[Marxism] Forwarded from Lou Godena
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 18 17:57:10 MDT 2006
(Lou, this exceeded the Marxmail size limit)
Thursday, August 17, 2006
SPIKE LEE: THE ANGRIEST AUTEUR
by Ariel Levy
NEW YORK MAGAZINE
Spike Lee, along with his wife, Tonya Lewis, is wealthy, hugely
successful, at the top of W.E.B. DuBois's "Talented Tenth" of
black society in America. But does that mean Spike has mellowed?
Spike Lee is sitting in the lobby of the Royalton Hotel in midtown,
looking back and forth between the menu and his Louis Vuitton personal
agenda, rubbing his head and trying to make some choices. He has just
returned from one of many trips to New Orleans to film his documentary
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, and he is leaving again
soon for Germany, to see the final games of the World Cup (today he
wears a shirt that says Brazil, the country he's rooting for). He has
to figure out when he's going to meet with former New Orleans mayor
Marc Morial, and he's got to show up at a 9 a.m. panel tomorrow for
the Black Women's Leadership Council, and what is he going to eat?
Lee mutters his decision. "I'll take the jumbo lump crab cakes."
The waiter, who is about 25, black, and obviously unnerved by the fact
that he's waiting on Spike Lee, says, "What?"
"Jumbo lump crab cakes, man!" says Lee, impatient.
The waiter skitters off as if he is a crab himself.
Spike Lee is not the warmest guy in the world. He may not even be the
warmest guy in the Royalton. He cares about people, but it's unclear
how much he likes them. Things are going well for Lee, though, that
much he admits. Sort of. "I'm happy, but I'm still ... I mean, no
one's going-no one in their sane mind-is going to laugh or make
light of the box- office success of a film like Inside Man," Lee's
latest, which had the biggest opening of his twenty-year career.
"Denzel's biggest opening, too," Lee is quick to add. "But
coming in, I always had the thought that if this film, by some chance,
became the big hit it has become, I would be able to get the financing
to get this Joe Louis project going, and that still hasn't been the
case." Which is a pisser, but then Lee did get his Katrina
documentary made, all four hours of it, and that's something.
"What was discouraging to me was, some people-it was like a
revelation: I never knew we had poor people in this country," before
Katrina. "I think the United States government has done a very good
job of covering up the poor so unless you really, really ... You might
see a homeless person, you know, on the street, but you can avoid it.
You can bypass a lot of stuff," says Lee, twisting the diamond stud
in his ear. He speaks slowly, deliberately, like a professor or a
certain kind of pot smoker. It's a dispensation, not a discussion; he
does not look you in the eye.
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