spike lee (red hook summer interview)

*Director Spike Lee‘s latest theatrical release is titled ‘Red Hook Summer‘ and, unless you have been totally out of the loop, this tale has gotten a lot of attention for its story and subject matter.

But just in case you didn’t get a chance to see it in theaters, you can now see it on DVD (and Blu-ray). Recently Spike spoke with EURweb’s Lee Bailey regarding the particulars of this offering.

“It’s a coming of age story about a young kid who is from a middle class background in Atlanta, Georgia, I would say somewhat suburban,” said Spike. And what does he want the reader to take from it? “I don’t like answering the take away thing. I don’t like to do that anymore. I think people are too intelligent. They take away from the film what they want they want to take away from it.”

RELATED: Win a $500 Gift Certificate and a Spike Lee Signed DVD or Blu-ray Copy of ‘Red Hook Summer’

And speaking of controversy and critics…

“Lee, when was ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ done? 1986. You know me, I’m not going to be preturbed by what people say. What? Am I going to be suicidal because someone doesn’t like my film? Come on. If that was the case I wouldn’t still be making films, brother,” said Lee.

“People didn’t want to open ‘Do the Right Thing’ in theaters because it was going to cause black folks to riot all over the country, and I was being called an irresponisble filmmaker for wanting to do it. But I don’t listen to that kind of stuff,” he continued.

“Red Hook Summer” was Lee’s first independent release in quit some time and, though it did not garner the acclaim it may have been entitled to, the Brooklyn-based director does not feel that takes away from the film’s artistic merit.

“Did ‘Do the Right Thing’ get recognized for ‘Best Picture’? Did Denzel win for ‘Malcolm X’? Those last two questions? I don’t understand that. That stuff does not matter to me, Lee. I don’t make films to get awards, I make them because I’m an artist and I’m a story teller. Awards have nothing to do with that, at all,” he reiterated.

“It was a self-released film and I’m very happy the DVD is coming out so that a lot of people will get to see it because the film really didn’t get in a big number of theaters across the United States. It was limited. People wanted to see it, but it just wasn’t in their neighborhood, town or city. I did commentary for it, there’s a music video, there’s deleted scenes, small featurettes and so forth,” said Lee.

Though “Red Hook Summer” features incredible performances by Thomas Jefferson Brown the film revolves around the daily goings on of young protagonist Flik Royale (Jules Brown) and his sidekick/summer time crush Chazz Morningstar (Toni Lysaith). In the tradition of helping others pull themselves up by their bootstraps, Spike returned to his old school to find this talented duo.

“They went to my junior high school. They have a great drama course there and whenever I need young people I can just look right there and get them,” he explained. “For me, I don’t like kids that are too mannered. I like naturalistic actors and those two kids were great.”

“Red Hook Summer” is currently available on DVD and Blu-ray at Amazon and wherever home video items are sold.

Don’t forget to enter our “Red Hook Summer” home video promotion. You could WIN a $500 gift certificate and a Spike Lee signed DVD or Blu-ray copy of the film. For more details, go here.