Spike Lee At Roy Thompson Hall Tonight!

Spike Lee will make a rare appearance tonight at Roy Thompson Hall. Controversial filmmaker to some, mentor and inspiration to others, Lee travels to Toronto tonight to commemorate the March 21st International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

"Spike Lee is such an important independent filmmaker," says Cristina Ribeiro, Vice-President of Student Life & Events at Ryerson University. "To be able to bring him to Canada to talk directly to our students in Image Arts and Theatre is such a fantastic opportunity."

"Spike" Lee, whose childhood nickname stems from his toughness and his fearlessness to tackle the sharp issues of African American culture, has received praise for his DIY filmmaking, his targeting of the previously neglected black moviegoer niche, and his personal commitment to real issues.

Yet he has also received backlash from critics that he "condones violence" and exploits the issues to make a profit, an accusation which Lee adamantly denies.

"Spike loves to fight," the filmmaker's friend and business associate Nelson George told Vanity Fair. "There's a gleeful look he gets, a certain kind of excitement in his eyes when [things are] being stirred up."

Things are definitely getting stirred up on the tour so far. Lee was quoted in his Georgia address for referring to US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice as a "house negro" and the NCAA as "a bunch of pimps". He also spoke about gangsta rap as "the death of all of us". He's expected to tackle his usual assortment of socio-political topics such as stigmas and stereotypes facing the African American community, as well as elements of popular black culture.

He will also most likely speak a heartfelt message to college students and recent graduates. He told a Massachusetts audience, "You don't want to be ten or fifteen years down the road from now and having to drag your ass out of bed every morning to a job you hate." He went on to describe his adolescence growing up in Brooklyn, and the early struggles of his film career. He tells eager young minds, "Going through the fire just made me more hungry, more determined that I couldn't fail again."

Coming up next year we can expect two more films from Spike Lee, including a compelling drama about a disgraced cop {Keanu Reeves} looking for redemption. Last month Spike Lee promoted the DVD release of "School Daze," "She Hate Me" and his $33 Million epic biography "Malcolm X." He's also directed the first and last episodes of "Miracle Boys", a six-part mini-series that aired last month on the "N" Network.

On a controversial note, he commended the "Miracle Boys" producers for opting to shoot the series in Harlem, instead of Toronto. "Right now a lot of people are still choosing to go to Toronto instead of shooting in New York City, something I haven't done and something I hope I'll never have to do," he declares. "You might look at something in a scene and it looks like New York, and you might not even know it. But there's something in your mind saying, 'Something's not right.' Because you could just taste it. And it's not New York City."

Despite his subtle knock at US producers flooding Toronto with film jobs to save money, his speech tonight will give Torontonians the chance to bombard Spike Lee with all their questions in a thirty-minute Q&A session, as well as catch the most innovative opinions from a provocative director.


Event Details:
Monday, March 14, 2005
8:00pm . Roy Thomson Hall . Toronto
$27.00 students / $42.00 general public
Tickets Available at or 416.872.4255,
Ticketmaster Outlets. or 416.870.8000
Student tickets available directly from participating student union/centre offices

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