Spike Lee Quotes (49 Quotes)

    Right now a lot of people are still choosing to go to Toronto instead of shooting in New York City, something I haven't done and something I hope I'll never have to do.

    People could not believe, especially the residents of the Ninth Ward, that there wasn't hanky-panky in the flooding.

    One more, we catch De Niro and Scorsese. I hope we catch them, and I hope we pass them.

    Violence is a part of America. I don't want to single out rap music. Let's be honest. America's the most violent country in the history of the world, that's just the way it is. We're all affected by it.

    I think my work shows that I love women. I understand where these types of criticisms are coming from because black people have been so dogged out in the media, they're just extra sensitive.

    I dislike Condoleezza Rice more than President Bush. The thing about it is that she's gotten a free ride from black people.

    I think black people have to be in control of their own image because film is a powerful medium. We can't just sit back and let other people define our existence.

    I collect names for characters. Names are valuable they can be your first source of insight into a character.

    People say, 'She's so successful' and 'Look at her position as a black woman.' She is a black woman who grew up in Birmingham, Ala.,and said that she never experienced a day of racism in her life.

    So I missed the wedding, huh I didn't get an invitation. What's up with that

    We grew up in a very creative environment and were exposed to the arts at a very young age, so it's not a surprise that all of us are in some form of the arts.

    My cousin Malcolm Lee is also a filmmaker.

    Racism is when you have laws set up, systematically put in a way to keep people from advancing, to stop the advancement of a people. Black people have never had the power to enforce racism, and so this is something that white America is going to have to work out themselves. If they decide they want to stop it, curtail it, or to do the right thing... then it will be done, but not until then.

    It comes down to this: black people were stripped of our identities when we were brought here, and it's been a quest since then to define who we are.

    People didn't really believe me when I told them that I was going to be a filmmaker,

    Critics like to build you up, tear you down, and then, if you're lucky, build you up again.

    A lot of times, we censor ourselves before the censor even gets there.

    There's a lot of Americans, black and white, who think that we've arrived where we need to be and nothing else needs to be done and affirmative action needs to be dismantled.

    Fight the power that be. Fight the power.

    Any film I do is not going to change the way black women have been portrayed, or black people have been portrayed, in cinema since the days of D.W. Griffith.

    I get offered to do stuff where the money's nice but it's not something I want to do - I get offered a lot of commercials too.

    I live in New York City, the stories of my films take place in New York; I'm a New York filmmaker.

    I'd like to state that Spike Lee is not saying that African American culture is just for black people alone to enjoy and cherish. Culture is for everybody.

    I'm just trying to tell a good story and make thought-provoking, entertaining films. I just try and draw upon the great culture we have as a people, from music, novels, the streets.

    To be fair, he did convert to Islam in prison and allegedly read the great works of Western literature. And though he failed to obtain his high school equivalency degree while spending three years behind bars, there were larger lessons to absorb at the Indiana Youth Center. You hope he's learned something, ... I think eventually he'll speak out against abuse to women.

    I don't dictate, you don't dictate to Stevie Wonder, not successfully.

    I like to work with the same people when I can, and you want to get people with the same interests that you have, and the same aesthetic.

    I think it would be very boring dramatically to have a film where everybody was a lawyer or doctor and had no faults. To me, the most important thing is to be truthful.

    I think it is very important that films make people look at what they've forgotten.

    Since the days of slavery, if you were a good singer or dancer, it was your job to perform for the master after dinner.

    Our greatness, our talent has never been the question. It's been a matter of grappling for control over what we do.

    All directors are storytellers, so the motivation was to tell the story I wanted to tell. That's what I love.

    It is really important that young people find something that they want to do and pursue it with passion. I'm very passionate about filmmaking. It's what I love to do.

    Everything I do is always scrutinised. But that's all I'll say about that.

    I always give the example, if you turn on the radio today, black radio, Lenny Kravitz is not black. Bob Marley wasn't black: in the beginning, only white college stations played Bob Marley.

    Don't think that because you haven't heard from me for a while that I went to sleep. I am still here, like a spirit roaming the night. Thirsty, hungry, seldom stopping to rest.

    There's an unwritten law that you cannot have a Jewish character in a film who isn't 100 percent perfect, or you're labeled anti-Semitic.

    I'm glad to be here on the day we honor Dr. King, a true giant, and it's our responsibility to teach our children what the man was and how this is not just a day you don't go to school.

    Too many people are being bowled over by Bush and Tony Blair in Britain. It's ludicrous to expect the whole world to follow what they want.

    I ain't Martin Luther King. I don't need a dream. I have a plan.

    I wouldn't put anything past the U. S. government when it comes to people of color. There is too much history ... going back to when the U. S. army gave smallpox-infested blankets to Native Americans.

    We have a sort of understanding that works on the set. When you're shooting, the cash register is ringing . Denzel and I know where we're going before shooting starts. Then, it's a matter of doing it.

    We wanted to truthfully reflect the rage and the tone of what people felt.

    When I saw the devastation on TV and in the news...it (didn't) prepare me for what I saw there. You hear these people's stories, and its heartbreaking.

    A lot of my directing we do in the rehearsal process. We don't want to start discussing the character motivation and stuff like that on the set, so we do a lot of that stuff beforehand in rehearsal.

    If we became students of Malcolm X, we would not have young black men out there killing each other like they're killing each other now. Young black men would not be impregnating young black women at the rate going on now. We'd not have the drugs we have now, or the alcoholism.

    A lot of times you get credit for stuff in your movies you didn't intend to be there.

    I think people who have faults are a lot more interesting than people who are perfect.

    Any time you talk about the look of the film, it's not just the director and the director of photography. You have to include the costume designer and the production designer.

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