Spike Lee Stole My Wallet!
What a terrible evening! Last night I paid $42 to hear Spike Lee ramble aimlessly about nothing in particular. He seemed uncomfortable on stage. He lacked presence and personality, and, when you boil it down, said nothing truly insightful or informative. I have seen more engaging presentations in high school English classes. I have heard more interesting stories from the autistic first-graders I work with on weekends--and some of them can't even speak!
Spike Lee was in town to mark the March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, but he really didn't delve into heavy topics like discrimination or racism. Instead he chose to focus on loosing his train of thought and creating awkward/uncomfortable pauses before moving onto other topics such as: nothing.
Maybe I'm being a little harsh. Maybe I'm in shock. I expected more from this man--he is truly one of the best filmmakers working today. He is one of my heroes, and I guess I was a little surprised to find out that one of my heroes has less personality than an aborted fetus. Okay, now I'm being harsh (and crude). But hell, I'm out 42 bucks!
Spike, despite his best efforts, managed to make a few good points. He mentioned that young filmmakers today are "poisoned" by the idea of overnight success. "There is no such thing as overnight success," Lee said. "There's going to be hard work. Prepare to starve." Indeed.
After an hour of painful and splintered insights and anecdotes, Lee opened the session to the audience. I thought he would be more comfortable during the Q & A session...I was wrong. Spike failed to answer a single question properly. He decided to use this time to journey to the planet of Unruly Tangent. It was messy. It was awkward.
The night, however, wasn't a complete bust. The highlight was when John Singleton jumped onstage to defend his film Boyz n the Hood. Singleton injected energy and life into the event, and told a touching story about his first encounter with Spike Lee some twenty years ago.
But forty-two dollars is forty-two dollars. The event wasn't worth my time or my money. If anybody was at the event and feels differently, let me know.
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