The Spike Lee Reader

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From his stunning debut, She's Gotta Have It, to his incendiary Do the Right Thing, through Jungle Fever, Bamboozled, and even Inside Man, Spike Lee has found loyal fans and fervid detractors, as well as critical praise, if not always box office success. Lee's films have sparked critical inquiries into the nature of genres, the role of the auteur, and question of whether there is, in fact, a black cinematic aesthetic. According to some critics, Lee's films challenge viewers to engage intellectually with a cinematic "text," to revel in and deconstruct the complexities of each film's polyphonic visual and aural fields.

Gathered in this anthology are critical writings on Spike Lee's films by leading scholars in the fields of Cinema Studies and African American Studies. In sixteen new and reprinted essays, the contributors to The Spike Lee Reader consider the nexus of race, gender, and sexuality in Lee's work, and in doing so encourage readers to further explore the cultural, social, and political implications of Lee's films as well as his entire body of work.

Contributors include: Christine Acham, Toni Cade Bambara, Mark D. Cunningham, Anna Everett, Daniel Flory, Krin Gabbard, David A. Gerstner, Ed Guerrero, Keith M. Harris, bell hooks, Wahneema Lubiano, James C. McKelly, Tavia Nyong'o, Beretta E. Smith-Shomade, Michele Wallace, S. Craig Watkins, and the editor.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This essay collection, edited by Massood (film studies, Brooklyn Coll.), examines some of the movies of film director/producer Lee, whose work deals with controversial social and political issues. Among the contributors, all leading scholars in the field of cinema studies, are writer bell hooks on feminism in She's Gotta Have It, Professor S. Craig Watkins on masculinity in Get on the Bus, and Professor Anna Everett on history in Malcolm X.

—Ann Burns
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592134854
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 990,990
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Paula J. Massood is Associate Professor of Film Studies, Department of Film, Brooklyn College, CUNY, and author of Black City Cinema: African American Urban Experiences in Film (Temple).
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Table of Contents

Introduction: We've Gotta Have It-Spike Lee, African American Film, and Cinema Studies   Paula J. Massood     xv
"Whose pussy is this": a feminist comment   Bell hooks     1
Programming with School Daze   Toni Cade Bambara     10
Spike Lee and Black Women   Michele Wallace     23
But Compared to What? Reading Realism, Representation, and Essentialism in School Daze, Do the Right Thing, and the Spike Lee Discourse   Wahneema Lubiano     30
The Double Truth, Ruth: Do the Right Thing and the Culture of Ambiguity   James C. McKelly     58
Spike Lee and the Fever in the Racial Jungle   Ed Guerrero     77
"Spike, Don't Mess Malcolm Up": Courting Controversy and Control in Malcolm X   Anna Everett     91
Through the Looking Glass and Over the Rainbow: Exploring the Fairy Tale in Spike Lee's Crooklyn   Mark D. Cunningham     115
Clockers (Spike Lee 1995): Adaptation in Black   Keith M. Harris     128
Reel Men: Get on the Bus and the Shifting Terrain of Black Masculinities   S. Craig Watkins     142
We Shall Overcome: Preserving History and Memory in 4 Little Girls   Christine Acham     159
Spike Lee Meets Aaron Copland   Krin Gabbard     175
Race andBlack American Film Noir: Summer of Sam as Lynching Parable   Dan Flory     196
Racial Kitsch and Black Performance   Tavia Nyong'o     212
"I Be Smackin' My Hoes": Paradox and Authenticity in Bamboozled   Beretta E. Smith-Shomade     228
De Profundis: A Love Letter from the Inside Man   David A. Gerstner     243
Filmography     255
Select Bibliography     259
Contributors     265
Index     269
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