In March, Spike Lee is going to receive his 5th lifetime achievement award at the Directors Guild of America Awards.
He has won previous lifetime achievement awards at the Academy Awards, Black Reel Awards, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards and NAACP Image Awards. Although this time the award will be specifically be about Spike’s distinguished achievement in motion picture direction. From commercials to big budget featured films, Spike has done it all in his journey to create art. Critics and film associations have been giving Spike his flowers in recent years, especially after 2018’s BlacKkKlansman.
President Lesli Linka Glatter of the Directors Guild of America had no choice but acknowledge the greatness.
Icon. Trailblazer. Visionary. Spike Lee has changed the face of cinema, and there is no single word that encapsulates his significance to the craft of directing.
From his groundbreaking ‘Do the Right Thing,’ ‘BlacKkKlansman’ and everything in between — to his signature ‘double dolly’ shot, Spike is an innovator on so many levels.
His bold and passionate storytelling over the past three decades has masterfully entertained, as it held a stark mirror to our society and culture.
Spike will be the 36th director to receive the lifetime achievement award from the DGA.
Other winners include, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott. Of course, Spike will be the first Black person to be honored with the award. He is a part of quite formidable group of legendary directors, and he deserves it. Spike has always been a figure to mention when thinking about independent filmmaking. To this day he prides himself on creating “joints” that inspire others on the philosophy that anybody can make a great film. He even brought that mantra to New York University when he decided to be teacher there for a few semesters.
President Glatter mentioned the iconic double dolly shot in his films. There have been many instances of innovation apart from the iconic ‘double dolly’ directorial technique.
Below are some examples of what makes Spike Lee’s directing fantastic and uniquely his “joint”.
1. The Dolly Shot – Mo’ Better Blues (1990)
2. The 4th Wall – She’s Gotta Have It (1985)
3. Saturated Colors – Crooklyn (1994)
4. Ultra Realism – School Daze (1988)
5. Wit – Air Jordan IX Commercial (1994)
6. “Wake Up”
7. Racial and Social Injustice – Malcolm X (1992)
Spike recently inked a multi-year creative deal with Netflix to produce, direct and illuminate upcoming talent. Da 5 Bloods was the first film to be a part of that deal.
So if you’re thinking the 64-year-old Brooklyn native is going to stop, think again.
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