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Spike Lee

États-Unis

Français

Réalisateur, Acteur, Producteur, Producteur exécutif, Scénariste, Monteur américain

Né le 20 Mars 1957 à Atlanta (Géorgie, Etats-Unis) au sein d’un famille nombreuse, fils de jazzman, Spike Lee fait d’abord ses études au College Universitaire de Morehouse avant d’intégrer l’Ecole du Cinéma de New-York, dont il sort diplômé en production cinéma. Un des courts métrages qu’il y réalise lui permet de remporter, entre autres prix, l’Oscar du meilleur film étudiant : Joe’s bed-study barbershop : we cut heads (1982), qui connaîtra une diffusion sur les ondes et pour lequel il fonde sa maison de production 40 Acres and a Mule. Quatre ans plus tard, il réalise Nola Darling n’en fait qu’à sa tête, premier long métrage réalisé en douze jours avec une équipe réduite. Couronné par le prix de la jeunesse lors du Festival du Film de Cannes 1986, le film connaît un succès critique et public des deux côtés de l’Atlantique, et fait de son auteur le nouveau porte-parole du cinéma afro-américain. School Daze (1988), Do the right thing (1989), Mo’ Better Blues (1990), film musical qui reflète sa passion du jazz – et Jungle Fever (1991) viennent confirmer sa popularité, tandis que Malcolm X (1992), biographie du célèbre et controversé leader noir américain, provoque quelques réactions critiques. Multipliant ses prises de position répétées contre la communauté WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant), Spike Lee voit alors sa renommée quelque peu entamée. Il continue malgré tout à écrire et tourner ses propres sujets, essentiellement situés à Brooklyn, le quartier où il vit depuis son enfance, comme Crooklyn ou Clockers. Aussi à l’aise dans le registre de la comédie en explorant l’univers des opératrices de téléphone rose dans Girl 6 (1996) que dans le drame avec Summer of Sam (1999), qui reprend pour toile de fond les meurtres perpétrés en été 1977 à New York. Il s’implique dans les hommages à la ville de New York suite aux attentats du 11 septembre, et tourne parallèlement plusieurs documentaires à succès comme 4 little girls ou The Original Kings of Comedy. Spike Lee reprend la caméra en 2002 pour raconter la dernière journée d’un dealer avant son emprisonnement dans La 25e heure. Deux ans plus tard, il réalise She hate me une comédie de moeurs sur fond d’homosexualité et de scandale financier où l’on retrouve Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington au côtés de Monica Bellucci et Jamel Debbouze. Toujours proche des évènements qui touchent l’Amérique, il tourne pour la chaîne HBO un documentaire sur l’ouragan Katrina intitulé When the levee broke. En 2006 il revient en force avec Inside man – l’homme de l’intérieur, film de braquage à gros budget comptant au générique des pointures comme Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Willem Dafoe ou Jodie Foster. 2007 « Les enfants invisibles » programme de 7 courts-métrages, autres réalisateurs : Mehdi Charef, Ridley Scott, John Woo, Jordan Scott, Emir Kusturica, Katia Lund, Stefano Veneruso.

English

Spike Lee Biography
As a director, producer, writer and educator, Spike Lee has revolutionized the role of black talent in cinema. Widely regarded as one of today’s premier American filmmakers, Lee is an innovator in the « do it yourself » school of independent film. Lee first established his unique perspective in 1986 with the independently financed She’s Gotta Have It. Lee is coming off the success of his Emmy Award winning documentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts that has garnered rave critical review and is considered by many to be the definitive account of that catastrophic event. Recent critically acclaimed successes have included such films as box office hit Inside Man, 25th Hour, The Original Kings of Comedy, Bamboozled and Summer of Sam. Lee’s films: Girl 6, Get on the Bus, Do the Right Thing, She Hate Me and Clockers display his ability to showcase a series of outspoken and provocative socio-political critiques that challenge cultural assumptions not only about race, but also class and gender identity.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Brooklyn, Lee returned to the south to attend Morehouse College. After graduation, he returned to Brooklyn to continue his education at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Manhattan where he received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in film production. Lee then founded 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks based in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn.

In 1986, his debut film, the independently produced comedy, She’s Gotta Have It, earned him the Prix de Jeunesse Award at the Cannes Film festival and set him at the forefront of the Black New Wave in American Cinema.

