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Spike Lee$
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Todd McGowan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038143

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038143.001.0001

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Confronted with Too Much

Confronted with Too Much

(p.1) Confronted with Too Much
Spike Lee

Todd McGowan

University of Illinois Press

This chapter analyzes the films of Spike Lee. Lee's films employ types of excess such as unconventional shots, extreme characters, and improbable scenes to intervene in critical issues that trouble the contemporary world—the question of the subject's singularity, the role that fantasy plays in structuring our reality, the political impact of passion, the power of paranoia in shaping social relations, the damage that the insistence on community inflicts, the problem of transcendence, and the struggles of the spectator. Above all, Lee is known for being a political filmmaker and the concept of excess holds the key to understanding the politics of his films. Excess has enabled Lee to create a varied corpus of films that treat a broad spectrum of fundamental social and political problems. These films include She's Gotta Have It (1986), Do the Right Thing (1989), Jungle Fever (1991), and Malcolm X (1992).

Keywords:   Spike Lee, filmmakers, filmmaking, American film directors, She's Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, social problems, political problems

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