‘Yes. bttt I don't think that my passion is fuelled by anger] he counters. ‘I don‘t make filtns because I‘m angry. I make films because I love making films. I’m still not convinced that films can change people -- they can make people talk and. maybe through the dialogue that follows. people might change. But for
‘Kurosawa is one of my favourite filmmakers, and I know nothing about samurai warriors. Bicycle Thief is one of my favourite films, but I know nothing about post-war Italy. Me being African American does not distract from me liking those great movies.’
somebody to go see a movie and _)ll.\l walk ottt of the theatre completely transformed . . . I don't know if that's possible. liach film I do. I really view separately; it‘s not like they‘re one ltttnp sum. I felt much more [lass/(III telling Strike’s story than the story of a cop who‘s had twenty years on the force and is facing a mid-life crisis.‘
This response encourages an easy -- and short- sighted — criticism: that Lee is only concerned with ‘black' 'You know. I don't understand a question like that. because if something works. it doesn‘t matter that you’ve had that esperience.‘ he replies. without becoming heated. ‘ls'urosawa is one of my favourite filmmakers. and I know nothing about samurai warriors. [heir/r 'l’lr/tff is one of my favourite films. bttt I know nothing about post- war ltaly. .\le being African American does not distract from me liking those great tnovies. It seems to me that. when you‘re a black filmmaker. this thing always comes up — "Well. because he‘s black. that means it won't be universal and other people in different countries won‘t be able to understand it.”
Still. haying Lee sitting before you. it‘s hard
not to seize the opportunity and ask about a couple of recent Stateside events that do have a strong racial slant. 0. J. Simpson? ‘What was interesting was that a lot of white Americans. for the first time. wanted to dismantle the
judicial system in America. do away with the jury system. Like this is the first act of injustice'
And the Million Man March? ‘I had major knee surgery four days before. so I was on crutches and couldn‘t take part. But one of the great things about the Million Man March is that it really solidified people‘s minds. It‘s about self- dependency now. People are going to have to pick it up and stand up, not as individuals. but as black people as a whole. and not expect Newt (iingrich and the Republicans to have their best interests at heart.‘
If Lee is starting to sound like he‘s on a soap box. that‘s not his usual personal approach. The messages are in the movies. sometimes shouting loudly. sometimes whispering in your ear. The fact that (‘luckers ends on an optimistic note probably says something about the 38-year- old‘s maturing relationship with the world. It's not just Hollywood that needs Spike Lee: he's got plenty to say about everything and. even if you think he gives the wrong answers. you can‘t deny he's always asking the right questions. (lockers opens on l’ridzrv 9 February:
SPIKE LEE FEATURE
Both sides of the law: Harvey Keitel and Mekhl Phlfer in Blockers
The Films of Spike Lee
She’s Gotta Have It (1986) School Daze (1988)
no The Bight Thing (1989) Mo’ Better Blues (1990) Jungle Fever (1991) Malcolm X (1992) Brooklyn (1994)
Girl Six (1996)
no The Right Thing
Win Blockers gear!
You‘ve read the feature. seen the film and now you can own the merchandise. Courtesy of UlP and Nubian Tales we have ten C/uckwiv record bags. twenty Clue/(cm baseball caps and twenty ('lm‘kers T-shirts to complete the look. If you wanna be the coolest kid in the ‘hood and get your mitts on the goodies. answer this:
Who played Malcolm X in Spike Lee‘s film of the same name'.’
Answers on a postcard to reach us by Thurs 22 Feb.
Address them: CLOCK COMP, The list, 14 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1TE.
The List 9-22 Feb l99615