STARTED FROM NOTHING – is a series of posts, dedicated to film makers(and movements) that without Bank loans,Studio finances, independently made films, some of which went on to be classics, but also became influential, not only in the country, but on Global cinema, an generations of film-makers directly inspired by them
These days he’s known more for his controversial statements, interviews and often outspoken/blunt views on matters rergarding race and issues concerning the African American community. Spike Lee is one of the most relevant and important voices in Black Cinema in the last 30 years . His biggest and most commercial film was INSIDE MAN, with regular collaborator Denzel Washington, who he also worked on with his best known film ,biopic Malcom X.
Lee started quite small. Four years after graduating NYU and with a few short films under his belt , Spike raised $175,000 to make his feature debut “She’s got to have it” ,Shot in 12 days in 1985, the film’s budget was so tight, there were no retakes of any scenes.
The debut is regards as a milestone in American Independent cinema, and it is definately a laarger Milestone for African American Cinema , as it was a film that portrayed African Americans in a very different way than they had ever been seen on screen. The New York Times wrote that the film
“ushered in the American independent film movement of the 1980s. It was also a groundbreaking film for African-American filmmakers and a welcome change in the representation of blacks in American cinema, depicting men and women of color not as pimps and whores, but as intelligent, upscale urbanites.
The film won “Award of the Youth” Foreign Film — Spike Lee (won) at Cannes 1986 festival
Lee went on to be one of the most thought provoking and social concioius film makers of his time, often tackling difficult issues that few others would touch. In his 20+ year career he has made films like Jungle Fever, Mo Better Blues, Do the Right Thing, He Got Game , Bamboozled ,The 25th Hour ,Summer of Sam, and also documentaries; Four Little Girls, When the Leeves Broke and so much more.
Whether one thinks of his views, no one can deny his ability as a film maker and the mark he has made as an African American director on the cinema landscape