Spike Lee's films have raised a multitude of questions about cinema, from attempts to outline the nature, or "essence," of a black cinematic aesthetics, to a revisioning of American film as a whole. They have sparked critical inquiries into the nature of genres, the role of the auteur, and the mechanics of an active text and an oppositional spectatorship. They have asked us to reconsider spectatorial pleasure; to revel in their polyphonic visual and aural fields. They consider not only race, but also the often blurred interconnections among race, gender, sexuality, and class. In short, they have encouraged, and, in some cases, forced us to interact with what's on screen and, perhaps more importantly, with each other, whether it be in the theater, the cafe, the classroom, or the street corner. Taken together, the essays in "The Spike Lee Reader" will spark dialogue and encourage a continuing consideration of the depth and complexity of Spike Lee's career. Contributors include Christine Acham, Toni Cade Bambara, Mark D Cunningham, Anna Everett, Krin Gabbard, Ed Guerrero, Bell Hooks, Michele Wallace and many others.
"No filmmaker touches the nerves of Americans, black and white alike, as Spike Lee does. Throughout his career, he has been a necessary provocateur in our national conversation about race. These essays provide comprehensive analysis of his films and articulate why he is such a potent force in our cultural landscape."-Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University "While there have been various articles, chapters in books and books about individual films from Lee, there has not been a collection of scholarly essays examining a broad range of his films until now. In The Spike Lee Reader, Paula Massood has gathered a strong collection of essays." Black Camera "The Spike Lee Reader includes new and several well-known pieces previously published about Lee's work. The previously published pieces work seamlessly with the newer additions. These pieces provide a foundation to remind readers of the discourse established in response to the first decade of his career concerning representations of gender, sexuality, and class... The Spike Lee Reader is a necessary addition to the library of researchers and scholars in film and cultural studies. It is also a theoretically rich, interdisciplinary text that will be of use for upper division undergraduate and graduate courses on film, popular culture, and Ethnic Studies." - American Studies