Take Your Place in the Murray State Tradition
Lovett Auditorium

An Evening with Spike Lee: America Through My Lens

An Evening with Spike Lee: America Through My Lens

7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 4
Lovett Auditorium

Fearless, honest and dedicated to the cause, Spike Lee has never shied away from from speaking his mind. In this gripping lecture, Lee discusses the history, current status and future of America as he sees it. Touching on race relations, stereotypes in hollywood and social & political agendas, Lee leaves it all on the table only the way he can.

Spike Lee, is a writer, director, actor, producer and author who revolutionized the role of Black talent in cinema. Widely regarded as a premiere African-American filmmaker, Lee is a forerunner in the 'do it your-self' school of independent film. An avid sports enthusiast, Lee recently completed a one day, 18-camera documentary shoot focusing on NBA standout Kobe Bryant. Produced for ESPN, the unique piece is entitled "Kobe- Doin Work". Another current project "Passing Strange" - the critically acclaimed Broadway musical - follows the travels of a young African American musician in search of himself which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. His most recent theatrical release is "Miracle at St Anna." Set in 1944, it 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, trapped behind enemy lines in Tuscany, Italy during World War II.

This film comes on the heels of When the Levees Broke, a groundbreaking documentary focusing on the plight of Americans stranded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Other critical and box office successes have included such films as "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," 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 class and gender identity as well.

His debut film, the independently produced comedy "She's Gotta Have It," earned him the Prix de Jeunesse Award at the Cannes Film festival in 1986 and set him at the forefront of the Black New Wave in American Cinema. His second feature, the very profitable and critically acclaimed "School Daze," helped launch the careers of several young Black actors. Lee's timely 1989 film, Do the Right Thing, garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film and Director awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Lee's "Jungle Fever," "Mo' Better Blues," "Clockers," and "Crooklyn" were also well received by critics and fans alike. His epic drama "Malcolm X," starring Denzel Washington, received two Academy Award nominations.

In addition to his film achievements, Lee has produced and directed numerous music videos for diverse artists including Chaka Khan, Tracy Chapman, Anita Baker, Public Enemy, Bruce Hornsby and Michael Jackson. His other music videos include work for the late Miles Davis and Phyllis 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 entitled "Two Michaels," which also features Michael Jordan. Lee is also well-known for his Levi's Button-Fly 501, AT&T and ESPN television commercials. His other commercial ventures include TV spots for Philips, Nike, American Express, Snapple and Taco Bell. Lee has also directed several Art Spot Shorts for MTV and a short film featuring Branford Marsalis and Diahnne Abbott for Saturday Night Live.

Lee is also involved in documentaries and sports programs. He 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. Additionally, Lee has authored six books on the making of his films and created Spike/DDB, a full-service advertising agency.

He released the film, "Red Hook Summer," in 2012 and made his Broadway directorial debut with "Mike Tyson: Indisputed Truth." He has recently been touring "Bad 25," a Michael Jackson documentary made in collaboration with the estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Music. It has been screened at the Venice Film Festival in which he received the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker honor, and Toronto International Film Festival, and is scheduled for a one week theatrical release and a television premiere on ABC in November.

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