Thursday, September 24, 2020

SPIKE LEE: WHY HE FINANCED HIS LATEST MOVIE

January 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

When Spike Lee was asked following the screening of his movie Red Hook Summer at the Sundance film festival what he would have done differently if he had had access to a big Hollywood budget, he launched into a high-decibel, expletive-laced rant at studio executives that left those in his audience somewhat shell-shocked. The question was put to him during a Q&A by Chris Rock — and Lee seemed to indicate that the actor/comedian had asked him the same question in private earlier. “We never went to the studios with this film, Chris,” Lee retorted. “I told you, I TOLD you … I bought a camera and said we’re gonna do this motherf***ing film ourselves!” That had always been his plan, he insisted, because “I didn’t want to hear no motherf***ing notes from the studio telling me … about what a young 13-year-old boy and girl would do in Red Hook,” the downscale Brooklyn neighborhood where the movie was filmed. Studio executives, Lee railed, “know nothing about black people — nothing!” Critics attending the screening gave the film a mostly negative reception on Twitter as soon as it was over, a person from ComingSoon.net describing it “as one of the worst movies to ever premiere at #sundance,” although a handful found much about it to admire. It was, said, the Los Angeles Times‘s Steven Zeitchik on Twitter, Lee’s “most interesting/ambitious film” in years. Tweeted Adam B. Vary of Entertainment Weekly: “Bizarre, flawed, passionate, and that’s just Spike Lee’s rant-y post-screening Q&A, featuring a Chris Rock cameo!”