School Daze, his second feature, helped launch the careers of several young Black actors. Spike’s timely 1989 film, Do the Right Thing, garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film & Director awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Lee’s Jungle Fever, Mo’ Better Blues, Clockers and Crooklyn were also critically well received. His epic drama Malcolm X, starring Denzel Washington, received two Academy Award nominations.

In addition to his achievements in feature films, Spike Lee has produced and directed numerous music videos for such diverse artists as Miles Davis, Prince, Chaka Khan, Tracy Chapman, Anita Baker, Public Enemy, Bruce Hornsby and Michael Jackson. His other music videos include work for the late Phyliss Hyman, Naughty by Nature and Arrested Development.

Lee’s commercial work began in 1988 with his Nike Air Jordan campaign. Collaborating with basketball great Michael Jordan on several commercials, Lee resurrected his popular character, Mars Blackmon from She’s Gotta Have It. He has also completed a PSA for UNCF which also features Michael Jordan called, « Two Michaels. » Lee is also well-known for his Levi’s Button-Fly 501, AT&T, and ESPN television commercials. Other commercial ventures include TV spots for Philips, Nike, American Express, Pepsi, Jaguar and Taco Bell, just to name a few. Lee has also directed several Art Spot Shorts for MTV and a short film featuring Branford Marsalis and Diahnne Abbott, entitled Horn of Plenty for Saturday Night Live.

Lee is also diversely involved in documentaries, sports programs, and projects for cable and network television. His recent critically acclaimed documentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts is a huge success having received two Emmy Awards and awards from film festivals worldwide. He also completed the Emmy and Oscar nominated documentary, 4 Little Girls, for HBO and received an Emmy Award for his piece on Georgetown’s John Thompson for HBO/Real Sports. Lee worked on the television specials Freak for HBO and Sucker Free City for Showtime. He has directed pilots for network television including CBS’s Shark and NBC’s M.O.N.Y.

Additionally, Lee has authored six books on the making of his films. Lee, with the late Ralph Wiley, then followed up with Best Seat in the House: A Basketball Memoir. Lee and his wife Tonya Lewis Lee co-authored two children’s books entitled Please, Baby, Please and Please, Puppy, Please. Most recently he authored a retrospective book about his film career entitled That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It.

Ever moving into new areas, Lee has combined his extensive creative experience into yet another venture: partnering with DDB Needham, he has created Spike/DDB – a full service advertising agency – that will concentrate on the urban/ethnic market.

In 1991, Lee began teaching at Harvard University under the Department of Afro-American Studies. He taught a course about filmmaking and black film over the period of four years. After teaching at Harvard, he was asked to teach at his alma mater, New York University. He continues to teach « the role of the director as a leadership role as well as an artistic position » to graduate film students. Since 2002, Lee has been Artistic Director of the Graduate Film Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Spike Lee is currently promoting his twenty-first feature film, adapted from James McBride’s novel Miracle at St. Anna starring Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller and John Turturro. The film « chronicles the story of four black American soldiers who are members of the US Army as part of the all-black 92nd « Buffalo Soldier » Division stationed in Tuscany, Italy during World War II.


Books
Spike has authored seven books on the making of his films. The fifth book, Five for Five, served as a pictorial reflection of his first five features. Spike, with the late Ralph Wiley, then followed up with Best Seat in the House: A Basketball Memoir. Lee and his wife Tonya Lewis Lee co-authored two children’s books entitled Please, Baby, Please and Please, Puppy, Please. In 2005, he authored a retrospective book about his film career entitled That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It.


MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA : THE MOTION PICTURE (2008)

SPIKE LEE – THAT’S MY STORY AND I’M STICKING TO IT (2005)

PLEASE, PUPPY, PLEASE CO-AUTHOR TONYA LEWIS LEE (2005)

PLEASE, BABY, PLEASE CO-AUTHOR TONYA LEWIS LEE (2002)

BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE : A BASKETBALL MEMOIR (1997)

BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY : THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF MAKING MALCOLM X (1993)

FIVE FOR FIVE (1991)

MO’ BETTER BLUES (1990)

DO THE RIGHT THING : A SPIKE LEE JOINT (1989)

UPLIFT THE RACE : THE CONSTRUCTION OF SCHOOL DAZE (1988)

SPIKE LEE’S GOTTA HAVE IT : INSIDE GUERRILLA FILMMAKING (1987)


From http://40acres.com/
Films(s)