Spike Lee Delivers What Amounts to ‘I Had a Nightmare…’

ShutterstockSpikeLeeToday’s must-listen audio [NSFW because of repeated curse words] was very quickly posted last night. New York magazine’s Joe Coscarelli has both embedded and transcribed a fantastically provocative rant by the one and only Mr. Lee.

What’s great about Coscarelli’s twin-barreled approach is that listening to Lee is very different from simply reading the comments. On the page, they come across as more caustic. In the audio air, they amount to an impassioned and deeply felt monologue about the racially-tinged social strata of gentrified neighborhoods. It’s as dramatic and shocking a sequence as that time a garbage can was thrown through the window of a Brooklyn pizza joint.

Lee made his comments last night at the Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn campus during a Black History Month event. He was responding to a question from the audience.

The filmmaker leads off his answer with a seeming reference to a February 21 New York Times article by Constance Rosenblum about the pros and cons of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s transformation. The questioner, a very intelligent and well-spoken man, jumps in towards the end with a solid follow-up.

Bravo to him, and bravo to Mr. Lee.

[Photo of Lee at 2007 Venice International Film Festival: Cinemafestival/Shutterstock]

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.