Explore the most impactful and insightful quotes and sayings by Spike Lee, and enrich your perspective with the wisdom. Share these inspiring Spike Lee quotes pictures with your friends on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or your personal blogs, completely free. Here are the top 125 Spike Lee quotes for you to read and share.

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I'd like to state that Spike Lee is not saying that African American culture is just for black people alone to enjoy and cherish. Culture is for everybody. -- Spike Lee
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I'm riding my man Obama. I think he's a visionary. Actually, Barack told me the first date he took Michelle to was 'Do the Right Thing.' I said, Thank God I made it. Otherwise you would have taken her to 'Soul Man.' Michelle would have been like 'What's wrong with this brother?' -- Spike Lee
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People of color have a constant frustration of not being represented, or being misrepresented, and these images go around the world. -- Spike Lee
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We're the most violent nation on earth. There's no getting away from that. But you've got to look at it on a broader level. -- Spike Lee
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What's the difference between Hollywood characters and my characters? Mine are real. -- Spike Lee
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Any time you talk about the look of the film, it's not just the director and the director of photography. You have to include the costume designer and the production designer. -- Spike Lee
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I am trying to stay away from this position of me "returning to my roots." As if my roots are that I'm only comfortable working on low-budget, small films. That's not the case at all. -- Spike Lee
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I don't really analyze my stuff when I write. I write about stuff that I'm interested in, that I'm feeling at that particular time. When I stand back and look at the complete work, I might see themes that run through the whole film, but I'm not really conscious of it when I'm doing it. -- Spike Lee
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If you can't take a hit, you're not going to last long, that's for sure. -- Spike Lee
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Power is knowing your past. -- Spike Lee
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I've never seen black men with fine white women. They be ugly. Mugly dogs. -- Spike Lee
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He revolutionized music videos. Before Michael Jackson, MTV refused to play African-American artists. -- Spike Lee
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My grandmother lived to be 100 years old. Her grandmother was a slave, yet she was a college graduate in the Spellman class of 1917. She taught art for 50 years and she saved her Social Security checks for her children's education. -- Spike Lee
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I don't like to use the word 'remake', I think reinterpretation is a better word. It's just a matter of respecting the source, and then trying to make your own film, and trying not to be inhibited by being so beholden to every single thing ... We respect the source, but we make changes to it. -- Spike Lee
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America doesn't have the moral right to tell other people what to do. To say the whole world has to fall into line is you-know-what. I hope more people will rise up. -- Spike Lee
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As a writer I want everybody to get a chance to voice their opinions. If each character thinks that they're telling the truth, then it's valid. Then at the end of the film, I leave it up to the audience to decide who did the right thing. -- Spike Lee
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The truth is I've been doing Kickstarter before there was Kickstarter; there was no Internet. Social Media was writing letters, making phone calls, beating the bushes. -- Spike Lee
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I may have been born yesterday, but I stayed up all night. -- Spike Lee
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A lot of times you get credit for stuff in your movies you didn't intend to be there. -- Spike Lee
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Don't think that because you haven't heard from me for a while that I went to sleep. I am still here, like a spirit roaming the night. Thirsty, hungry, seldom stopping to rest. -- Spike Lee
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Always be mine, puppy please, puppy please. -- Spike Lee
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I've been blessed with the opportunity to express the views of black people who otherwise don't have access to power and the media. I have to take advantage of that while I'm still bankable. -- Spike Lee
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Fight the power that be. Fight the power. -- Spike Lee
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It has been my observation that parents kill more dreams than anybody. -- Spike Lee
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Any film I do is not going to change the way black women have been portrayed, or black people have been portrayed, in cinema since the days of D.W. Griffith. -- Spike Lee
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I think my work shows that I love women. I understand where these types of criticisms are coming from because black people have been so dogged out in the media, they're just extra sensitive. -- Spike Lee
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We've gone through the names - Negro, African American, African, Black. For me that's an indication of a people still trying to find their identity. Who determines what is black? -- Spike Lee
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I've got "Sometimers." Sometimes I remember and sometimes I forget. -- Spike Lee
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I wouldn't be doing motherfu**ing films for almost three decades if every time I did something that someone didn't like I went in a fu**ing cocoon and just hid there and didn't make my art. -- Spike Lee
