Since the release of Do the Right Thing in 1989, Spike Lee has established himself as a cinematic icon. Lee's mostly independent films garner popular audiences while at the same time engaging in substantial political and social commentary. He is arguably the most accomplished African American filmmaker in cinematic history, and his breakthrough paved the way for the success of many other African Americans in film.
In this first single-author scholarly examination of Spike Lee's oeuvre, Todd McGowan shows how Lee's films, from She's Gotta Have It through Red Hook Summer, address crucial social issues such as racism, paranoia, and economic exploitation in a formally inventive manner. McGowan argues that Lee uses excess in his films to intervene in issues of philosophy, politics, and art. McGowan contends that it is impossible to watch a Spike Lee film in the way that one watches a typical Hollywood film. By forcing observers to recognize their unconscious enjoyment of violence, paranoia, racism, sexism, and oppression, Lee's films prod spectators to see differently and to confront their own excess. In the process, his films reveal what is at stake in desire, interpersonal relations, work, and artistic creation itself.
"This collection brings valuable attention to the largely overlooked experiences of Asian Americans in the southern US. . . . An important contribution to Asian American studies. Essential."--Choice
"Several of the films produced by 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks and directed by the prominent director Spike Lee are intricately analysed by Todd McGowan with poise, eloquence, and succinctness ending in a brilliant diegesis. From the start the author formulates for the reader the profound value the concept excess holds in crucially interpreting Spike Lee as not only an iconic political filmmaker but an artist committed to using excess as a unique peculiarity throughout his film repertoire."--Ethnic and Racial Studies
- Publisher : University of Illinois Press; 1st edition (January 7, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 184 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0252079610
- Item Weight : 8.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.25 inches
- NOTE: This book is out of print and must be obtained from individual sellers. Quality is guaranteed acceptable to good but will not be pristine, and some ordinary wear-and-tear is to be expected.