When I received my review copy of SPIKE by Spike Lee it took me a full day before I broke the plastic on the gorgeous table book.
Maybe it was the bright color or the weight of the book that made me pause. When I finally cracked open the pages, before I pushed into the full experience, a voice in my head said: ‘turn to the back” and this is what it says:
God Mawnin From Da People’s Republic Of Brooklyn, Got To Put in Da Werk. Gotta Write, Write, and Write To Keep It Right, Right, Right. We Got To Fight The Power By Any Means Necessary. Ya-Dig? Power Is Knowing Your Past. They Year, 1619. History.Her Story. 400 Years+. Why You Acting Like You Ain’t Got Skin In The Game,Brother And Sista? Fight The Power! Love Over Hte. Always Do The Right Thing. That’s It? That’s It. I’m Gone. Sho-Nuff. And Dat’s The Truth Ruth.
Peace, Light, And Love,
“As I head full-steam ahead into my fifth decade as a filmmaker I was elated when Steve Crist and Chronicle Chroma approached me about doing a visual book of all my joints,” Lee wrote in a statement. “We would revisit all da werk I’ve put in to build my body of work. Film is a visual art form and that sense of my storytelling has been somewhat overlooked. Why now, after all these years? Folks be forgetting.”
“Spike Lee has graciously opened his archives and allowed us to create this very special book together,” Chronicle Chroma publisher Steve Crist said. “It’s an honor to collaborate with Spike on this definitive visual survey of his amazing film career to date.”
Spike Lee is much more than just an Academy Award-winning filmmaker. He’s a cultural icon and one of the most prominent voices on race and racism for more than three decades. Spike puts in the work and his prolific career has included over 35 films, and counting, including his directorial debut “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986), his seminal masterpiece “Do the Right Thing” (1989), and more recently, his Oscar-winning film “BlacKkKlansman” (2018). To quote the man himself, Gotta Write, Write, and Write To Keep It Right, Right, Right and his provocative feature films, documentaries, commercials, and music videos, have shone the spotlight on significant stories and have made an indelible mark in both cinematic history and in contemporary society. In short, Spike is an activist.
Don’t believe me? That’s cool but as you turn the pages of his 306-page book SPIKE which celebrates his career-spanning monograph you will understand that this is a visual celebration of his life and career to date. A celebration with this gifted storyteller getting his flowers now while he can enjoy them.
The images are bold and honest. Simple. Straight forward and moving.
The impact begins with the custom bold, typographic design that was inspired by the LOVE/HATE brass rings that Radio Raheem wore in “Do the Right Thing” and that Spike Lee wore at the 2019 Academy Awards. The gold foil deboss on SPIKE has a vibrant fuchsia front cover creating a bold and beautiful, eye-catching design.
Inside this heavy book are hundreds of never-before-seen photographs by David Lee, Spike’s brother, and long-time still photographer. And SPIKE the book includes behind-the-scenes, insider images that underscore his creative process and his significant impact on the culture at large. Images include work from his critically acclaimed film “Malcolm X” (1992) starring Denzel Washington, to his recent film “Da 5 Bloods” (2020) featuring the late Chadwick Boseman.
One of the things that strike you is that Lee’s work continues to resonate now more than ever. Also included are his beloved commercials with Michael Jordan for Nike, which helped launch the billion-dollar Jordan brand product empire, as well as his music videos with Prince and Michael Jackson.
Gotta Write, Write, and Write To Keep It Right, Right, Right. We Got To Fight The Power By Any Means Necessary.
SPIKE by Spike Lee is a must-have collector’s item and the perfect gift for any cinephile and fan of one of the most prominent and influential filmmakers in history.
This is a Hardcover book with 360 pages that’s 8.5 x 12.75 H.