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There's an unwritten law that you cannot have a Jewish character in a film who isn't 100 percent perfect, or you're labeled anti-Semitic. -- Spike Lee
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My people, my people, what can I say; say what I can. I saw it but didn't believe it; I didn't believe what I saw. Are we gonna live together? Together are we gonna live? -- Spike Lee
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Stick around long enough, you'll get some grace. -- Spike Lee
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I'm very careful about how I portray violence in my films. I do believe that violence, especially violent video games, are not a good thing for young kids. -- Spike Lee
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Amongst black people, you have always heard it said that once a black man reaches a certain level, especially if you are an entertainer, you get a white trophy woman. I didn't make that up. -- Spike Lee
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If we became students of Malcolm X, we would not have young black men out there killing each other like they're killing each other now. Young black men would not be impregnating young black women at the rate going on now. We'd not have the drugs we have now, or the alcoholism. -- Spike Lee
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A woman who is very secure in herself, what she's about, what she wants to do, who probably figures that she's a prize catch-sooner or later he's going to come around. -- Spike Lee
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I've always tried to - when I've been able to - support young artists, no matter what medium. -- Spike Lee
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I knew I was never going to play professional sport, but I loved playing and I went to all the games I could afford to. -- Spike Lee
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It comes down to this: black people were stripped of our identities when we were brought here, and it's been a quest since then to define who we are. -- Spike Lee
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I used the principles of Kickstarter to make 'She's Gotta Have It.' We filmed that in 1985 to 1986. The final cost was $175,000. I didn't have that money. It was friends, grants, donations. We saved our bottles for the nickel deposit. -- Spike Lee
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People sometimes forget all the films that we've done. They remember the likes of 'Malcolm X' and 'Do the Right Thing.' But I've been working since 1986. From the beginning, I was determined to not just be a flash in the pan. I've got to keep up with Woody Allen. He's lapping me. -- Spike Lee
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It is really important that young people find something that they want to do and pursue it with passion. I'm very passionate about filmmaking. It's what I love to do. -- Spike Lee
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I'm always open to new, innovative stuff and people trying to do stuff in a different way. I knew that the theatrical release would be like getting on the launch pad for Amazon Prime but I was okay with that because I think what Jeff Bezos and Ted Hope are doing is innovative. -- Spike Lee
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I like to work with the same people when I can, and you want to get people with the same interests that you have, and the same aesthetic. -- Spike Lee
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I think it would be very boring dramatically to have a film where everybody was a lawyer or doctor and had no faults. To me, the most important thing is to be truthful. -- Spike Lee
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First of all, what in this world does not revolve around money? But money is a big part of film, unlike a lot of other art forms. -- Spike Lee
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I live in New York City, the stories of my films take place in New York; I'm a New York filmmaker. -- Spike Lee
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I miss my brother. Prince was a funny cat. Great sence of humor. -- Spike Lee
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You have to do the research. If you don't know about something, then you ask the right people who do. -- Spike Lee
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I had a great education. From kindergarten to John Dewey High School in Coney Island, I am public-school educated. -- Spike Lee
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I don't think my films are going to get rid of racism or prejudice. I think the best thing my films can do is provoke discussion. -- Spike Lee
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This film [Chi-Raq]is a declaration. It's a scream. It's a warning. And I can really break it down to one scene. That's the scene where we have the eulogy and sermon that is given by the great John Cusack. -- Spike Lee
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I think that every minority in the United States of America knows everything about the dominant culture. From the time you can think, you are bombarded with images from TV, film, magazines, newspapers. -- Spike Lee
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As we move toward the millennium, the year 2000, the most powerful nations are not those that have nuclear bombs, but those that control the media. That's where the battle is being fought; that is how you control people's minds. -- Spike Lee
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And one thing Hollywood does well is sequels. -- Spike Lee
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'25th Hour,' like a lot of my films, takes place in New York City. I've been very fortunate to make films in the city that I live. I mean, it's great going home at night instead of being on location. -- Spike Lee
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I don't see any negativity with what Brad Pitt is doing with his Make It Right Foundation, or what Sean Penn is trying to do in Haiti. -- Spike Lee
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Surprises are good. I'm not of the thinking where you tell the audience everything. Sometimes I don't even want to see the trailers. You see the trailer, you've seen the movie. -- Spike Lee
