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September 11, 2006

Spike Lee added to Arts & Lectures season

By Scott Rappaport

UCSC's Arts & Lectures has added an appearance by renowned filmmaker Spike Lee to its 2006-07 season. The event will take place on Monday, November 27, at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.

Photo of Spike Lee

Spike Lee
Photo courtesy of the Lavin Agency

Lee has recently been highly praised for his HBO documentary When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts--a moving portrait of New Orleans in the wake of the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Katrina. His longtime editor Sam Pollard noted that Lee's reputation helped get a camera crew into the city's water-logged homes, allowing him to tell a complex story about race, class, and politics that Pollard said has too often been sensationalized or rendered in sound bites. “This was a story that Spike Lee knew he had to tell,” Pollard added.

Lee gained national attention in 1986 with the hit independent film She's Gotta Have It, a comedy about the many lovers of an independent Brooklyn woman. The film established Lee's reputation as a rising young black independent filmmaker, and his outspoken African American perspective, as well as steady output of acclaimed films, has kept him in the public eye ever since.

Lee's subsequent films continued to tell stories with racial themes, including the Brooklyn drama Do The Right Thing (1989); the jazz-tinged Mo' Better Blues (1990) with Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes; the interracial romance Jungle Fever (1993) with Snipes and Anabella Sciorra; the biopic Malcolm X (1992) starring Washington and based in part on the book by Malcolm X and Alex Haley; Summer of Sam (1999) with John Leguizamo; the controversial racial satire Bamboozled (2000); and the story of a New York man about to go to prison, The 25th Hour (2002), starring Edward Norton.

“Spike Lee is the most significant African American filmmaker of our time,” said Michelle Witt, director of Arts & Lectures. “He has produced compelling and important work about the tragedy in New Orleans.”

Witt added that tickets will be available to Arts & Lectures members from September 15 through 28 at the UCSC Ticket Office. Beginning October 1, tickets will become available to the general public at the Santa Cruz Civic Box Office. For more information, call the UCSC Ticket Office at (831) 459-2159.

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