HE GOT GAME
SPIKE LEE (Director/Writer/Producer) has become one of Hollywood's most influential and important filmmakers
SPIKE LEE (Director/Writer/Producer) has become one of
Hollywood's most influential and important filmmakers. Touchstone
Pictures' "He Got Game" is his twelfth feature in a
career that began over a decade ago and which has earned him outstanding
critical acclaim for such features as "Malcolm X," "Clockers,"
and "Do the Right Thing." His most recent film, "Get
on the Bus," opened to rave reviews, and he has also received
accolades for his first documentary feature, "4 Little Girls,"
which he directed and produced for HBO, and which received an
In 1986, Lee made his film debut with the independently produced
comedy "She's Gotta Have It," which he wrote, directed,
produced, edited, and acted in, creating the character Mars Blackmon.
The feature earned him the Prix de Jeunesse Award at the Cannes
Film Festival and gave impetus and attention to the Black New
Wave in American cinema. His second feature, "School Daze,"
was a commercial success and the breakthrough film for several
of Hollywood's young African-American actors.
Lee received an Academy Award® nomination and a Golden Globe
nomination for Best Original Screenplay for his trenchant 1989
feature "Do the Right Thing." The film, which dealt
with the contentious issue of race relations in America, also
earned him Best Film and Best Director awards from the Los Angeles
Film Critics Association. Subsequent films "Jungle Fever"
and "Mo' Better Blues" continued his tradition for tackling
serious issues within the African-American context. In 1992, Lee
brought the life story of Malcolm X to the screen. Cast as the
charismatic civil rights advocate, Denzel Washington received
an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor. The feature was
declared one of the best films of 1992.
Born Shelton Jackson Lee in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in the
Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, Lee is the son of a jazz musician
and a schoolteacher and grew up an avid sports fan. He graduated
from Morehouse College in Atlanta. He returned to New York to
continue his education at New York University's Tisch School of
the Arts, where he received a master of fine arts degree in film
production, and also directing his student film "Joe's Bed-Stuy
Barbershop: We Cut Heads" which won a Student Academy Award®.
Settling in his home neighborhood of Fort Greene, Lee then founded
his own production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks.
In addition to his achievements in feature films, Lee has produced
and directed numerous music videos for such diverse artists as
Miles Davis, Chaka Khan, Tracy Chapman, Anita Baker, Public Enemy,
Bruce Hornsby, and Michael Jackson. Other music videos include
those for Phyliss Hyman, Naughty by Nature, and Arrested Development.
Lee is also known for his commercial work with the Nike Air Jordan
campaign. Collaborating with basketball superstar Michael Jordan
on seven commercials, Lee resurrected his popular character Mars
Blackmon from "She's Gotta Have It." He created a P.S.A.
for the United Negro College Fund that also features Michael Jordan.
Lee has also directed several Art Spot Shorts for MTV and a short
film featuring Branford Marsalis and Dianne Abbott for "Saturday
Night Live." He received an Emmy Award for his piece on Georgetown's
John Thompson for HBO/Real Sports.
Additionally, Lee has authored six books on the making of his
films; the fifth book, "Five
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