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I give interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street. -- Spike Lee
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Sex and racism have always been tied together. Look at the thousands of black men who got lynched and castrated. The reason the Klan came into being was to protect white southern women. -- Spike Lee
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Right now a lot of people are still choosing to go to Toronto instead of shooting in New York City, something I haven't done and something I hope I'll never have to do. -- Spike Lee
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I'm an independent filmmaker with complete creative control of my films. I hire who I want. I have final cut. But at the same time, I go directly to Hollywood for financing and distribution. I find it's best for me to work within the Hollywood system. -- Spike Lee
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I think people who have faults are a lot more interesting than people who are perfect. -- Spike Lee
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A spine to my films that's become more evident to me is that many are about the choices people make, and the reverberations of those choices. You go this way, or that way, and either way, there's going to be consequences. -- Spike Lee
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When I went to school, you had to take art, you had to play an instrument. You had to play an instrument. But it's all degraded since then. I do not know what kind of nation we are that is cutting art, music, and gym out of the public-school curriculum. -- Spike Lee
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I'll be vilified if I shoot a film in Toronto for New York. And rightfully so! -- Spike Lee
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Making films has got to be one of the hardest endeavors known to humankind. -- Spike Lee
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I don't think racism can be eliminated in my lifetime ... or my children's or grandchildren's. But I think it's something we have to strive for. I'm going to keep working toward that day coming. -- Spike Lee
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One of the great things about African-Americans is that we've always had this attitude: We make do with what we got. It comes from our ancestors being slaves. -- Spike Lee
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Critics like to build you up, tear you down, and then, if you're lucky, build you up again. -- Spike Lee
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I consider Madonna a friend, and she sure knows how to work the publicity machine. Of course, I don't have breasts. If I did have, I'd be in the number one spot over Madonna. -- Spike Lee
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'Do the Right Thing' was my first union film. I looked at the rosters, and for the most part, it was white males. Especially the Teamsters. So we had some conversations. -- Spike Lee
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I respect the audience's intelligence a lot, and that's why I don't try to go for the lowest common denominator. -- Spike Lee
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Mike Tyson is the most complex person I've ever met in my life. I've known Mike since 1986. We're both from Brooklyn. I didn't know him growing up, but once he became heavyweight champion, I knew him then. -- Spike Lee
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All directors are storytellers, so the motivation was to tell the story I wanted to tell. That's what I love. -- Spike Lee
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I'm a storyteller, and there's some genres I like. I don't think I'm ever going to do science fiction, but I want to do a musical one day. I want to tell stories, I don't really try to get boxed in by a specific genre. -- Spike Lee
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We've got to turn this backward thinking around where ignorance is championed over intelligence. Young black kids being ridiculed by their peers for getting A's and speaking proper English: that's criminal. -- Spike Lee
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When you love something it's not a job anymore. -- Spike Lee
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I always give the example, if you turn on the radio today, black radio, Lenny Kravitz is not black. Bob Marley wasn't black: in the beginning, only white college stations played Bob Marley. -- Spike Lee
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Our greatness, our talent has never been the question. It's been a matter of grappling for control over what we do. -- Spike Lee
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'Red Hook Summer' is another chapter in my chronicles of Brooklyn. -- Spike Lee
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As a people we do not need anyone else's stamp of approval. -- Spike Lee
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It gets dangerous when you start allowing people to validate your work ... -- Spike Lee
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I don't like acting; not in front of the camera. -- Spike Lee
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There's always been this hocus-pocus or magical, mystical thing associated with the making of film that sort of psyches people out and makes them think that this cannot be done; that this is a craft that cannot be learned. -- Spike Lee
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We grew up in a very creative environment and were exposed to the arts at a very young age, so it's not a surprise that all of us are in some form of the arts. -- Spike Lee
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I never understood the concept of showing everything in the trailer. Why go to a movie if there's no surprise? I can't do it like that. -- Spike Lee
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I don't get tripped up in technology. I use technology as a tool. 'Oldboy' we shot Two Pro 35mm. For 'Da Blood of Jesus,' we shot digitally. We shot the new Sony F55. It's a 4K camera. -- Spike Lee
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Cause mo better makes it mo better. -- Spike Lee
