Spike Lee: American Original

Veteran Brooklyn filmmaker Spike Lee is everywhere these days, rightfully soaking in the glow of his first Best Picture and Best Director Oscar nominations. 

BlackkKlansman, the 2018 film which earned him those nods, is just the latest in a rich and eclectic career that has spanned over 35 years. In that time, he has often garnered equal amounts of praise and scorn for his films, which, in their most pointed moments, deal directly with issues of race, culture, sex, and ontological corruption.

While this new film is the first to earn notice from the Academy, Mr. Lee has several masterpieces in his cinematic canon already. Get on the Bus might be his most perfect film and Inside ManHe Got Game, and 25th Hour are also powerhouses.  No other filmmaker has captured sibling dynamics and the pain of playing music to an empty house better than Lee did in Crooklyn. His undisputed classic Do the Right Thing, starring a sweltering New York City summer, turns 30 this summer.