The Philosophy of Spike Lee

Overview

Over his twenty-plus year tenure in Hollywood, Spike Lee has produced a number of controversial films that unapologetically confront sensitive social issues, particularly those of race relations and discrimination. Through his honest portrayals of life's social obstacles, he challenges the public to reflect on the world's problems and divisions. The innovative director created a name for himself with feature films such as Do the Right Thing (1989) and Malcolm X (1992), and with documentaries such as 4 Little ...

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The Philosophy of Spike Lee

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Overview

Over his twenty-plus year tenure in Hollywood, Spike Lee has produced a number of controversial films that unapologetically confront sensitive social issues, particularly those of race relations and discrimination. Through his honest portrayals of life's social obstacles, he challenges the public to reflect on the world's problems and divisions. The innovative director created a name for himself with feature films such as Do the Right Thing (1989) and Malcolm X (1992), and with documentaries such as 4 Little Girls (1997) and When the Levees Broke (2006), breaking with Hollywood's reliance on cultural stereotypes to portray African Americans in a more realistic light. The director continues to produce poignant films that address some of modern society's most important historical movements and events.

In The Philosophy of Spike Lee, editor Mark T. Conard and an impressive list of contributors delve into the rich philosophy behind this filmmaker's extensive work. Not only do they analyze the major themes of race and discrimination that permeate Lee's productions, but also examine other philosophical ideas that are found in his films, ideas such as the nature of time, transcendence, moral motivation, self-constitution, and justice. The authors specialize in a variety of academic disciplines that range from African American Studies to literary and cultural criticism and Philosophy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

""A valuable contribution to the fields of both philosophy and film studies." -- Kimberly A. Blessing, Buffalo State College" --

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Mark T. Conard, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Marymount Manhattan College, is the editor of many books, including The Philosophy of Film Noir, The Philosophy of Neo-Noir, and The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers. He lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

I Justice, Value, and the Nature of Evil

The Symbolism of Blood in Clockers Douglas McFarland 3

The Prostitution Trap of Elite Sport in He Got Game Jason Holt Robert Pitter 15

Aristotle and MacIntyre on Justice in 25th Hour Mark T. Conard 26

We Can't Get Off the Bus: A Commentary on Spike Lee and Moral Motivation Gabriella Beckles-Raymond 40

Monsters and Moralism in Summer of Sam R. Barton Palmer 54

II Race, Sexuality and Community

(Still) Fighting the Power: Public Space and the Unspeakable Privacy of the Other in Do the Right Thing Elizabeth Hope Finnegan 75

Coworking in the Kingdom of Culture: Identity and Community in the Films of Spike Lee Charles F. Peterson 95

Feminists and "Freaks" She's Gotta Have It and Girl 6 Karen D. Hoffman 106

The Dialectic of King and X in Do the Right Thing Michael Silberstein 123

Fevered Desires and Interracial Intimacies in Jungle Fever Ronald R. Sundstrom 144

Bamboozled: Philosophy through Blackface Dan Flory 164

III Time, the Subject, and Transcendence

Transcendence and Sublimity in Spike Lee's Signature Shot Jerold J. Abrams 187

Economies of Time in Clockers Richard Gilmore 200

Rethinking the First Person: Autobiography, Authorship, and the Contested Self in Malcolm X David LaRocca 215

List of Contributors 243

Index 247

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