Spike Lee, who has been hailed as a visionary filmmaker, the voice of a new generation and agent provocateur on many social issues, admitted to an Arizona State University audience that his point of view is firmly rooted in “old school” values of the 20th century.
“I’m from an era where your parents told you what to do,” Lee told a capacity crowd of 3,000 people at ASU Gammage Friday evening, many of them aspiring filmmakers and artists. “There was no discussion or debate. Whether I liked it or not, I said ‘yes.’ ”
That message seemed to resonate with the standing room only crowd who came to hear Lee discuss his views on education, politics and the film industry.
The Academy Award-nominated director known for “Do The Right Thing” and “Malcolm X” was invited by ASU’s Film SparkASU’s Film Spark is a unit of ASUs Herberger Institute for the Design and Arts., a film and media program based in Los Angeles that connects students to jobs in the entertainment industry.
Sporting a New York Yankees baseball cap, white and black polka dot jacket and black T-shirt and tennis shoes, politics and education were on the filmmakers' mind.
Lee, who praised ASU’s efforts to innovate in higher education, said he believes the state of learning has gone backward and that popular culture has glamorized the idea of “keeping it real” in favor of growing intellectualism.