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'She's Gotta Have It' and 'School Daze,' I really didn't know what I was doing. And the biggest indicator of that was the acting. 'Do the Right Thing' was like the first film where I really felt comfortable working with actors. -- Spike Lee
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A lot of times, we censor ourselves before the censor even gets there. -- Spike Lee
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I am a hybrid. I do independent films and also do Hollywood films - I love them both. -- Spike Lee
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American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It was a holocaust. My ancestors are slaves. Stolen from Africa. I will honor them. -- Spike Lee
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If you have a talented family, you should be shot if you don't use them. -- Spike Lee
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I really don't deal with hypotheticals. -- Spike Lee
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People think I'm this angry black man walking around in a constant state of rage. -- Spike Lee
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I am very fortunate I can send my kids to private school, but everybody does not have the money. If you cannot get your kid in a good school today, your kids are going to be behind the eight ball. -- Spike Lee
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I ain't Martin Luther King. I don't need a dream. I have a plan. -- Spike Lee
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Because many advances have happened, we've lost the urgency (and that's just human nature) that we had before, when we couldn't vote, couldn't use mass transportation, or drink from the fountains. -- Spike Lee
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Those that'll tell don't know, and those that know won't tell. -- Spike Lee
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There's a lot of Americans, black and white, who think that we've arrived where we need to be and nothing else needs to be done and affirmative action needs to be dismantled. -- Spike Lee
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Since the days of slavery, if you were a good singer or dancer, it was your job to perform for the master after dinner. -- Spike Lee
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I collect names for characters. Names are valuable; they can be your first source of insight into a character. -- Spike Lee
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I think there's a lot of hope in my work. I don't think I'm a total pessimist, so I think you can find hope in all my films. Some more than others, but there's definitely ... I think we want to convey the feeling of hope with the montage at the end. -- Spike Lee
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I get offered to do stuff where the money's nice but it's not something I want to do - I get offered a lot of commercials too. -- Spike Lee
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I'm just trying to tell a good story and make thought-provoking, entertaining films. I just try and draw upon the great culture we have as a people, from music, novels, the streets. -- Spike Lee
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I didn't dream about being a director. I didn't know I wanted to do something with film until the summer between my sophomore and junior years at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. -- Spike Lee
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For me, I believe in God, God is real. -- Spike Lee
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I don't think I'm a total pessimist, so I think you can find hope in all my films. -- Spike Lee
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I think it is very important that films make people look at what they've forgotten. -- Spike Lee
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Most human beings will not stand in front of a stage and tell you about the bad things they did. -- Spike Lee
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Music is, for me, a great tool of a filmmaker, the same way cinematography, the acting, editing, post-production, the costumes are. You know, to help you tell a story. -- Spike Lee
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Violence is a part of America. I don't want to single out rap music. Let's be honest. America's the most violent country in the history of the world, that's just the way it is. We're all affected by it. -- Spike Lee
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I like people to look like they're floating. -- Spike Lee
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I don't dictate, you don't dictate to Stevie Wonder, not successfully. -- Spike Lee
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I think if people looked at my body of work, they'd see a great breadth of work. -- Spike Lee
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My cousin Malcolm Lee is also a filmmaker. -- Spike Lee
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'She's Gotta Have It' was shot in twelve days and two six-day weeks. -- Spike Lee
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I tend to favour films that have multiple plot and story lines, multiple characters and ensemble pieces. -- Spike Lee
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If people go to IMDB, they will see that I'm very comfortable with independent cinema, and doing studio films too. For me this is not an either/or situation. -- Spike Lee
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I think black people have to be in control of their own image because film is a powerful medium. We can't just sit back and let other people define our existence. -- Spike Lee
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Everything I do is always scrutinised. But that's all I'll say about that. -- Spike Lee
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I'm not the go-to guy. Everybody is trying to tell their story and have different ways of telling it. -- Spike Lee
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I'm blessed, I can afford to send my children to private school. -- Spike Lee
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I'm surprised that Hollywood and networks have not been diverse as other industries. -- Spike Lee