: Spike Lee Appears In Bernie Sanders Presidential Advert
The director will be boycotting this years awards, after the #Oscarssowhite debate.
Director Spike Lee has spoken about his decision to boycott this year’s Oscars at the Berlin International Film Festival while premiering his latest movie Chi-Raq. Lee announced in January that he would not be attending this year’s ceremony, due to the lack of diversity among the nominees.
Spike Lee has spoken about his decision to boycott this year’s Academy Awards.
When asked about the Oscars diversity debate, Lee said he and his wife “never called a boycott. We just said we’re not going.” “Every year if you add up all the actor categories, there are 20 spots open and in the last two years not a single person of colour has been nominated,” Lee continued.
The 'Concussion' star appeared on 'Good Morning Britain' to explain his decision to boycott this year's Academy Awards.
Will Smith has spoken some more about his decision to join his wife Jada Pinkett Smith in boycotting this year’s Oscars ceremony, saying that he wants to be “part of the solution” to the diversity problem in the movie industry.
Smith is currently in Britain promoting Concussion, the movie which had seen him tipped to be in contention for the Best Actor trophy before the nominations were announced and he was left off the five-strong shortlist. For the second year in a row, all 20 acting nominations were taken up by white actors, much to the ire of social media.
Will Smith at the European premiere of 'Concussion' in January 2016
Continue reading: Will Smith Says His Decision To Boycott Oscars "Isn't About Me"
Actor Zachary Levi Is Adamant White Actors Also Fall Victim To Prejudice In Tinseltown, Revealing Hollywood Bosses Have Often Branded Him "Too Jewish" For A Movie Role.
The Thor: The Dark World star, who has Welsh ancestry and is not Jewish, has waded in to the debate about diversity in the movie industry following a row over the upcoming Oscars.
Several stars including Will Smith and Spike Lee have hit out at Academy Awards bosses because no black actors have been shortlisted for major honours at the 2016 ceremony, but Zachary is adamant prejudice is felt across the industry.
He tells the New York Daily News, "I heard multiple times that I was too Jewish, which is surprising to people because I go by Zachary Levi - Levi is my middle name. Pugh is my real last name. I'm Welsh.
Continue reading: Zachary Levi Branded 'Too Jewish' For Films
Steve Mcqueen Wants Hollywood Bosses To Look Back At The 2016 Oscars In A Year's Time And Realise It Was A "Watershed Moment".
Since the nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards were announced earlier in January (16) there has been a growing swell of criticism about the lack of diversity among them. Stars including Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Spike Lee are boycotting the 28 February (16) ceremony because of the lack of black nominees, and it's something MCQueen - who picked up the best picture gong for 12 Years A Slave in 2014, the only black director to ever triumph in the category - feels strongly about too.
"I don’t even want to wait 20 years,” he told Britain's The Guardian newspaper. “Forgive me; I’m hoping in 12 months or so we can look back and say this was a watershed moment, and thank God we put that right.”
MCQueen has touched on the diversity issue in Hollywood in the past, and he finds it staggering that some white stars prefer not to get involved. As far as he's concerned it is a problem which affects everyone, regardless of their race, and so a public conversation needs to be had.
Continue reading: Steve Mcqueen: '2016 Oscars Are A Watershed Moment'
Date of birth
20th March, 1957
A Treasure From The Vaults At 40Acres And A Mule Filmworks. Funny Story-Prince Told Me "Spike,… https://t.co/6REyDwA6bu
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