Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Spike Lee to Receive American Cinematheque Award in 2021

spike lee

*Spike Lee will receive the American Cinematheque Award during a virtual tribute on Jan. 14, 2021.

Lee’s Hollywood career spans three decades and includes features such as “School Daze,” “Mo’ Better Blues,” “Jungle Fever,” “Crooklyn,” “Clockers,” “Girl 6,” “Get on the Bus,” “He Got Game,” “Summer of Sam,” “Bamboozled,” “25th Hour,” “She Hate Me,” “Inside Man,” “Miracle at St. Anna,” “Red Hook Summer,” “Old Boy” and “Chi-Raq.” 

“As a cultural arts organization that celebrates the importance of film in our society, Spike Lee is the perfect choice for the Cinematheque’s annual award,” said American Cinematheque chair Rick Nicita. “Spike’s ability to perceive and depict the tone of contemporary society is shown in his movies, ranging from ‘Do the Right Thing,’ ‘She’s Gotta Have It,’ ‘Malcolm X’ and ‘BlacKkKlansman’ to name only a few. He continues his outstanding output with this year’s ‘Da 5 Bloods’ and ‘American Utopia.’ We look forward with great anticipation to where he will next shine his light.”

READ MORE: Spike Lee Announces Murder of Actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd in Atlanta Overnight

In television, Lee produced the Netflix original series “She’s Gotta Have It,” and most recently his “Da 5 Bloods” debuted on the streaming platform amid protests over the police killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

“I cannot take any credit for this. The film was shot when it was shot; it was ready to come out when it was ready to come out. And then the world changed for everybody,” Lee told Variety about the timing of the film’s release. “When something is repeated all the time it becomes a cliché … but that doesn’t mean it’s not the truth. And the truth I’m talking about is timing is everything. This film’s coming out at the right time for the world we live in.”

As noted by Variety, previous American Cinematheque Award honorees include: Eddie Murphy (1986); Bette Midler (1987); Robin Williams (1988); Steven Spielberg (1989); Ron Howard (1990); Martin Scorsese (1991); Sean Connery (1992); Michael Douglas (1993); Rob Reiner (1994); Mel Gibson (1995); Tom Cruise (1996); John Travolta (1997); Arnold Schwarzenegger (1998); Jodie Foster (1999); Bruce Willis (2000); Nicolas Cage (2001); Denzel Washington (2002); Nicole Kidman (2003); Steve Martin (2004); Al Pacino (2005); George Clooney (2006); Julia Roberts (2007); Samuel L. Jackson (2008); Matt Damon (2010); Robert Downey Jr. (2011); Ben Stiller (2012); Jerry Bruckheimer (2013); Matthew McConaughey (2014); Reese Witherspoon (2015); Ridley Scott (2016); Amy Adams (2017); Bradley Cooper (2018) and Charlize Theron (2019).

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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