Happy Birthday Spike Lee

On Sunday March 20, 2016, Spike Lee turned a young 59 years of age. As someone use to seeing Lee on the sidelines of New York Knicks games screaming for some defense and a victory, it is good to take a moment and appreciate his artistic vision through movies. Spring Break and today’s class allowed myself to take a moment and reflect on the first half of the semester. Some things often brought up about Lee are how clumsy he is when it comes to dealing with gender and sexuality, his eye with framing certain scenes, his use of color to help with the tension in a scene. I appreciate most of how Lee frames people within scenes, such as Jane standing between Dap and Julian in School Daze. Julian and Dap argue over whether Half-Pint will be accepted into Gamma Dogs fraternity while Jane must watch with little agency to influence the debate. 

I am curious as to what others think. What is a theme or aesthetic that pleases or displeases you in a film? Does Lee do his best to handle gender and sexuality from a heterosexuality male gaze? What could Lee do to improve as he continues to write, direct, and produce movies? Do you have other questions you want to pose or answer?



Author: jayjay

photographer, dancer, aspiring lawyer

One thought on “Happy Birthday Spike Lee”

  1. First of all, I’m almost positive Miami won that game #GOHEAT. Now, as the years go by and social movements change, I do believe it becomes impossible to see beyond one’s own paradigm. Especially since Lee has been making groundbreaking films since the 80s, it is remarkable that there isn’t more to criticize. Also, as a white male I’ve never been less confident about my opinions on subjects such as race, gender, and sexuality; however, for example, the way Mo Better Blues ended with the “happy” ending of Indigo submitting to Bleek left a bad taste in my mouth– a bad taste beyond Lee’s intention to make the viewer uncomfortable.


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